Cryptocurrency: The Cryptocraze - A Cause for Hope

grarpamp grarpamp at
Fri Sep 23 20:16:08 PDT 2022


Column by Alex R. Knight III
posted on December 29, 2017 in
The Fed, Technology, Privacy, Money
Exclusive to STR

Half a decade ago now, I wrote a piece here on STR about how advancing
technologies have nearly always introduced more freedom into human
affairs than the latest political idea or bid to shift the
philosophical leanings of a given society or population. The latter
takes place, if at all, glacially. Technologies have the ability to
shift things virtually overnight.

Mentioned in that STRticle, among other things, were 3D printed guns
(also known today as “ghost guns” because of their untraceable
nature), and in fact I just very recently finished reading Cody
Wilson's book, Come and Take It: The Gun Printer's Guide to Thinking
Free. One thing not mentioned in my piece, however (though it was
touched upon by a commenter there), was Bitcoin. Of course, in 2012,
Bitcoin stood virtually alone in the cryptocurrency world and was not
yet a big deal according to most forecasters. I guess here is the part
where I say, “Boy has that ever changed!”

Bitcoin, as the premiere and still predominant cryptocurrency, almost
crossed the $20 thousand Federal Reserve Note mark within recent
memory. At the time of this writing, it hovers at somewhere around
$14,500 FRNs. A far cry from the days when 10,000 bitcoins bought two
large pizzas. Its price index remains volatile for the time being,
making it both attractive and bearish to some investors, and the
number of places where it can be exchanged for real goods and services
is expanding slowly for the time being. It also faces much
competition. At present, there are well over 1,300 Bitcoin imitators,
with new ones cropping up on an almost daily basis. Some emphasize
expediency and low computing power requirements (like NEM's XEM – now
the second most popular cryptocurrency in Japan), others stealth and
privacy (Monero, Dash, and the nascent Spectrecoin come to mind).
Still others thrive on marketability and name-recognition – such as
Litecoin, or the Bitcoin blockchain-fork derivatives, Bitcoin Cash and
Bitcoin Gold.

But back to good old standard Bitcoin for a moment: In a recent New
York Times opinion piece, that arch and dogmatically committed
advocate of all things Marxist and retrogressive, Paul Krugman, has
delivered what might be considered an ultimate and unabashed coup de
grace showing of his hand (as if one were still needed at this
juncture). The title leaves little room for speculation about
Krugman's attitudes towards free markets and individualism.

“Bitcoin Is Evil” makes sure to decry both the cryptocurrency and gold
itself (though the latter to a slightly lesser degree, predictably),
while touting centralized banking and the almighty Federal Reserve
Note as the only bastions of socialist sanity in an ugly, reckless,
and flat-out bizarre world of anti-governmentalism and capitalist
greed. Just bear witness to the quote Krugman cites from an article by
fellow uber-leftist Charlie Stross:

“BitCoin looks like it was designed as a weapon intended to damage
central banking and money issuing banks, with a Libertarian political
agenda in mind—to damage states ability to collect tax and monitor
their citizens financial transactions.”

Before uttering “Duh, Sherlock!” we might first pause a moment to
consider that Krugman, Stross, and all those who think like them – a
considerable segment of the population – see nothing wrong whatsoever
with centralized banking and money issuance, taxation, and the ability
of governments to monitor all financial transactions.

In fact, not only do they see nothing wrong with these things – they
see any attempt to hinder or thwart them as “evil.”

This is what we are up against. And I hold out little or no hope that
such a twisted mindset can ever change.

Fortunately, emerging technologies have the ability to bypass people's
belief systems in ways that render their objections meaningless. Yes,
that's a double-edged sword, and states can and do use technology to
violate privacy all the time. But with cryptocurrency now on the
digital map, I get the feeling we're going to finally start giving
more than we're getting when it comes to sticking it to Big Brother.
Ultimately, even lefties like Krugman – who infamously once opined
that the Internet would lead to no greater changes than were
introduced by the fax machine – will likely be co-opted into using
cryptos whether it dissolves their Marxian leviathan agenda or not.
People en masse rarely if ever think about the philosophical
ramifications of a new technological development that makes life
quicker, easier, and less expensive – even if and when it contravenes
their belief system. In the case of cryptos, this works in favor of
liberty, and not at all against it. Just like most if not all prior
leaps in technology.

The development of the Internet itself, and the social and alternative
medias which have sprung up as a result, may have expanded and
accelerated the ability of freedom advocates to reach others, and to a
not insignificant degree this has borne fruit. That said, the
libertarian message has run and is still running up against the
resistant and obstinate nature of the human mind. Bitcoin, and all of
its crypto-progeny, are encountering very few of such psychological

And this is cause for some hope.

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