by John Light

Washington Post writer Henry Farrell has actually just added himself to the Nakamoto Institute’s running list of doubters making vibrant declarations about the certain demise of Bitcoin. In a post entitled “Bitcoin’s financial network is doomed,” Mr. Farrell demonstrates his short-sightedness in the face of Bitcoin’s subtlety and attraction, maybe as a cunning-though-not-so-original means of acquiring low-cost coins for himself. No matter his motivations, I couldn’t resist a complete rebuttal, if just to guarantee the weak hands amongst us that no, Bitcoin is still not doomed, and yes, Mr. Farrell is in for a rude awakening if he truly thinks the inadequate arguments he makes in his Post post. Without more farewell, a rebuttal to Mr. Henry Farrell, Bitcoin Skeptic:

“There is a reason you need to “adhere to hundreds of pages of regulations” to utilize the Visa network that exceeds Visa’s self-seeking corporate interests. That factor is government.”

No, the factor you need to abide by hundreds of pages of policies is that those networks are run by central entities that live in a specific legal jurisdiction and are for that reason prone to attacks by the government and other powerful enemies. The centralization of the networks precedes their susceptability. Without this susceptability, government policy is as reliable and enforceable as a law versus breathing. See: Bitcoin.

“Governments control payment networks really greatly, for a large variety of factors, that include making sure that individuals don’t make use of these networks to support activities that governments do not such as. They use financial intermediaries as ‘‘ points of control’ that permit them to control who does company with whom.”

Yes, and politically marginalized journalists and companies are great examples of how this power is abused. And Bitcoin is a terrific example of how this power becomes unimportant.

Pricing quote Obama administration official David Cohen, “Very carefully developed and customized to take full advantage of pressure, [economic sanctions] have hampered Iran’s ability to obtain product for its nuclear program, isolated it from the international financial system, dramatically slashed its oil exports, and denied it of access to a large portion of its oil revenues and foreign reserves.”

This seems like an excellent argument for Iranians to convert their oil into electrical power to mine bitcoins, which can then be sold locally, exported to be offered abroad, or sent anywhere in the world to buy whatever they need straight for bitcoin.

Continuing the quote from David Cohen, “Not surprisingly, the impact on Iran’s economy has actually been remarkable: its budget deficit and inflation have actually spiked, the value of its currency has actually sharply declined, foreign financial investment has all but dried up, and general financial activity has stagnated.”

Jointly penalizing an entire population of countless innocent, tranquil people for the actions of political leaders that are required on them does not sound like something to boast about. However like Madeline Albricht before him, I’m sure Mr. Cohen would say that the Iranian people’s suffering is “worth it.”

Continuing the quote, “Put merely, monetary institutions everywhere need dollars to serve their consumers, and hence require access to U.S. banks through correspondent accounts to settle their consumers’ transactions.”

They require dollars, up until they don’t. And with numerous fiat currencies growing weaker by the day, people could elect to do an end-run around their rulers and choose a politically-neutral option like bitcoin instead of trusting their government not to ruin the next effort at fiat currency.

“Now, picture the most likely response of the U.S. (and the E.U., and, for that matter, China) to a payment network which is designed from the ground up to be decentralized, so that it is difficult for any certain intermediaries to truly control payment flows from one actor to another.”

I envision it looks something like the nation-state equivalent of a child throwing a tantrum because their parent didn’t buy them a certain toy at the establishment. Unwarranted risks. Pounding fists. Bargaining. And, finally, acquiescence.

“Such a network would be impossible for states to control.”

Yes, which is a good idea.

“While Bitcoin permits consumers to buy controlled substances on Tor Hidden Services websites like Agora and Development, they do not doing this on an adequately large scale to truly cause enormous alarm.”

‘‘ They’re just suppressing a decades-old policy of prohibition visible, no huge offer.’ Keep downplaying bitcoin’s revolutionary impacts, it simply makes the remainder of the arguments look even more unreasonable. In truth, political leaders probably learned after the first “huge alarm” that they raised about this ability that they should simply shut up and let police do their task rather than draw too much focus on the truth that people can easily browse the web and purchase “any drug possible” using bitcoin.

