Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bitcoin Supporters Clash

It is starting to get ugly between those who somehow believe that Bitcoin is going to be the money that will put the government out of the money business (fat chance) and the money players, who are putting money into e-currency transaction systems and don't mind at all if Bitcoin and other e-currencies are regulated. In fact, many of them seem to prefer such a state. They have the money and the connections and they will win, to the degree that Bitcoin (now trading under $500.00) survives at all.

Here is the San Francisco Chronicle reporting from the recent CoinSummit held in SF, under the headline, Bitcoin supporters clash over ideological, practical issues:
On the second day of CoinSummit, a virtual-currency conference at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts last week, bitcoin entrepreneur Andreas Antonopoulos took the stage to issue a resounding defense of bitcoin's anarchist spirit.

It was the day after the Internal Revenue Service issued tax guidelines for virtual currencies. Antonopoulos, who is widely regarded as a public face of bitcoin, called banks criminals and warned regulators that bitcoin is a gecko - "and when you stomp on the gecko, you cause it to evolve until it becomes a komodo dragon and it bites your foot off."...

Hemant Taneja urged bitcoin enthusiasts at the San Francisco conference to take themselves more seriously and focus more on consumer applications.

"There's a lot of stuff in the way of bitcoin succeeding," said Taneja, whose firm, General Catalyst, has invested millions in bitcoin companies. "We're taking the view that entrepreneurs working with regulators are the ones that in the end are going to succeed."...

In the words of Scott Robinson, who manages a bitcoin startup accelerator at Plug and Play Tech Center, there are the "crypto-anarchist" bitcoin types and the "banker, Wall Street, entrepreneur" bitcoin types...

This rift was particularly evident at CoinSummit, an insiders event that put the movers and shakers of crypto-currency in one place for two days...

Susan Athey, a Stanford economist who studies crypto-currencies, said that those who oppose working with regulators - or even the idea of regulation at all - will make progress more difficult for the entrepreneurs trying to grow the space.

"My own view is pragmatic: The services provided by bitcoin will be more useful if it is easier to get money in and out," she said, "but getting money in and out requires working with the financial system, and that requires working with regulators."...

For Zach Harvey, bitcoin was an ideological interest that became an entrepreneurial one. Harvey is the CEO of Lamassu, one of the companies producing bitcoin ATMs. He describes himself as an "anarchist," but anarchy, it turns out, doesn't make for a very good business plan. At least, not one that will help get bitcoin to the masses.

"Now that bitcoin is out there, the argument for it can't be an ideological argument," he said.


  1. Wtf is the point of this post? People have different ideas about the world? Thanks for the update, Wenzel.

    All it really is, is an excuse to post about the price being down slightly and gloat. But just wait Wenzel, you're going to eat every negative word you've typed on this subject.

    1. Hey, it is what it is. Everyone, including Wenzel, would occasionally like to have a private, anonymous, non-traceable, non-governmental, way to make financial transactions.
      Although Bitcoin is a pioneer in the effort, it gets no cigar.

    2. Agreed. I was at this conference and people make this "culture clash" up to be more than it is. It is a false dichotomy. Bitcoin can easily exist in both worlds - and it will just like cash today.

    3. Why are bitcoin enthusiasts so rabid?

    4. Why are bitcoin-haters so rabid?

    5. I don't see bitcoin skeptics eating their hats while they cry out, "Oh Bitcoin-Lord, why have you forsaken me?!"