Tuesday, April 19, 2016

#81 Recent Rants About Bitcoin

Here's someone we'll call Tom who really feels evangelistic about bitcoin. His words will be in blue, mine in black:

What part of Bitcoin is impractical? Do you realise how many ways there are to use Bitcoin? Even if it was impractical, which it really isn't with a little help from someone like me, are you saying having to learn something new isn't worth the benefit of having 100% control of your money? 

For those who are reading this blog, where did Tom just go wrong? In fact he went so far off that he went right over the cliff and took a lot that listen to him with him. Practical? For who? Anyone with enough skill, gumption, whatever to operate a computer over the internet? That leaves a lot of people out. He said that Bitcoin gave him the ability to have 100% control over his money. Those who guessed rightly that bitcoin is not anybody's money so therefore it is THEIR money by a different brand, go get yourselves a cigar.

I'd like ___ to answer this too. he's already made comments to the effect that 'bitcoin is rubbish' which is just not arguable in any way at all.

Well come on Tom, certainly it is. You have easy convertibility between bitcoin and any of the other flavours of THEIR money. Most of their banks will oblige you with the transactions because to them it is just another “buy and hold” artificial commodity to invest in like any other of their fake commodities. Bitcoin is nothing more than another extension of capitalism for people to make money on money without working for it.

Bitcoin embodies what most people here stand for. It's extremely awkward when people don't see it. 

We'll leave the awkward bit out of it. Nothing is good enough to embody what most people stand for except money that each individual human being issues, period! Anything else is just some more of THEIR money. And anyway, what happens with all those who don't have computers, don't want the internet, etc? They're barely above the whole barter stage in their understanding as it is. Bitcoin is just a plaything for the elites and nothing more. It has no practical use for the vast majority of humanity. Sorry Tom, your solution isn't and no argument you can manage will convince three quarters of the world otherwise. 

Bitcoin is THEIR money, not yours, Tom. It is nothing but another phony commodity pretending to be money when it has from inception been the plaything of international speculators. If you did not issue it, it aint yours.

No, Bitcoin is nobody's and everybody's. It's completely decentralised. The code is open source. You can literally go and take a look at yourself and suggest improvements (BIPS). A binding set of rules for exchanging value directly between people without the need for a trusted third party. Do you realise the implications of this?

There is always a third party. Don't fall for any of that rubbish. You bought bitcoin at what you bought it for and THERE was your third party. As for the rest of it, three quarters of humanity does not need or want any open source code or what have you. They really want their own money that they can issue themselves that always and everywhere buys almost the same things.

The whole point is that it's solely MY money in a way that has never even been possible before.

Nothing that I did not issue myself is MY money, Tom and saying so over and over again is not convincing me or three quarters of the world's population, sorry.

As for a phony commodity, I think you seriously misjudge the utility of a completely impervious-to-corruption ledger. It's a place where a single citizen holds the same power as the US treasury. Mathematically guaranteed equality. No chargebacks, no having your money frozen. You can even store them in your brain!

We posted a paper here not long ago advising that any “intangible or electronic tokens” are not suitable to most people. They like things they can hold in their hands to trade with and usually they prefer something that spends like cash. Let's take the preceding apart:

the utility of a completely impervious-to-corruption ledger. 

The money is impervious to corruption? How about individuals who are given bitcoin accounts that no one needs know about? Isn't that corruption?

a place where a single citizen holds the same power as the US treasury 

Not likely and there's always the IRS. If this is not a flat out lie, then Tom and a host of others high on their own wishful thinking are heading down one of those paths THEY created for people like Tom to fall right into. Being a useful idiot takes many forms these days. Hey Tom, no matter what you think, it's still THEIR money and as long as they control the ultimate keys, and they do Tom, THEY can steal any of your bitcoin whenever they feel like it or close the whole damn thing down in a heartbeat leaving those holding bitcoin with precisely nothing.

Mathematically guaranteed equality. No chargebacks, no having your money frozen. You can even store them in your brain!

Equality?  Oh, who uses that buzzword more than is required?  There are no guarantees Tom. You believe their baloney and that's fine until THEY decide to do something else. You have NO CONTROL over anything, Tom. Oh, and one more thing: Mark Twain said, “The dullest pencil is better than the sharpest memory.” That means that physical objects including writing figures into books is better than anything you think you can remember in your brain (or wherever it is that people remember things) and certainly better than stored on any computer.