“But if Bitcoin were ever to threaten to become a truly decentralized payments network, owned by no person, and without any one e.g. efficient in carrying out Know Your Customer guidelines……”In case you didn’t see, Bitcoin already is a “really decentralized payments network, had by no person……”

“If Tim Lee and other Bitcoin fans want to make the case that Bitcoin can end up being a significant payment network, they have to do one of 2 things.”

Bitcoiners don’t need to “make the case.” Bitcoin is.

“Initially, they might reveal that the U.S. and other significant states would not feel threatened by a well-established payment system that they could not control.”

Informing such a story would be lying. The good news: the faster they assimilate, the less agonizing it will be.

“Second, they could show that a Bitcoin financial network would make it through the opposition of hostile states that have massive control over the actually-existing financial systems that Bitcoin requires to link to, in addition to regulators, authorities, and so on”

As former Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation Jon Matonis mentioned in Forbes almost two years back, a ban on bitcoin would “come a cropper.” The only remaining alternative to suppress adoption would be to attack the network itself (rather than the endpoints that a ban would target). Given the time and resources required for such an attack, bitcoin adoption could spread to the point that a concerted attack on the network would be too costly prior to such an attack would even be feasible. As suggested earlier in this post, it’s not unbelievable that marginalized States (like Iran) would contribute resources to protect and make use of the Bitcoin network. I have actually already heard reports that a government in China is converting locally produced coal into electrical power to mine bitcoins because it’s unworthy exporting the coal itself. Assimilation might be happening quicker than anticipated.

Even if a State were to marshal the resources required to launch a trustworthy attack against the Bitcoin network, developers could change the code within hours to render an attack impotent, and a video game of whack-a-mole would occur which would likely be a) politically unpopular since, probably, a great deal of individuals actually wish to make use of bitcoin b) financially draining, considering that brand-new specialized computer systems would have to be made for each attack, eating big amounts of electrical energy in the process and c) pointless in the long run, considering that there are hundreds of alternative cryptocurrencies people could decide to make use of rather of bitcoin if things got really ugly– best of luck trying to attack them all!

“Bitcoin is doomed as a payments network– the really point at which it looks as though it is likely to be widely deployed is the point at which governments, like that of the United States, will certainly punish it.”

Even if this were true, it would not render false any of the above arguments in favor of Bitcoin’s survival. Bitcoin can– and would– survive a direct attack.

“US comprehends the value of its impact over the worldwide monetary system, and is demonstrably going to upset company in order to pursue its strategic objectives.”

Yes, and like a bull in a china store, ruining all that is great in the process– except Bitcoin.

“Furthermore, much of this power comes from the fact that any individual payment system, if it is to be effective, has to be interoperable with other payment systems which, by and big, rest on deals in United States dollars.”

Bitcoin already exists together with fiat payment networks by means of payment processors such as BitPay, but if hyperbitcoinization were to take place, that wouldn’t even be necessary anymore. Bitcoin would not have to interoperate with other payment systems because it would be THE payment system. And it would not “rest on deals in US dollars” any more than the car market rests on the supply of equine feed. Given sufficient liquidity post-hyperbitcoinization, a bitcoin wallet and a Web connection is about all that will certainly be had to perform commerce of any magnitude with anyone in the world.

“The sorry current history of monetary circulations to and from another stateless financial system, Somalia, offer some evidence of how hard life can get for monetary networks that have actually been targeted by the United States state.”

The history supplies evidence of how hard life can get for centralized monetary networks! As mentioned at the very start of this piece, this is a susceptability that Bitcoin explicitly by design does not share. For this factor, Bitcoin will make it through where others have actually failed. With this in mind, hint the remarkable music and prompt the doom!

If you or any individual you understand want to discover the best ways to utilize bitcoin to gain some monetary freedom for yourself, I am running a crowdfunding campaign through New Year’s Day 2015 for an online course and friend e-book entitled “BYOB: Using Bitcoin to Be Your Own Bank.” This course and book would make a terrific present for the bit-curious who have not yet found the time or place to discover bitcoin in a quickly accessible format. Even if you cannot contribute, kindly share the project on social networks – – you may be shocked at who gets turned on to bitcoin when presented with a chance to learn!

by John Light

BTC address: 12sJXtV8aQ8orQFhmaqe5KRsKoC7tsRuoT

The post Bitcoin Is (Still) Not Doomed appeared initially on Bitcoin Publication.

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