Bitcoin Forever! Why the Alt-Currency (or Something Like It) is Here to Stay

The technologies that stick around are ones that empower people to do stuff. Which is another way of saying: Viva Bitcoin!:

Something that allows individuals to spend money however they want isn’t going away anytime soon. Just like we did with computer viruses, hacks, and a host of other once-seemingly cataclysmic issues, bitcoin’s users will figure out all sorts of ways to deal with theft, scams, and worse. The fixes will never be perfect, the patches and updates will be ongoing, and an alternative system may well supplant bitcoin, but what else is new in digital culture, right? As Veronique de Rugy suggested last November, it’s worth thinking about bitcon as “the Napster of the payment industry.” The specific platform is far less important than the forces it unleashes.

That's from my latest Daily Beast column, which argues that bitcoin (or something very much like it) is here to stay despite the collapse of Japan-based exchange Mt. Gox and intensifying attempts by governments to regulate or ban the cryptocurrency. On that latter point:

If the U.S.—not to mention any and all other governments around the globe—squeeze too hard, the hive mind that is constantly building, repairing, and revising bitcoin’s protocol will skip town one way or another. They—we—don’t want bitcoin per se. We want something like bitcoin that allows for greater freedom, reduced transaction costs, greater anonymity, and perfect accounting transparency. As long that need is there, it will be served.

Read the whole thing.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Psst, hey buddy. This coat lining, too gaudy?"

  • waffles||

    I like Bitcoins, but...

    ...that bitcoin thread from last night was a nearly lethal dose of stupid. They say they don't rule the night, still, they mostly come at night... mostly.

  • Rich||

    “Hey, Visa, Mastercard, Paypal: It's MY money. How DARE you tell me where I can and can't spend it?"

    "Hey, buddy: It's OUR system. How DARE you tell us how to run our business?"

  • waffles||

    I think when I use my credit card I am actually taking out a micro-loan, so in that sense it isn't my money and I am okay with only using approved merchants. Bitcoin is great for the stuff I wouldn't use credit for.

  • PRX||

    I'm sure the police will just come up with more uncompensated AML compliance for me to do to make up for their inadequacies.

  • ||

    For about the last 13 hours, according to this website, 98% of the activity, 41,500 Bitcoins, has been in Chinese Yuan.

    Watch the World Currencies Flow into BTC in Realtime

  • waffles||

    Which is why the calls to ban or regulate are futile. "Mr. President, we cannot allow a Bitcoin gap!"

  • Cytotoxic||

    Interesting that China's ban on BTC payment processors couldn't stop it.

  • Stimpy's Invention||

    So...how heavily invested in Bitcoin is the Reason Foundation?

  • ||

    I believe that in their pledge drive they got a donation worth $50,000 in Bitcoin. They still havn't figured out how to sell it for USD.

  • Stimpy's Invention||

    No kidding? Looks like my rhetorical question was not so rhetorical after all. Not that their large Bitcoin donation raises conflict-of-interest or objectivity questions.

  • ||

    It's a guess.

    I do know they got a $50,000 donation, and that they were accepting donations in BitCoin, and that lots of BitCoin affectionados are libertarians.

  • Stimpy's Invention||

    The burning question, then, is: How much is that 50K in Bitcoin worth today in lousy, valueless, jackbooted, government-manipulated fiat dollars?

  • OldMexican||

    Bitcoin Forever! Why the Alt-Currency (or Something Like It) is Here to Stay


    To continue to fleece naive and inexperienced investors and true-believers for whom money burns their pockets!

  • Cytotoxic||

    Or better yet burn up blinkered bad faux- Austrian proponents.

  • ||

    What we want is something that permits us to exchange goods and services without the government getting in the way, or (preferably) even knowing about it.

    Of course, if anyone every invents a cryptocurrency that is genuinely anonymous, I expect it to be promptly banned.
    We're heading towards a total state that demands the irght to know about every single economic transaction because, otherwise, how would they be able to trace drug deals to individuals. How would they be able to tax you on every single thing you produce of value? I mean they can't do that with cash, but derp, it's the internet, thereofre the NSA has the right to know everything.

  • Stimpy's Invention||

    "What we want is something that permits us to exchange goods and services without the government getting in the way, or even knowing about it."

    Oh, is that all you want? Utopia? That's hardly unreasonable. Go for it!

  • american socialist||

    "Bitcoin Forever!"

    YEAH MAN! I like leaving my money in bank accounts where I can deposit money, but can't withdraw it or spend it. You go girl!

  • american socialist||

    My favorite part of the MtGox debacle is that the first thing these cool cyber-punk libertarian anarchists did is run to the government and plead with them to investigate this "crime" and, even insure their losses. I say not one taxpayer dime to these crooks, but that's because I worship Stalin and Mao.

  • Stimpy's Invention||

    Nobody ever claimed that anarchists were not naive hypocrites.

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