As for 'play thing for international speculators', that just couldn't be more untrue. Whilst there's unquestionably going to be players from the old game who had the sense to get in when they saw the potential it has, its ludicrous to pretend that international speculators (the old powers) would bother with an asset who's market cap is only a few billion dollars with almost no liquidity.

You think what THEY want and as long as you do, you are a sucker whether its bitcoin or AT&T stock or whatever. It's exactly the same, all THEIRS not yours or mine and THAT point right there matters more than all the fancy math, etc. that nobody cares about because money to them is not “an investment,” it is something they need to get the things they need to live their lives. And by the way, letting speculators off the hook is no excuse, Tom since they are all thieves. Best that be recognized and their activities limited to their own private games of chance.

Lastly pretty much the whole point of bitcoin is that I/we DID issue it. By mining the currency you add strength to the hack resistance of the network, so you get rewarded with Bitcoin, this is the issuance process for bitcoin. Only so many coins are available each day and this declines over time meaning no inflation.

Stupidity on steroids! This is the kind of BUNK that comes from the so called “Austrians,” etc. We have said repeatedly and the papers on this blog adequately prove that scarcity of money has nothing to do with its purchasing power unless you're a speculator. We have also taken pains to point out how and where money dies and when that happens the money supply decreases and it does decrease ultimately unless fraudulent money is added. Bitcoin defenders point out all the ways this is prevented, but what you're left with is a critically short commodity as money that speculators get to play exchange rate games with and users have to battle one another over how much is created each day until “game over” and then what? Lovely. Another gimmick to trap people like Tom.

I appreciate you have to be cynical of new technology but this is literally the golden gun of tools against tyranny. 

No it clearly is not and frankly I'm only as cynical as I need to be. The tyrants may have accounts in it themselves. It is likely in fact that they are rewarded with accounts as part of their “pay.” I know about bitcoin (and a half dozen other stabs at internet only money). It's still not YOUR money and it isn't mine. It's THEIRS and I don't give two rats' asses about something that's EVERYBODY'S because the people who make out like bandits anytime that happens are speculators. Besides which nothing about Bitcoin is physical so the moment there is no more internet (oh no, that wont happen) you are basically out a bitcoin. I know all about it. I'm not impressed. You say YES. I say emphatically NO. That's all. 

But he wasn't finished because HE NEVER PAID ANY SERIOUS ATTENTION TO WHAT I SAID. This is typical too. Frankly it's stunning how many people, and I'm sure Tom is a perfectly fine fellow otherwise, are pointless and clueless when it come to money. Our guess is that the people who run all the various flavours of THEIR money want it that way. 

I'm always suspicious of people who hold strong opinions without actually being able to defend them in their own words.   

I did, but he didn't bother to consider what I said. I wonder if he's this way with other significant people in his life? 

No offence but you demonstrated you don't understand what bitcoin is, or any if it's implications, you've made that pretty clear.   

I believe I made exactly the opposite very clear. Anything that I did not issue is not mine, it is by definition THEIRS. It has no advantages over any of their other brands of money because all their money is commodities that are traded back and forth among speculators who only make money when prices change. If Tom ever bothers to read this blog he'll see a dramatic difference. A Valun is only issued by a human being (not a computer program, institution or anybody else) in exchange for a good or service in order to split barter for labour. That's how a simple token becomes money. Any other way is illegitimate and pretending to be money and as well cheats every living human being out of their right to enter freely into a market to secure their livelihoods.  

I'd even go as far as to say that I don't think you even know what money is despite the fact that I'm sure you really think you do.   

Read what I just wrote before you said this. Be careful jumping to conclusions, especially with me. I'll likely catch you even when you don't know it.  

But just consider objectively what you're saying. 

It is again pointless to argue when someone doesn't even bother to find out why you say what you say. Simple. I did not invent bitcoin, I do not issue bitcoin, and there are rules that describe bitcoin as nothing more than another finite commodity pretending to be money. That's the size of it, period,, end of story! What more is there to be said? Nothing! But there are so many eager to convince. Why? Because maybe they wont feel so bad if others lose their shirts too. THAT is why all of THEIR money including bitcoin suck, because eventually with any and all of it, you lose, including precious metals. Just ask someone who bought in 2011 how eager they are to sell their gold at 28% to 30% less than they paid for it in another of THEIR monies.

