Love Sovereign Money? Try Sovereign Computing

Rick Messitt

Written By Rick Messitt: Content creator and Bitcoin educator at The Bitcoin Way.

We’re all here for the same reason. We love Bitcoin. And chances are, we all love it for a lot of the same reasons. We love that it’s not centrally controlled and free from any interference. We love that it is trust-less and gives us complete autonomy. And we love that it prevents us from being financially censored or extorted.

In short, we love Bitcoin because it goes a long way to restoring our freedom and our sovereignty.

What our Bitcoin journey also teaches us is that if we want to properly harness these benefits it requires us take on a lot more personal responsibility. If we want the sovereignty to manage our own affairs free from interference, then it requires us to learn a new set of skills to enable it. Being your own bank means that YOU now assume the role of ‘Head of Security’. The buck stops with you.

It can be a daunting task for people who don’t already work in tech. If you’re a carpenter or plumber then managing public and private keys, setting up nodes and using hardware wallets probably feels completely alien.  Nevertheless, everyday more and more people make the leap and prove that acquiring these skills is achievable for anyone from any walk of life, especially with a little guidance. Our own client base is testament to this. Using Bitcoin is less convenient than centralised fiat, but the benefits are enormous.

If you’ve already got your house in order when it comes to your Bitcoin setup, then kudos to you! But, as is our duty at The Bitcoin Way, we’d love to tempt you to go a little further still.

We’d love to draw you into the fascinating world of Sovereign Computing!

And here's the cool thing. If you’re already running your own node, then you’ve already taken your first steps into the world of Sovereign Computing! You should keep tumbling down this rabbit hole because if you keep going, you’ll reap some amazing rewards!

Read on to learn more….

Pull Your Head Out of the Clouds

Sovereign Computing is the counterweight and alternative to our modern-day reliance on ‘Cloud Computing’ to store and manage our data. Storing your data ‘in the cloud’ sounds kind of fancy and high tech but all you are really doing is storing your data on someone else’s computer. More often than not, these computers will be servers owned by Google, Amazon or Microsoft.

These centralised services are convenient and useful. You can access your files from anywhere with an internet connection, the cloud provider handles all the hardware and maintenance, and computing power and storage can be scaled up or down almost instantly to meet your changing needs. It offers you a place to back up files in case of hardware failure and is cheap, easy, and accessible.

So, what’s not to love?  

Well like most things in life, convenience comes with trade-offs and some of those trade-offs might not be worth making.

First you completely give up on control over your data and become completely dependent on your service provider. They control how your data is stored, managed, and accessed. Your service provider is in the position to delete your data, distribute your data and determine who can or can’t get access to it, including you! This is obviously a heavily trust based system and I think we have all probably learned to be wary of those.

Another thing that should give you pause for thought is privacy. Every single piece of data you store in the cloud lives on someone else’s hard drive. You’re again trusting these services not to monitor your activity or view your data. And what about Government agencies? Are you confident that the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft don’t allow Government snooping? Who knows, but the point remains that a cloud-based setup makes this a genuine possibility. Makes you think twice about backing EVERYTHING up to the cloud, doesn’t it?

Finally, security. These cloud services act as attractive honeypots to people seeking to steal your personal data. These attackers know that should they breach these honeypots the pay day can be enormous. If your data is grouped with everyone else’s then your data would also be swept away in any attack. If you search for instances where big companies have had their cloud security breached, you’ll realise that it’s a common occurrence.

Suddenly, the convenience of cloud computing doesn’t taste so sweet, does it?

What is Sovereign Computing?

The alternative to relying on centralised cloud storage providers is Sovereign Computing. If you’ve already mastered how to use Bitcoin, then delving into the world of Sovereign Computing is the next logical progression.

In contrast to using a 3rd party cloud service, Sovereign Computing aims to shift control back to individuals by using devices they own and manage. Rather than using someone else’s computer, they can use their own. This empowers users by giving them the autonomy to manage their own data and computing activities without having to rely on and trust third-party services.

