<nettime> Now also bankers know what bitcoins are

Will Morton macavity at well.com
Fri Apr 8 01:13:03 PDT 2011

Interesting stuff.

There does seem to be a swell of interest in bitcoin among
non-cryptohead users, not surprisingly as the limits of fiat currency
believability are being stretched paper-thin. The question is, will
existingpowerstructure.gov wise to the threat it poses before it gets
too many legitimate uses?

Assuming bitcoin's technical defences are sound, then they are going
to go after it via media means - the four horsemen, etc. The first
establishment journo to hear about Silk Road is going to have a field


On 7 April 2011 16:36, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
> ----- Forwarded message from Jaromil <jaromil at dyne.org> -----
> From: Jaromil <jaromil at dyne.org>
> Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 13:26:43 +0200
> To: nettime-l at kein.org
> Subject: <nettime> Now also bankers know what bitcoins are
> Organization: Dyne.org Foundation
> User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)
> re all,
> FYI: http://www.dyndy.net/2011/04/bitcoin-presented-to-the-old-world/
> Bitcoin presented to the Old-world
>   Posted on Wednesday, April 6, 2011
>   Filed under Conference, Currency
>   Tagged with cash, crypto, P2P, public
>   Related articles:
>     * [23]Action in London, Revolutionary Credit Cards
>     * [24]Process Ecology: the lesson from Nature for assessing the
>       Monetary System
>   Just back from the 10th edition of the [25]EPCA conference held in
>   Amsterdam, where I was a shoulder for my friend Genjix: bitcoin
>   developers were invited to talk about [26]Bitcoin to a specialized
>   audience of mostly >50 years old banker types in suits, with very few
>   exceptions.
>   Genjix presenting bitcoin in EPCA2011
>   The incipit of the conference booklet recites: b Over 200 transaction
>   services professionals from all over the world will attend, discuss and
>   experience this leading platform. For the last 10 years we have been on
>   top of trends and developments in payments. We focus in particular on
>   strategic innovation and break-through developments in on-line
>   transactionsb . And in fact it looked pretty well populated for that
>   kind of context: besides the white-male-with-suits first scary
>   impression, especially for those who value variety, from the written
>   documentation available (I havenb t attended talks) one can tell these
>   people run quite some businesses b  at least they did until now <g>- and
>   quite successfully.
>   The brochures of the conference talk about transaction systems,
>   RFID/NFC payment devices and all flavors of bank related products along
>   the names of b Mobile Moneyb , b Secure SDb , b ePassportb  and b
>   Fare Collectionb .
>   Our guy Genjix is a colorful and open minded type, witty and messy, a
>   good mix that entertained the people present despite it being the last
>   presentation of the day; he did a good (unpaid) job presenting some
>   quite impressive information on the growth and usage of Bitcoin, making
>   people present progressively interested (or pissed, but then hard to
>   notice behind the suits) at this crypto-cash system that seems to be
>   there to stay or, one could argue, to multiply in different flavors in
>   the near future.
>     b Being shown an anonymous digital currency with its own laundering
>     service. Used for selling drugs. Bit-coin, you have cheered me up.b
>     Michael Price
>   The presentation didnb t hide even the most controversial aspects of
>   bitcoin, pointing out to some very extreme usage: something that seemed
>   to relieve the audience, considering that banker types are pretty
>   beaten up by corporate ethics evangelists nowadays. In such cases
>   Bitcoin tends to show that anonymity is used in the b worstb  way, which
>   is still half of the story. We are still far from developing a positive
>   narrative on anonymity and continuing on this track will likely move
>   policy makers into massive identification campaigns, as it has been now
>   since the 9/11 sad facts.
>   Still on the good side for bitcoin is its working implementation of a
>   distributed system relying on an b open source algorithmic contractb :
>   something definitely inspiring that knocks off the hegemony of
>   old-world currencies b  and one can hardly imagine how theyb ll ever
>   recover from this manifest process ultimately due to the unstoppable,
>   immanent influence of the digital dimension.
>   Bitcoin is a messenger and the message it carries doesnb t originates
>   even from a person, or a group of people, not even an organization or a
>   company: itb s a Geist (or Zeitgeist, should we say) that impersonates
>   the ultimate dissolution of centralized governance: everything that was
>   solid melts into thin air, should we mourn once again, while all those