Just because you've come to the idea that it's all a big Conspiracy, you're ignoring the fact that Bitcoin connects billions of ostracised people to the economy in a totally transparent and fair way.

Is this really true? No it isn't. It's wishful thinking. The money monopolies ARE a conspiracy but so what? We were dumb enough to fall for it this long, you think bitcoin is really anything different? Billions of ostracized people? They don't even have computers or the internet and half aren't even literate. This is more baloney. As is any use of the word “fair.” We don't know what that is. If a craftsman with a better reputation and superior skills gets more work than someone who doesn't that's often considered “unfair.” Etc. etc. We don't care. This proposal isn't about any framework THEY have for settling social and economic issues. We don't care about any of that. We'll work out the details among ourselves, thank-you and having truly our own money says in fact, “shove off, we'll take care of our own affairs.”

It [bitcoin] takes the power to print money away from banks and governments and it guarantees freedom of speech to anyone no matter who they are.

No bitcoin doesn't “guarantee” a damn thing. Whose kool-aid have you been drinking? You're probably one who imagines the tokens have anything to do with it. They don't. Whether they're made of silver or gold or plain paper really doesn't matter. At the end of the day, every merchant makes up his own books, determines the health of his/her business and everything money related is ultimately written into a ledger. Tom certainly recognizes that much.

Do you think maybe there's a chance you've been misled a little?

Ah, not a chance, pal. Oh and one more point; since most people the world over know what money looks like in its paper form, we really ultimately demand the printing presses for money be turned over to us. How's that?

I don't think you're being sincere if you're going to tell me you think the powers that be would build a system designed to usurp state control that they have provable no control over. It's just not plausible.

Think outside the box then. THEY create and fund their own opposition all the time.  It's called dialectic.  The states are THEIR perpetual debt slaves. They are not forever. Their central banks mean more to them than any state. If they need another state, they overthrow one and replace it with their own, another perpetual debt slave with some other of THEIR brands of money. Occasionally, like Venezuela, a state gets off the strings and they let it sink (their money too). Venezuela might be saved with Valuns if they had them, but they don't. You imagine bitcoin would save Venezuela? Bitcoin is dependent on the internet, something they don't have ready access to in Venezuela. What then? People need reliable physical tokens to use. They have very unreliable ones now. They already know this and so they're experiencing a Weimar meltdown; hyperinflation. And the implausible is THEIR strategy because unlike you Tom, and your naiveté is showing, they're always trying to stay one step ahead of their prey.

We're a couple of thousands of years off a system where people no longer own and swap things.

Oh? I doubt it, Tom, that's all I have to say on that. I hope everyone notices Tom's viewpoint. He's been conditioned to accept the state as his, his protector, and that certain things are “fair” etc. None of this is required and is even extra baggage that is best jettisoned as it helps one think clearer.

Little annoyed that ____ hasn't responded to any of my comments on the matter, bit I have to assume that rather than taking someone else's word on the matter he would go and find out himself.

I have confidence that ____ is able to see things more clearly on this and many other subjects than you, Tom. But maybe there's something in it for Tom to get ____ as a bitcoin client. I suppose it's possible.

Conclusion. There is no greater snake oil salesman than one advocating that you use some other money. All you ever need to ask is whether you issue it, not whether you “mine” it or “find” it or fight with everyone else for a limited supply, all that's telltale signs that this too is yet another of THEIR “brands” of money, like the dollar, yen, pound, gold or silver. You see, since no single human being issued any of it, none of it can or ever shall be yours.

And finally, and this is the BIG difference: all Valuns will represent people because they were issued by real people not some computer program. What gives money any value is who backs it not what backs it, who uses it and above all who issues it. PEOPLE HAVE ULTIMATE VALUE NOT THINGS. Bitcoin will NOT compete in a world hungry to have basic human rights understood and restored where they belong and this blog regards the issuance of money as among those basic human rights. You can take all your phony bitcoin and anything else we never issued and shove it!

David Burton

Current Hypothetical Value of a Hypothetical Value Unit

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