Doomsday Cults, Bitcoin, Trusted Identities

I’m reading The Doomsday Cult of Bitcoin. Quote:

These may seem like isolated incidents, but together, they add up to a massive, damning breach of trust. I don’t doubt, as Nobel laureate Robert Shiller put it last week, that “something good can arise from [Bitcoin’s] innovations.” But Bitcoin itself will never recover from these initial pratfalls. Partly this is because lawmakers and regulators, spooked by early hype and the Mt. Gox disaster, are never going to afford Bitcoin services the kind of autonomy they’d need in order to flourish. Partly it’s because there are conceptual problems with the Bitcoin architecture itself. And partly it’s because Bitcoin’s anarchic roots are too fringe to draw in the masses.

The opinions in this article loosely fit my own opinion of the prospects of Bitcoin: Bitcoin will be a proving ground for the basic cryptocurrency infrastructure, but it wasn’t built with the governments’ or the banks’ interests at heart, so it is likely to fail. However, I will not be surprised to see it replaced with a similar cryptocurrency that is built by the governments and/or banks–one that uses the lessons of Bitcoin but replaces Bitcoin’s anarchic agenda with a pro-government and pro-bank agenda. The government will want a single electronic ledger with all users strongly authenticated–how else would taxation, regulation, or surveillance be possible? But the banks will want to preserve some of the obscurity and anonymity features for their own purposes. It’s interesting to think about how a government-blessed cryptocurrency would interoperate with the White House’s new National Strategy For Trusted Identities In Cyberspace.

1 thought on “Doomsday Cults, Bitcoin, Trusted Identities”

  1. Yeah, this is what I’ve been thinking about, too.
    The anonymity/crypto side of bitcoin was always less interesting to me than the possibilities of the blockchain, and for p2p transaction without paying up (or at least paying as much up) for the privilege of using money at all.

    Taxation could easily be preserved; but the dirty secret is that it’s not the taxation that’s costing so much. It’s the bank credit, itself.

    So the bitcoin/blockchain saga actually may reveal that the long-held pact between government and corporations is eroding in this system.

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