The Four Levels To Achieve Self-Sovereignty With Bitcoin
Buying Bitcoin is just the first step in a long and wonderful journey.
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Bitcoin now has more than 130 million users at the last estimate. The reason I'm talking about estimates here is because Bitcoin is a pseudonymous network that gives users the ability to have multiple addresses on the network.
We can therefore have precise on-chain data on the addresses active on the network, but we can only estimate the number of users behind these addresses.
Having said that, it is important to bear in mind that while Bitcoin has 130 million users at the moment, only a tiny minority understand the why of Bitcoin. For a majority of investors in the Bitcoin world, Bitcoin is nothing more than an asset with a high potential return on investment.
One of many, but mostly the one to own right now.
For the few who understand the why of Bitcoin, Bitcoin is much more than that. Bitcoin is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to regain control of your money's future. Bitcoin gives you the freedom to live your life on your own terms.
So it is said that Bitcoin gives you self-sovereignty.
However, this self-sovereignty is not instantaneous with Bitcoin. Just because you buy Bitcoin does not mean that you automatically take control over the fruits of your labor, and thus ultimately, power over your life.
To reach this stage of self-sovereignty, you will have to go through four levels in my opinion. You can of course go straight to the higher level 4, but generally, it is done progressively, step by step. As you understand why Bitcoin is there and how it works, you move towards that self-sovereignty.
Level 1 - Buy Bitcoin
The first step to self-sovereignty is obviously to buy Bitcoin. Many people only study Bitcoin or the economy, but never take action.
Taking action is the key to changing your life for the better.
It's not about how much BTC you buy, it's about taking action. Start with the amount you feel most comfortable with, but don't stop there. Keep studying Bitcoin to understand how it works and its why.
There is nothing worse than people who buy Bitcoin just to get rich and then never make the effort to understand the deeper meaning of its revolution.
Bitcoin has the power to change your life for the better, but to do so, you will need to make the necessary intellectual effort that will give you the confidence to fully embrace its revolution.
Level 2 - HODL Bitcoin
Once you have acquired sufficient knowledge about Bitcoin, you will have confidence in its revolution. You will understand that Bitcoin is an accumulation game for years to come. Your interest is therefore to become a Bitcoin HODLer no matter what.
By becoming a Bitcoin HODLer, you will stop worrying about the volatility of the Bitcoin price. This only affects traders. Bitcoin HODLers stay cool no matter what because they know that Bitcoin's goals are long-term.
Bitcoin is an incredible monetary revolution. Its revolution will take time. Confidence in Bitcoin allows you to be patient. This is a good thing because Bitcoin always rewards patience.
Level 3 - Own your private keys
You probably already know the most famous slogan of Bitcoin: “Don't Trust, Verify”. This slogan is not misleading, since Bitcoin allows you to verify everything yourself at any time.
However, there is another slogan that is less well known to the general public that you will have to learn to reach this level 3 in the path of self-sovereignty:
“Not your Keys, Not your Bitcoin.”
You only own the Bitcoin whose associated private keys you have in your possession.
When you buy BTC on a trading platform and leave that Bitcoin on the platform, you do not own that Bitcoin. The platform can potentially decide at any time to ban your account and confiscate your BTC.
You fall into the same trap as with the current monetary and financial system in which banks can confiscate your assets at any time for arbitrary reasons.
Your interest will therefore consist in transferring this BTC to cold storage. You will then take full control over your Bitcoin wealth. It's a daunting prospect for some, but you shouldn't be afraid to do this. It's much easier than some people would have you believe, and more importantly, it's the only way you can truly take responsibility for the security of the fruits of your labor.
Level 4 - Run your Bitcoin Full Node
After reaching level 3, which is already remarkable, many people stop there. This is a mistake in my opinion. You have to go even further and become your own bank!
By doing this, you will do even better, as you will become a full-fledged bank that relays transactions from the network. Some people say that there is no point for individuals to run a full node on the Bitcoin network.
These people are wrong. By reaching level 4, you will be free to take full advantage of the trustlessness of Bitcoin. You won't have to believe the truth of others, but you can build your truth that is reinforced by the fact that it matches the truth of other nodes on the network.
Solutions exist to run a full node on the Bitcoin network, and this is something that will allow you to reach the ultimate stage of self-sovereignty. This is what every Bitcoiner should strive for.
Bitcoin is much more than a financial investment with high potential returns. Bitcoin is an alternative system that will allow you to change your life for the better. To do this, you must fully embrace its revolution by taking the path of self-sovereignty.
This path consists of 4 major levels. Your interest is to reach level 4 which will consist of buying Bitcoin, HODL Bitcoin no matter what while owning your private keys, and finally running a full node on the network.
Then the power will be in your possession. You will be able to live your life on your own terms.
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