I'm referring to this post, which a Bitcoin-opposing friend just sent to me with the subject line, "An damning indictment" - http://www.techmeme.com/131219/p3#a131219p3 I responded with this:
The network, the infrastructure, and the community behind Bitcoin is hardly a "magical thought" (Here's the definition of that concept from contemporary Western psychology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_thinking
Two weeks ago, there was very good debate about Bitcoin -
Ultimate Bitcoin Showdown - Posted Dec 2, 2013 - [30:14] - Goldbug/dollar-skeptic Peter Schiff vs. Erik Voorhees, Bitcoin entrepreneur formerly of BitInstant (https://www.bitinstant.com/
), now of Coinapult (https://coinapult.com/
) - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/erik-voorhees/b/804/385
I'll post the link to the full video below, but I first want to quote from it:
As Voorhees says, gold-backed digital curencies have been attempted and were then quickly shut down by the gov't. He later says (at 9:20), "[Bitcoin] could absolutely go to zero and the whole thing is completely experimental right now. So I'm not
here to say that Bitcoin is a good investment. What I'm here to say is that the Bitcoin payment network is one of the most important technologies that has ever been invented, and it's important to understand that there is value in that technology [and] it's important to understand why that technology is so useful to people, especially people who care about liberty around the world." And he explains later that this infrastructure cannot be reproduced easily
...even if Bitcoin is not the winner of the crypto-currency market competition. He also compares the hardy vitality of P2P currencies to that of P2P file-sharing. The free, independent Napster file-sharing service was launched in June of 1999 an rocketed to popularity, but the shutdown of it in July of 2001 was not exactly the end of free P2P music-sharing... In fact, just going by the services that I can just recall fellow college students using at the time, there was: SoulSeek
(launched in 1999/2000) Gnutella
(early 2000) BearShare
(December 2000) Morpheus
(March 2001), and LimeWire
And of course there are the file-sharing services that are popular today, from Dropbox to these: http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/file-sharing-websites
to these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_BitTorrent_clients
Now. As far as digital crypto-currencies today, there's Litecoin, Peercoin, Namecoin, Quark, Protoshares, Worldcoin, Megacoin, Primecoin, and Dogecoin, and dozens other listed here, totaling in 54: http://coinmarketcap.com/
The point that Voorhees makes about the pooled inventiveness and ingenuity of the crowd reminds me of something both revolutionary and prophetic that was said by John Gilmore
(an American computer science innovator, Libertarian, Internet activist, and one of the founders of Electronic Frontier Foundation). He said: "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."
-As quoted in TIME magazine (6 December 1993) (yes, 1993!) http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Gilmore Furthermore, on a separate note, the media angle that Bitcoin is practically "over" because of China blocking it (which that same friend was gloating about), here's all I have to say as well:
Here's a list of enterprises that were hardly destroyed after being banned in glorious all-powerful China:
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, WikiLeaks, and the New York Times' online edition (and a few others, named at the following links) were each NOT blasted into nonexistence by the force of "the Golden Shield Project," which we Americans call "the Great Firewall." Yup, Bitcoin is "over"!
References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_websites_blocked_in_China https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_of_Wikipedia#China http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/world/asia/china-blocks-web-access-to-new-york-times.html?_r=0 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China Hey, but waddaya know - Some of the 1,350,695,000 people in The People's Republic have ways around that censorship, as do the millions of people in so many other Internet-censoring countries: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China#Evasion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_circumvention#Software
Here's the full video of the Bitcoin debate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mUn-d8R98k Edit/Follow-up:
To extend the analogy of P2P digital currencies and P2P file-sharing (and most notably, music-sharing), what would be the currency equivalent of iTunes
, which came ou in January 2001? Will JPMorgan's crypto-currency project (as I saw here, and it was downvoted to hell: http://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1sp6hh/jpmorgan_is_looking_to_copy_bitcoin_and_the_coin/
), even though it was initially rejected 175 times
, find some way to charge/surcharge people small amounts at a time for usage (a la iTunes' 99 cents per song), in traditional-bank-style?
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