Bitcoin as we know it doesn’t exist in a paper form, which is one of the reasons why it’s so popular, but there are many who may have wondered what bitcoin paper bills would look like if it was in circulation.
Well now, we can have some idea of what they may look like.
In a project called Block Bills, Los Angeles-based artist Matthias Dörfelt has created visual representations of bitcoin paper bills by choosing, at random, 64 blocks on the bitcoin blockchain, by picking each of the block’s unique hash, which helps to identify it.
Each bitcoin paper bill has been designed to colourfully represent different fundamentals linked to the digital currency.
In the top right-hand corner, there is a number that represents the transfer volume, which replaces the typical denoting figure that is seen on fiat currencies. Furthermore, where a signature from the treasurer in any given country is found, there is the name Satoshi, the inventor of bitcoin, which is handwritten by Dörfelt.
Numbers along the bottom right represent the timestamp when the bitcoin was mined while the dots on the left indicate a history of all the transactions. Not only that, but the colours of each bitcoin paper bill represents a different volume: the lighter the bill, the lower the volume while a darker colour indicates a high volume.
Lastly, each bill has in its centre a blurred image that could represent a human being. The idea here, according to the artist, was to produce the visual representation of privacy and anonymity that bitcoin delivers.
“In some way, the project is a loose data visualisation, but I mainly wanted to make the bills be interesting on their own as artworks.”
While the creation of the bitcoin paper bills may have only been for artistic reasons, it does help present the digital currency in a different light. Not only that, but it makes it more accessible to people and gives bitcoin more weight that makes it easier to understand.
For many people, if there is something in existence that we can’t physically hold, the idea around it might not seem real, but thanks to Dörfelt it now can be.
Art and the Blockchain
Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time that artists have embraced the technology world in their work. By doing so, they make it accessible to people in their day-to-day lives.
Last September, Berlin-based New Zealand artist Simon Denny, reimagined traditional finance and how alternative futures could exist across different sectors worldwide through the blockchain technology.
Focusing on three blockchain companies: Digital Asset Holdings LLC, 21 Inc. and Ethereum, Denny used full-length, cut-out images of them, placing them among larger-than-life special editions of the board game ‘Risk’ and Pokémon cartoons. By doing so, the artist was trying to imagine what the three companies believe needs to be achieved for a new world order.
By focusing on the blockchain within the art world it could suggest that the distributed ledger has achieved a new level of status higher than bitcoin. Saying that, though, the blockchain can often come across as a complicated subject matter, but when explored through art it can turn something difficult into something understandable in easy ways.
In the report, Denny said that it was important to get people outside of finance and technology interested in the blockchain and the potential it can provide people in their lives:
“I think that work that is being done by blockchain visionary companies right now has the potential to change some of the most fundamental societal building blocks from which our world is built. Money, sovereignty, trust: These are the things which are potentially at stake here, and are being reimagined by very smart, very active people.”
With the blockchain gaining such status and believed to have more potential than bitcoin, it could be that we see more blockchain-based art exhibits in the near future.
Bitcoin Paper Bills
If, however, there were bitcoin banknotes in existence, what could this do to its value?
One of the reasons that the digital currency is so popular is because it is a decentralised currency where no central government has control over it. Thought up in the days of the 2008 financial crisis, there is no one person in complete control as to how bitcoin should be governed.
As such its value has increased exponentially with millions of people of the opinion that bitcoin could eventually become a mainstream currency that replaces fiat transactions.
So, if bitcoin paper bills were in circulation, would they increase or decrease the value of it? After all, someone would have to be in control of the number of banknotes in existence, which would require a continued supply to keep up with demand.
Sure, this could potentially push the value of the currency up, but the main reason behind bitcoin is so that the public aren’t putting their complete trust into one person. What if the circulating of the bills came to a halt? What then?
People would be angry that they had trusted and believed in something and we would just revert back to how it was before: distrust with the monetary system, believing that those in charge are simply pocketing the profits and getting away with it.
The world has been, and in some cases continues to be, there, so it’s unlikely that they will want a repeat of an old show.
So while the idea of bitcoin paper bills may seem like an idea, it’s only a fanciful one that won’t happen any time soon. For now, we can simply enjoy the benefits that the digital currency is providing millions of people around the world and how it is changing our ideas as to how we pay for things.
Technology is changing and it seems that the bitcoin community is intent on having the digital currency lead the way for major changes that we might not think possible now, but could become very real in the not-so-distant future.
Featured image from Flickr via tiendientu vietnam.