“You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” — Ayn Rand
This famous Ayn Rand quote is true, but the real question is raises is “what is reality?”
For some American journalists, reality is their belief that America is the centre of the universe, and that their opinions, rulings and laws apply everywhere by default. By any objective measure, this is false.
Bitcoin is a technology that proves once again, that America is not the centre of the universe, or even of economic activity on the earth. It doesn’t have the biggest population or the greatest economic freedom. It is just another country, one jurisdiction amongst many, and one that the vast majority of the people of the earth ignore completely.
With Bitcoin it will be shown again, as it was with CDMA and GSM, that what American journalists and entrepreneurs want will not become the world default simply because they want it. Their peculiar ideas and sense of right and wrong applies only to them. The majority population of the world is an economic force that they cannot possibly compete with, and in the internet age, this means that they must always lose and submit to the effects of numerically superior populations.
For those of you who don’t remember, there were two competing mobile phone network standards in the past; GSM and CDMA. These standards were not compatible, and the only country that settled on CDMA was the USA; everywhere else in the world settled on GSM.
Now, GSM is the global default, and no mobile phone is CDMA only. The world won, America lost. All the development, investment and engineering effort that went into creating the CDMA cellular network was lost — wasted in fact. The same will be true of Bitcoin, and any internet technology, which is more properly called, “software”. We could also use the example of software Patents, which are only issued and valid in the USA, to show how parochialism is moot in today’s internet age but we can save that for another time.
There are no “rogue players” or “bad actors” in software. Software is neutral. It does not and can not care what you do with it. It isn’t concerned with puritanism, or hysterical fear-mongering about the scant few people who choose to smoke marijuana. Software is information that can perform acts on information; this is the breakthrough that preceded Bitcoin that almost no one has picked up on. For the first time ever, an idea or a design can be made to do something without the direct guidance of a human agent. Previously, ideas that are designs needed to be written down on paper and then executed by hand to create a mechanical device. Even delivering the idea had to be done by a human. Now, information can be mediated by a machine that can communicate to another machine. That machine can be a printer or any other mechanical device, or another machine of the same design. These machines are called, “computers”.
Now with Bitcoin, computers and software are being used to do accounting in a way that allows the data stored in them to mimic the properties of fiat paper money. The problem that Bitcoin solves is called “The Double Spending Problem”. Previously all data, which is infinitely copyable, made it impossible to verify whether or not a piece of data had been copied. Now with the block chain, data that is tracked inside it can be allocated to a single person, in a way that is verifiable by anyone anywhere. This is superior to holding a paper dollar, because Bitcoin ledger entries cannot be forged, unlike paper dollars, or entries in a bank ledger. This means that Bitcoin can be used as money, amongst many other things that require a single owner to be identified as the owner of something.
The nature of Bitcoin should be clear to anyone reading this piece, and you should already own some. What you may not understand is the truly profound revolution that Bitcoin is, and the ramifications of what the solution to the Double Spending Problem are.
Bitcoin will make Socialism impossible. It will make all forms of coercive collectivism impossible. American journalists say things like, “Sometimes our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses.” This is communist drivel. There is no collective weakness in man, or collective strength. That an American journalist is writing like this is troubling enough, but what is even more shocking is how little insight people have to what Bitcoin is about to unleash.
Bitcoin will make it impossible to run a coercive State apparatus. Thanks to the money printing antics of the central banks world-wide, and in particular, the Federal Reserve, which prints the money that underpins the entire global fiat system, the paper money systems of the world’s central banks are going to disappear. This is not hyperbole; every single fiat currency that has ever existed has gone to hyperinflation and ceased to exist. Here is a list…
Angola 1991–1995, Argentina 1975–1991, Austria 1921–1922, Belarus 1994–2002, Bolivia 1984–1986, Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992–1993, Brazil 1986–1994, Bulgaria 1996, Chile 1971–1973, China 1948–1949, Free City of Danzig 1922–1923, Georgia 1993–1995, Germany 1922–1923, Greece 1942–1944, Hungary 1945–1946, Israel 1970–1971, Japan 1948–1951, Krajina 1992–1993, Madagascar 2004–2005, Mozambique 1977–1992, Nicaragua 1987–1990, Peru 1988–1990, Philippines 1942–1944, Poland 1989–1991, Romania 1998–2005, Russia 1921–1922 and 1992–1999, Turkey 1990–1995, Ukraine 1993–1995, United States 1861–1865, Yugoslavia 1989–1994, Zaire 1989–1996, Zimbabwe 2004–2009
The currency of the United States has failed twice. The third time is just around the corner. This is guaranteed and inevitable:
At heart, this economic crisis is in fact a currency crisis. Throughout history no paper currency (or “fiat currency”, since it is accepted as money by virtue of Government fiat or decree) has survived, and this time will be no different. The average lifespan of fiat currencies has been 16 years*. The present system is unique in that it has survived for 38 years and for the first time ALL countries throughout the world are on a fiat money standard. This means that the resulting crash will be on the scale of something the world has never seen.
