Op-Ed: Because Bitcoin users should leave Apple and Google for Purism


Major technology companies received more control in 2018, especially when it comes to how they manage user data. Internet users are becoming darker than they are Facebook is Google know them, and Apple took the opportunity to remind everyone that they are more interested in selling hardware than tracking your online business.

Just as Internet users do not like the idea of ​​Google reading their e-mails, they may not even like the idea of ​​banks and payment processors that monitor all their financial activities. In this way, it is interesting to see Bitcoin as the money version of free software. Furthermore, it is important to note how bitcoin can benefit from the growth of free software movement.

Bitcoin is free money software

The global financial system works in a similar way to gigantic technology companies when it comes to user privacy and data collection. In addition, banks can also censor transactions or remove access to their bank account in a similar way to how Twitter or Facebook can censor posts and delete user accounts. Bitcoin was created directly as an alternative without authorization to the proprietary banking system, very similar Mastodon it was built as an alternative, social media platform without authorization.

Although the dream has not yet been fully realized, the idea is that bitcoins will have complete control over their money (data) and transactions will be encrypted end-to-end. It should be noted that Bitcoin still has a long way to go when it comes to offering strong user privacy, but there is a theoretical basis for progress.

As the world becomes more digitized, the value of a free version of software becomes more apparent. For example, the value of a "digital gold" becomes more evident in a society without cash where goods can be more easily seized or inflated and transactions more easily censored.

If people become interested in protecting their personal data and online privacy, then bitcoin should benefit, as it is indeed the alternative of free online finance software movement.

Purism is the apple of free software

In recent years, Apple has made a lot of noise in terms of privacy and security that they claim to offer their users; however, as a closed source proprietary offer, users are not able to explicitly verify that Apple is doing what they say. Purism, on the other hand, offers verifiable proof to back up your claims as a hardware and software company that respects privacy through features such as open source software and hardware break switches.

Purism was originally founded in 2014 and operates in company for social purposes. The company was launched on the back of a crowdfunding campaign for a powerful Linux-based laptop with a focus on the values ​​of free software movement, and is now developing a smartphone with the same philosophy in mind.

The reasons people use bitcoins are the same reasons that someone would use a Purism laptop or smartphone: they want to minimize the trust they're putting in other parts. With Bitcoin, users want to have as much control as possible on their finances. With Purism, users want to have as much control as possible on the hardware and software they use for their computing – they simply do not want to take Apple's word for it.

Purism seems to understand this overlap with the communities of cryptocurrency and free software, as they did plans to integrate the Bitcoin alternative-oriented Monero privacy into Librem 5 and currently accepts a variety of cryptocurrencies in their online store.

If a bitcoin user does not trust banks with their financial data (and with bitcoins their financial data is real money), then why do they trust Apple, Google, Microsoft or other large technology companies with their personal information or privacy – especially when the reliability of Bitcoin software depends on the integrity of the computing device on which it is executed?

The success of Purism as a company should be considered as bullish for the Bitcoin project as it would indicate growth in the free software movement, which would indicate a greater interest in the cited core bitcoin values ​​such as digital gold or free software version of the money.

Choosing to go with Purism is a real vote of confidence at this point, as many people find their laptops currently available too expensive compared to other options on the market. It is also likely that many people will not be able to completely switch to the Librem 5 smartphone (at least for now) when it will be available next year due to the need for specific apps for work or other aspects of their lives.

Purism still does not offer perfect products, but it is putting together a fundamental element for the free software movement, of which even bitcoin is a fundamental part. It would make sense for both Purism and Bitcoin to grow together over time.

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