BitCoin matters because it encapsulates Libertarian philosophy, complete with all the compromise and contradiction.
Forget about the complicated computer algorithms. Look past the headlines of roller-coaster volatility. Ignore prophecy of doom or change-the-world success.
BitCoin forces those who want less government (thus more personal responsibility) to live with the consequences. For example, if you use a BitCoin ‘wallet’ that keeps your data totally private (no backdoor access for the issuer) then if you forget your password then you can not access your money. You can’t be hacked by criminals, the NSA or even the company who issued you your ‘wallet’. You alone are responsible for remembering your password. If you forget it or lose it – too bad. This is pure Libertarian thought in a practical setting.
So many of us take that FDIC security blanket for granted. We ignore the lack of a gold standard for our money. We trust a shadowy Federal Reserve that we know little about. The philosophy is ‘total trust in Big Government and Big Banks’. Until the next crash and bailout.
Big Banks and Big Government. If the IRS wants to snoop into your financial affairs or just take your money, the heavily regulated banks must comply. Too Big to Fail banks gamble with your money.
If something goes wrong, your tax money is used to make it right.
It seems as if the complex rules are written to confound the average consumer (average congressmen too).
BitCoin has an aura of the Wild West. If you get scammed or hacked you are on your own. The exchange you use may be used by the Russian Mafia or some teenage cyber pirate. You are living the adage “let the buyer beware” with every transaction.
Despite intense scrutiny from regulators and the mainstream media, BitCoin continues to go mainstream.
Time will tell. Still, it is heartening to see people will to take some risk, take full responsibility and try something innovative. For some it is the geeky cool thing to try. For others it is a chance to take some of their eggs out of the big Banking Basket. Still others are attracted to the prospect of real privacy.
No matter the reason, this is a welcome example of technology being used deliberately to enhance privacy and control on the consumer’s behalf. Normally Big Banks take viewing your intimate financial information for granted. Mavericks like Blockchain give you a BitCoin wallet so secure, even they don’t know your password. It’s on you.
How very Libertarian, how very American!