Bitcoin is something new; a distributed public crypto ledger that has an application making it useful as a pseudo currency, which emerges from the process of a machine running software. The value people put on it is subjective, since it has no form or mass, and since it is scarce, real world goods can be divided against it in a Catalactic calculation. This is something really new, that is difficult to understand at first and which is extremely powerful and useful.
The decentralized structure of Bitcoin makes the violent actions of the Statists impossible. It flattens the field so that everyone is protected from the biggest violent predator: The State. There will be no more creation of money out of thin air by the State. No more debasement of people’s savings. No more fiat currency created by central Banks. This, along with the removal of banks as transaction facilitators, is the true “Transformation” that keeps Statists up at night in a cold sweat. This is what American journalists desperately want to prevent, once they get a glimpse of what Bitcoin is and what it will do. Bitcoin will remove government force from the equation by starving it of stolen loot. You only need go as far as BitTorrent to get a glimpse of what trying to stop it will look like.
BitTorrent is a protocol released by a single man, Bram Cohen, to solve the problem of centralized servers acting as mediators in file sharing. It is a software breakthrough as important as Bitcoin, and looking at BitTorrent is a good way to illustrate how the Bitcoin disruption is going to emerge, evolve and propagate.
BitTorrent takes up one third of all internet traffic. It has completely replaced all previous centralized file sharing services and software. This is analogous to Bitcoin replacing the money transfer services. Bitcoin will replace the banks completely as storage of money can be done on your phone or laptop or keyfob. Bitcoin will replace both money transfer services and banks which will no longer serve any useful purpose, unless they pivot to Bitcoin exchanging sites.
BitTorrent makes it possible to get a file from anyone anywhere in the world, instantly. Bitcoin makes it possible to send money from person to person anywhere in the world without knowing them, instantly.
BitTorrent is not controlled by anyone. It was written once and spread by the work of developers world-wide. Bitcoin was written once, and is spreading exactly the same way.
BitTorrent does not belong to anyone. It is free software. Bitcoin is the same; it belongs to no one, anyone can download and develop whatever they like with it.
All of these facts combine to make viral effects inevitable. Bitcoin is going to spread everywhere. People like to download movies, but they don’t need to. That pressure alone caused BitTorrent use to explode. People actually need to send and receive money on a daily basis multiple times. They have a real, crucial to life need for Bitcoin; this will cause it to be quickly propelled at a greater velocity and momentum than BitTorrent, and it will stay at that high level of momentum. It will become a beneficial juggernaut.
BitTorrent services cannot be stopped by the State. There are technical and practical reasons for this, but first among the reasons is that there are too many people using it to stop them all individually. You cannot turn off the internet to stop them, without killing world commerce. You cannot block the sites that list torrents (the files used to seed information to BitTorrent nodes) Because there are many tools that prevent net censorship that are child’s play to use, like “Stealthy” the Google Chrome plugin which takes only a single click to unblock any censored website. The only thing that can work as a propaganda exercise is to arrest the owners of the biggest torrent indexing sites. Technically, these indexing sites are not participants in file sharing at all; they are only listing files that need to be downloaded from somewhere else and used by a BitTorrent client somewhere else. If the law worked properly, these torrent indexing sites would be free and clear of any wrongdoing, because they don’t host any copyrighted material themselves, they only index files that may or may not point to other files that exist on users computers that are seeding. And these token arrests have not and will not stop anyone sharing files. Ever.
Of course, the technical, ethical and legal facts are of no consequence to the American journalist and the American legal system. They throw out the rule of law to protect the incumbent industries that are threatened by file sharing. It hasn’t worked of course, and file-sharing is bigger than ever, more efficient and greatly strengthened by two decades of research and software development that has made BitTorrent file-sharing something that can never be removed from the internet.
Now superimpose all of this on to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin services will not be stoppable by the State. There are technical reasons for this, but first of all, there will be too many people using it to stop them all individually. You can’t turn off the internet to stop them, without killing world commerce… that will be based on Bitcoin. You can’t block the people that sell Bitcoin, because they will do it person to person hundreds of millions of times per day, world-wide. All the tools used to stop internet censorship will be used to stop Bitcoin exchanging sites from being taken down, and when I talk about exchanges, I don’t mean the exchanges that mimic the stock exchange model. New exchanges are going to emerge that are nothing like stock exchanges and these will be so simple to use that anyone can understand them. The software that powers them will be open and this will make them very resilient. Arresting a vanishingly small number of unlucky Bitcoin users or site operators will have zero impact on the world-wide exchange of Bitcoin.
This is the reality faced by the American journalist that wants the world to stay exactly as it is forever. Their blinkered world view is already finished, and they don’t even know it. Their antiquated, violent, prohibitionist ideas of “bad actors” is going the way of the dodo. There are no “bad actors”; in reality there is only the market, which works to suppress people who are truly bad; i.e., people who break their promises and don’t deliver on what they promise to deliver.
No “regulator” or recent immigrant prosecutor in palookavile USA is going to stop Bitcoin, or the people who use it. They might bag a trophy prosecution, get their portrait painted and hang the stuffed heads of their innocent victims on their office wall, but the vast majority of people will be unaffected, not only because they don’t have the staff or the means to stop everyone, but they have very limited jurisdiction. Look at internet poker and casinos to get a feel for what that looks like in real life.
