Tom Rogers wrote: ↑
Fri May 18, 2018 7:01 pm
But isn't Bitcoin's whole raison d'être the radicalisation of money? I thought that was both its principal object and its practical utility, the whole idea being to use internet and web technologies to create alternative economic ecosystems, even a radical libertarian economy, based on a completely decentralised currency, with absolute privacy to go with it.
I don't think that was Satoshi's vision, nor is it the vision espoused by any of the developers that I've read or heard talk. Doubtless, there are a lot of hardcore anarchists and cypherpunks that are embedded in the Bitcoin ecosystem. But there are also vice lords using Bitcoin. I don't think that the developers of Bitcoin have any special affinity to any of these kinds of users.
As far as "radicalization", it boils down to what you mean by radical. If "closing the central banks and putting an end to money-printing" is radical, then yes, Bitcoin is radical. Most of the financial establishment will label Bitcoin as radical for this reason. I see it (and the Bitcoin developers see it) as just plain common-sense. You can't just have some agency printing money out of thin air. It's loony on a level that makes the residents of a psych-ward look sane and sober.
'the System' can (and surely, will) simply reverse the game-theoretic calculus and either threaten to pull the plug on Bitcoin or allow Bitcoin to morph in such a way that it is neutralised as a threat to non-virtual currencies.
The permanent Establishment certainly believes that they can do this. But the reason they believe this is because they do not actually understand what Bitcoin is, just like they didn't understand the Internet. They eventually did succeed in taking over the browser platforms and the Web infrastructure (destroying most of the true potential of the Internet in the process) and they will doubtless deploy the same strategies against cryptocurrencies, and new ones besides. But the difference, this time around, is that when the Establishment loses, it's just not just a temporary setback, it's real dollars and cents going down the drain, it's real economic capital fleeing their banks and their coffers into a system that is entirely outside of their control. The fact is that Bitcoin is a razor-sharp dagger pointed directly at the beating heart of the Establishment, whether they have the emotional fortitude to accept that fact or not.
guarantee of privacy.
Bitcoin makes no guarantee of privacy. It's much more private than a standard bank account, so that's why people call it private. But it's not guaranteed to be private by any means.
people are including Bitcoin payment buttons on their websites, in itself a self-defeating development.
If you mean that the revenuers could track their incoming payments, this is true, but Bitcoin really isn't cypherpunk. It's not anti-cypherpunk, either, and I think that's the part that confuses most people. If you want to use Bitcoin to orchestrate your illegal whatever, you just might be able to pull it off. It offers many of the benefits of cash, plus the benefits of electronic money. The design of Bitcoin is such that these uses cannot be prevented. But neither is it the goal of Bitcoin to faciliate these kinds of transactions because they are, by their very nature, anti-social and erosive to the very social structures which Bitcoin utilizes and which it is truly meant to facilitate - business-as-such.
those ATMs exist for the opposite reason, that users need a convenient way to convert their Bitcoins into 'real' money.
Bitcoin is a long ways away from being actually mainstream. But it's going on 10 years old and with $140B market cap (as of this writing), it's hardly a flash in the pan. Obviously, an increase in the number of Bitcoin ATMs is a sign that Bitcoin use is growing
, so that's actually a tally-mark in the column for a positive future for Bitcoin.