Sound familiar?

It should because the benefits of Sovereign Computing and retaining control over your own data strongly echo the benefits of taking self-custody of Bitcoin and retaining control over your own money. Not your cloud, not your data.

So, what are the benefits?

Well by running your own cloud on your own hardware you get to retain full control over your own data. Instead of all your personally identifiable information, pictures, medical records and whatever else you need to store being hosted with someone you need to trust. You can now store them yourself and selectively reveal information to others when you see fit.

Not only that, but you can significantly improve your security and privacy by taking control of your own setup. You can decentralise your network by running different nodes in different locations and remove any central points of failure. Beyond that you also get complete freedom over how you secure and encrypt your network. Instead of trusting your data is secure you can verify it and store the keys to your kingdom offline much like you do with your Bitcoin keys. Go further still and you can start accessing your data via privacy networks like TOR.

You’re still cloud computing, just this time, you’re the one making the clouds.

The other great thing about Sovereign Computing is that much like Bitcoin, it drives personal responsibility. Becoming competent in sovereign computing requires you to put some work in to build a new knowledge base that allows you to manage your own digital life. To reap the rewards, you must embark on a path that forces you to take an active role in managing your data and understanding the hardware and technologies you use.

Rather than being passive and outsourcing everything Sovereign Computing allows you to take an active role and make informed choices about your privacy and security. It’s an incredibly rewarding process to go through and will leave you feeling more capable and more secure.

Sovereign Computing – Getting Started

The concept of Sovereign Computing can be pretty dauting to newcomers. Especially so if they don’t come from a technical background. Running servers, creating back-up strategies, and building a network you can access globally and securely can feel overwhelming at first.

The thing is, you might already have more experience in this than you give yourself credit for. If you’re already running your own Bitcoin node, then you’ve already started your Sovereign Computing journey. A full Bitcoin node is the perfect example of Sovereign Computing because you are running software locally and storing a copy of Bitcoin’s blockchain locally. Instead of relying on any third parties to store and relay this data you’re managing the whole process yourself. All you need to do is keep going down the rabbit hole. Sovereign computing is just more of the same.

When you’re getting started with Sovereign Computing one challenge you will face is that you’re entering a world of almost unlimited choice. Just like you can run a Bitcoin node on all sorts of different hardware you can also create your Sovereign Computing setup on all sorts of different hardware.  It’s not just hardware either, you’ll have plenty of choice when it comes to the software you choose to run as well.

Thankfully Sovereign Computing is becoming more and more accessible to the general population. Companies are now emerging that offer users access to plug and play hardware and software designed to make things a lot easier for even non-technical people. One great example of a company doing just that is Start9 Labs. Not only do they offer high performance hardware, but they also offer their own easy to use operating system that makes it easy for you to find, install and run all sorts of useful open-source software without needing to be a shadowy super-coder.

The barrier to Sovereign Computing has never been lower. The time to take the next step toward total sovereignty is now.

Claim Your Sovereignty with The Bitcoin Way

Are you ready to go even further on your quest for self-sovereignty? Having mastered Bitcoin and taken control of your own money, have you now developed an unquenchable thirst for control over other aspects of your digital life?

If so, it sounds like you’re ready to take the leap into Sovereign Computing.

Just like learning how to properly self-custody your Bitcoin, you’re going to be embarking on a journey with lots of new things to learn and a series of choices and trade-offs to make along the way. There is no ‘perfect setup’, and the choices you make will vary greatly based on your circumstances, budget and skill level.

Choice is great, but for a beginner it can create analysis paralysis and inertia. It’s hard to make progress if it isn’t clear which path is best for you, especially if it requires you to spend time and money to explore it.

Thankfully, you don’t have to embark on this journey alone. With decades of cyber security experience our team at The Bitcoin Way are perfectly equipped to help you. We can advise you on the right hardware and software to use and guide you in creating a setup that’s best suited to your needs. We can derisk your whole learning experience and get you to your desired destination much, much faster!

Start your Sovereign Computing adventure today.

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