Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's Really Terrible That Bitcoin is Associated with Libertarianism

You end up with smart aleck posts like this one from Paul Krugman:
Choose Your Monetary Adventure, Mt. Gox Edition

Bitcoin was, of course, created in part to cater to libertarian dreams – to provide a way to store your wealth where governments can’t steal it through taxation or currency debasement.

And it’s true! Thanks to Bitcoin, you can instead have your wealth stolen by private hackers.
For the record, there are libertarians promoting Bitcoin, but also libertarian Bitcoin naysayers, such as Gary North and, of course, yours truly.

Bitcoin is simply a poorly constructed vehicle to use as an instrument to escape the clutches of government.  In many ways because of public blockchains, it is easier for governments to track activity, and don't tell me about tumblers that mix up the identity of bitcoin users. Such tumblers could easily be set up by the government itself to monitor activity, especially the US government. Remember, the USG is tracking all our phone calls, emails and other web activity, do people really think they are going to stop this type activity at the Bitcoin border?

There are hedges against currency debasement that have seen the test of thousands of years: gold and silver. That's the inflation protection money of the seasoned libertarian.

The idea that Bitcoin and other e-currencies are the only monies that aren't controlled by a central authority is pure non-sense. No central authority controls gold or silver.

Much more important, the old Swiss proverb, "Gold has no smell," applies to gold and silver much more so than Bitcoin.


  1. Indicting bitcoin as a result of the Mt Gox scandal is on par with indicting the dollar because of a bank robbery, or rather bank fraud. I noticed that thousands of bank email & passwords were stolen. Does that mean the dollar "doesn't work?"

    I don't know. Maybe it's unreasonable to expect a Nobel Laureate in Economics to be able to differentiate between a bank and a currency.

  2. Last time I checked, you can't ram gold down a transmission wire.

    Gold is useless as a medium of exchange in a digital world.

    1. right up there with bitcoin

    2. Actually you can, except then it's just an empty promise. Just like bitcoin.

    3. La-la-la-la-la! I'm Robert Wenzel and I can't hear you!!! La-la-la-la-la!

  3. Just because something does or does not end up working does not change the fact that something may have legitimately been regarded as an escape from the government's clutches.

    Let's face it, how many ideas by libertarians have actually been successful thus far? Is the state shrinking? Should we distance ourselves from it just because an asshole like Paul Krugman sneers about it?

    You take opinions of these cretins far too seriously. Their words mean nothing. It is a sneer by a court intellectual about captives trying to escape the kingdom and failing. To distance ourselves from an attempt at escape is to distance ourselves from the concept of escape itself.

    Bitcoin could fail utterly and miserably and i still would not distance myself from it, because unlike some i look at the intent and not at the result. I am also not informed by an obviously personal and subjective viewpoint about it from the start and - just like Krugman himself - sneering, mocking and tut-tutting it, and pretending meanwhile to be different from him.

  4. Great point, we all know the Krug is an idiot (sycophant at best).

    I think most people reading this blog would agree....the dollar "isn't going to work forever".

  5. Thank goodness hackers never bother to steal US dollars right?