>   who were on the deregulation train in 1984 have now to face their kids
>   reminding them how their World is made of lies b  and dreams,
>   apparently, still alive.
>   Following a materialist point of view (and crypto-agnostic, web ll
>   argue) bitcoin can surely be interpreted as a [27]Rube-Goldberg machine
>   for buying electricity b  and this was even our very first reaction at
>   DYNDY when we got to know it the first time. Surely these are times
>   when materialism is needed, as opposed to more abstract financial
>   blabbering, but then consider that the processing power in bitcoin
>   serves to strengthen the network authentication: all that electricity
>   is energy invested by participants to enforce the integrity of the
>   network. Now consider how old monetary systems keep their integrity: a
>   huge government building with armed guards along the perimeter, to not
>   even mention the huge investment of resources and infrastructure to
>   distribute this money (street level access) and authenticate it at
>   transaction time. Remember prof. Greco? web ve been talking about thisb&
>     Bitcoin is a b disruptive technologyb , but disruptive for whom? as a
>     human creation, it inherits human problems that are also present in
>     older systems; still P2P currencies as bitcoin let us save energy
>     rather than consume more, also substituting the violence of armed
>     guards with agile and cryptographic communications.
>   Ultimately, the positive message that bitcoin also carries is that of
>   more possibilities in engineering currencies, that of a future in which
>   complementary currencies can make economic systems more resilient to
>   the the disruption of capitalist behaviors, while closely relating
>   people to their community values and maybe even revolutionize the way
>   we contribute to the common good b  paying taxes for what we really
>   care, rather than not paying them, let me add.
>   Quoting Wei Dai in [28]one of bitcoinb s founding texts: b Itb s a
>   community where the threat of violence is impotent because violence is
>   impossible, and violence is impossible because its participants cannot
>   be linked to their true names or physical locations. Until now itb s not
>   clear, even theoretically, how such a community could operate. A
>   community is defined by the cooperation of its participants, and
>   efficient cooperation requires a medium of exchange (money) and a way
>   to enforce contracts.b
>   Now Ib m wondering how people present at the EPCA 2011 conference feel,
>   threatened or pleased by this epiphany? in either case it might be
>   interesting to watch reactions. The transaction products I read of are
>   stacking on technological complexity and seamless design that is
>   ultimately undermining the very possibility for people to trust them.
>   On top of that now there are on-line grass-root communities actively
>   building new systems in a decentralized fashion. Will the monopoly of
>   violence enter this game to defend the old-system, despite the
>   squeaking sounds of its carcass, the diffused lack of trust for old
>   hierarchies and the lack for collective agency within its cheated
>   rules? We will see where this ends up: after all today it felt like one
>   of those historical days marked by such a talk made by a little
>   provocative guy wearing a t-shirt and nail polish speaking in front of
>   a old and well dressed audience b  but then no-one was really scared.
>   IRC excerpt from #bitcoin-dev during the conference:
> <jaromil> sirius-m: i'd expect some more fashion happening
> <topi`> jaro: they just don't know how :)
> <sirius-m> thanks for being there, it's a new important audience for
> <sirius-m> people who otherwise might not hear about the project
> <jaromil> true but knowing the types i think they are thinking how to fork
it in
>  their own advantage
> <jaromil> prolly wasted effort
> <topi`> at least they start talking about it:)
> <topi`> good luck finding ways to exploit the system
> <krytzz> hopefully they cant fork the network
> <krytzz> only could start a seperate one :(
> <sirius-m> nah, it's good that you're spreading the word :)
> <topi`> if there *will* be some threat coming from corporate sector, then
>        finally find out how resilient the whole architecture is :)
>     Like this article? Donate BTC :^D
>     1GJehYZs5BZfL4RTCBFUpTVrjX6XRhDWdq
>     * Comments open on the DYNDY article website
>       http://www.dyndy.net/2011/04/bitcoin-presented-to-the-old-world/
>     * Copyleft
>       B) 2010-2011 GNU FDL
>       dyne.org foundation
> References
>   Visible links
>  23.
>  24.
>  25. http://www.epcaconference.com/
>  26. http://bitcoin.org/
>  27.
>  28. http://weidai.com/bmoney.txt
>   Hidden links:
>  88.
>  89. http://www.dyndy.net/wp-content/pdf/newspaper.pdf
> --
> jaromil,  dyne.org developer,  http://jaromil.dyne.org
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