The American obsession and subservience to their unconstitutional agencies is utterly baffling. These three to six letter agencies all try and carve out turf whenever something new arrives, and Bitcoin is no different. The American FinCEN and the IRS both have declared that Bitcoin is two different things, as if they were not both parts of the same government. It is the modern equivalent of a Keystone Kops movie; watching them bump against each other scrambling around trying to get to grips with the slow motion software tsunami that is about to sweep them away.
That anyone is calling for “a clear voice” from these people is beyond belief. Why should any of these people have jurisdiction or a voice over free speech? Yes, Bitcoin is a form of speech, it is not money, no matter what a State mouthpiece journalist tells you.
These agencies have no business, right or legal obligation to regulate, control, inspect or stop Bitcoin in any way. Just because there are a few people asking for “guidance” from them doesn't mean that the conclusions they come to are correct, ethical or enforceable. The people who make a career out of testifying before committees like beggar servants are irrelevant to the truth of software. No matter what they say or claim is their “stake” in Bitcoin, no one outside of their incestuous Washington bubble cares. Bitcoin, like BitTorrent, will flow into every device and nothing they do or say can stop this from happening. The market will determine what services thrive and succeed, not blabbering wannabe leeches.
There is no such thing as “the BitTorrent community”. Soon the idea of a “Bitcoin community” will seem utterly absurd. There is no software community, rice community, air community or math community. All of these things work and taste good despite there being no “community” to “represent” them. These quaint ideas come mostly from people who do not have Bitcoin or who do not write software. They are desperate, once they realize what is happening, to get on board and have a part to play in this incredible once in a lifetime event. This is perfectly understandable, and in fact, desirable. What is undesirable however, are the types that do not have direct involvement in software choosing to assert themselves by bringing the law onto the heads of the people who are actually creating the infrastructure and who own the thing that they are fans of.
It is not enough for these people, like the journalists, to witness and report what is going on, or to start collecting and using Bitcoin; they must impose their petty, small minded, limited imaginations on others to achieve satisfaction. It’s nauseating, and unethical, and in the end, will be a complete wasted effort because no one cares what these people think. The people that write software and own Bitcoin are going to do what is good for them, spend their Bitcoin in ways that benefit them, build services that they need and write the software that does what they need to get done. No one cares about these low brow busybodies, and the BitTorrent example is a perfect fit once again. Journalists are non-actors in the new world order of software. They don’t write anything that can be executed; all they can do is complain. And they’re very good at it.
Bitcoin has the potential of raising the standard of living of living of the 2.2 billion unbanked. The State, busybodies and socialists are not required to make this happen; only entrepreneurs, software and hardware developers are needed. There is no such thing as “over regulation” in Bitcoin, the regulation comes from the software itself and its baked in rules. If you agree to abide by the software’s rules, you can use Bitcoin. If you do not, you cannot. You can use other software, or use other methods to account for your money, but that is entirely your decision. No law is required to mediate an exchange of Bitcoin, and there are enough laws that cover fraud and contract to protect anyone who interacts with a business that makes a promise.
If only journalism could be made to be as true and reliable as Bitcoin mediated transactions!
It is profoundly shameful that journalists and Statists want to cripple something that could change the world and improve the lives of billions in the same way that the telephone and the internet have changed the world for the better. Their personal ideas of right and wrong that are entirely wrong and learned by rote should not be the standard by which free men should be forced to live. Even if their ideas about ‘drugs’ are correct, this is a vanishingly small amount of trade in comparison to the 2.2 billion unbanked that can benefit from Bitcoin, along with the billions of banked who will have their money freed by it.
The question is this; is man going to live by the peasant thinking of the lowest common denominator, or is he going to reach for the stars?
Thankfully, the latter is going to be the case. No thinly veiled threat that “we” must come begging to “Washington” is going to stop the spread of Bitcoin everywhere.
Nothing is going to stop liberty from being the default. BitTorrent file sharing is the model that proves this. It is deeply entrenched in the fabric of the internet and the minds of the users. Soon, Bitcoin will be exactly the same. It will be ubiquitous, the best services will thrive, and the bad services will be quickly abandoned. All the boasting about thousands of outlets and millions of users by some startups are completely meaningless. In the internet age, these big numbers can drop to zero very quickly. Look at MTGOX, MySpace, AOL, and all the other large sites that no longer exist, or that are now mere shadows of their former selves.
No site is immune from falling out of flavor with King Consumer, but one fact remains true in every instance; the internet persists, ready to facilitate the next big player. Bitcoin is the internet of money. No matter what player disappears, the Bitcoin network will still be there, ready to transact, store and record.
This is the only thing that is important.
The world has changed, Statists.
Get used to it, because no one wants you. Everyone wants Liberty.
And we are going to have it.
Translations: Chinese: 比特币与现实，和美国记者间的较量 http://www.8btc.com/bitcoin-and-reality-versus-american-journalists