Saturday, December 28, 2013

"It pushes the same buttons as their gold fetish"

Not sure why none of the Bitcoin stories I've been collecting on various parallel internets has made it up here yet.  Today Krugman higlights a pretty good one by Charlie Stross so this is a good excuse to put that here.
Bitcoin is designed to be verifiable (forgery-resistant) but pretty much untraceable, and very easy to hide. Easier than a bunch of gold coins, anyway. And easier to ship to the opposite side of the planet at the push of a button.

Libertarians love it because it pushes the same buttons as their gold fetish and it doesn't look like a "Fiat currency". You can visualize it as some kind of scarce precious data resource, sort of a digital equivalent of gold. Nation-states don't control the supply of it, so it promises to bypass central banks.

But there are a number of huge down-sides.

1 comment:

Clay said...

Untraceable Bitcoin is not. Every single Bitcoin contains its entire transaction history from birth. That is the exact opposite of untraceable.

That's a basic fact they both got flat out wrong.

Bitcoin is still an experiment at this point.

A decent guide to Bitcoin just popped up on Cryptome:

Too early to say anything definitive about Bitcoin yet.