Since we know that fiat money is controlled by governments and banks, who controls a decentralized currency like bitcoin? The answer lurks in the word decentralized – which means that the Bitcoin network is managed by nobody and everybody at the same time.
Who controls Bitcoin?
By definition, decentralize means “ to move the control of an organization or government from a single place to several smaller ones.”
The same goes for the Bitcoin network, except instead of “several smaller places,” the control of the system is delegated to thousands of nodes – people who choose to run the Bitcoin software on their computers.
No central authority makes decisions in regards to the Bitcoin network; instead, everyone gets to call the shots. No one owns Bitcoin technology, so there is no hidden mastermind who controls Bitcoin.
The governance of Bitcoin
It is users around the world who control Bitcoin. Anyone is free to develop and improve the bitcoin software. Likewise, anyone is free to choose which version of the software they want to run. However, to make it a usable, network, users must come together and run compatible versions of the software. In the end, a strong network requires everyone to operate within the same rules, and that’s how bitcoin consensus is reached – by the majority vote.
This is who controls Bitcoin: majority vote. Since all nodes in the network are equal, if the majority decides something, it will happen. And if you do oppose the change, you are free to join other systems (that’s why there are so many bitcoin forks). The strongest network wins, and that’s why most of the users, miners, and developers have an incentive to respect and protect this mutual agreement. It is in everyone’s best interest to keep the network active, secure, and healthy!
Influence over the bitcoin network
But who controls the Bitcoin network? One might say that it is developers, who discuss how the system should be developed and improved. Others say it’s the miners, who choose which version of the software they want to run. But again – it must be the majority who decides on the future of Bitcoin, as there are no nodes, or participants, that get any special or preferential treatment.
Such is the nature of genuinely decentralized organizations. And apparently, it works!