“Bitcoin, Magical Thinking, and Political Ideology” | Alex Payne
I recently posted my views on Bitcoin determining that it is some kind of asset class that is gradually becoming regulated as such.
Today courtesy of 7 Stories to Read this Weekend I came across this article. It is well written sometimes humorous and very deep. Worth the read.
Bitcoin, Magical Thinking, and Political Ideology | Alex Payne
Most charitably, Bitcoin is regarded as a flawed but nonetheless worthwhile experiment, one that has unfortunately attracted outsized attention and investment before correcting any number of glaring security issues.
To those less kind, Bitcoin has become synonymous with everything wrong with Silicon Valley: a marriage of dubious technology and questionableeconomics wrapped up in a crypto-libertarian political agenda that smacks of nerds-do-it-better paternalism. With its influx of finance mercenaries, the Bitcoin community is a grim illustration of greed running roughshod over meaningful progress.
Far from a “breakthrough”, Bitcoin is viewed by many technologists as an intellectual sinkhole. A person’s sincere interest in Bitcoin is evidence that they are disconnected from the financial problems most people face whilelacking a fundamental understanding of the role and function of central banking. The only thing “profound” about Bitcoin is its community’s near-total obliviousness to reality.
And social commentary on the valley view of the world.
Silicon Valley has a seemingly endless capacity to mistake social and political problems for technological ones, and Bitcoin is just the latest example of this selective blindness. The underbanked will not be lifted out of poverty by conducting their meager daily business in a cryptocurrency rather than a fiat currency, even if Bitcoin or its ilk manages to reduce marginal transaction costs (at scale and in full regulatory compliance, that is). But then, we should note that Dixon wasn’t talking about lifting anyone out of poverty, just “offer[ing them] low-cost financial services”.