Can You Buy A Piece Of The Internet With Bitcoin? Maybe So.

What does buying the Internet look like? Some believe it might start at the bottom of the ocean. 

In February 2019, Google announced development plans for the first undersea private intercontinental cable running from California to Chile. Over the last several years, entities like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google have been working hard to build expansive fiber-optic submarine cables. 

Few might know these cables are the backbone of the modern Internet. The more than 700,000+ miles of cables in use carry 95-99% of global data. 

Some argue that the moves by Google and other content providers to build these cables ultimately help to drive down consumer prices and lead to better Internet service. 

Others who are wary about the influence of large enterprises claim that the modern Internet is owned by individuals who connect their devices to the vast, global system and push back against attempts to ‘privatize’ it. 

Shifting Ideas About The Internet To A Value-Focused Model 

These perspectives swirl around the idea of the Internet as an informational tool. Many currently use the World Wide Web to research, find, consume, share, and send information. 

While there is nothing wrong with this approach, as the free flow of information helps reduce disparities and empowers people, we are now looking at new visions for the Internet that can revolutionize the world. 

A different approach is to welcome the upcoming Internet of Value. Here, the vision is for value to flow across the Internet as quickly as a fact or detail can. This could come in the form of quick cross-border remittances (since fiat is a store of value), crypto, and even other assets like stocks, frequent flyer points/traveler miles, music, and intellectual property. Essentially, users could “buy the internet.” 

buy the internet, exploring bitcoin and digital real estate

If an asset has value to someone, hopes are the Internet of Value, with the help of tools like blockchain, can help securely and safely transfer it from one party to another. 

Where does Bitcoin come in? First, since ownership and value are built directly into the Internet of Value, owning Bitcoin actually means a user would take an ownership stake in the Internet itself. 

Since BTC is a store of value, a payment network, and an asset (backed by computer code), Bitcoin holders essentially own parcels of virtual land within the Internet of Value.

Bitcoin As Real Estate In A World Less Interested In Material?

Arguments comparing the similarity of Bitcoin to land are not new. For example, Richard Brown wrote in 2014 how the digital asset, like land, is not perfectly fungible and goes through a transformation and transferral process as it is used in a manner “similar to and dissimilar to many commodities, which are consumed (or at least degraded) through use.”  

However, Leon Wankum takes it a step further in Bitcoin Magazine. In an August 20th article, he builds on Brown’s assertions and postulates that real estate is Bitcoin’s best comparison. In his eyes, people now see real estate as a store of value amid concerns about inflation and the potential to earn income through rent. 

According to Wankum, while Bitcoin is not literally like real estate, it serves as an apt metaphor to describe Bitcoin’s applications and opportunities and the potential for the flagship crypto to enable a “new way of wealth creation in the digital space.”

As the digital world continues to shift and impact all parts of society, it is clear that the Internet of Value has a place in an interconnected world where more people become interested in virtual worlds than mere material things. 

The Internet of Value will continue to bloom as it provides ample opportunities for better social and resource value awareness as a bedrock of a flexible, more equitable, and fair global economy. 

Since ‘value’ itself is the lynchpin of the Internet of Value, digital assets like Bitcoin will play a prominent role due to its versatility, unique attributes, and functionality as a legitimate store of value.  Ready to buy a piece of the internet for yourself?