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Re: <nettime> Bitcoin, the end of the Taboo on Money
Florian Cramer on Tue, 9 Apr 2013 07:19:50 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Bitcoin, the end of the Taboo on Money


On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 8:23 AM, Felix Stalder <felix {AT} openflows.com> wrote:

> If you believe the latter, then I think one of the difficulties lies
> in how to fight "the state" (say, through promoting bitcoin) without
> falling onto the trap of promoting the market as the alternative form
> of marco-coordination (which is what US-type libertarians advocate).

Reading up on bitcoin, it turns that its design is intentionally based on
"Austrian economics", i.e. Hayek's economic theories. This is why the
artificial scarcity - the limitation of bitcoining mining to 21 million -
is built into the currency as a feature [
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Controlled_supply].

Michel Bauwens' P2P Foundation has a comprehensive and balanced page on
this and other aspects of bitcoin: http://p2pfoundation.net/Bitcoin

To quote Bauwens himself, from that page:

"The great achievement of Bitcoin is that we have the very first "socially
sovereign" digital currency, independent of government and corporation,
that is workable, technically "peer to peer", and that it creates the
enthusiasm of the hacker community, which almost certainly means it will be
adapted and used later by more people. So, in this way, this is a tipping
point. However, the Bitcoin design may also have some serious flaws. First
of all, the way it is mined privileges the technical community itself as it
can have access to networks of botnets to generate coins, in a way most
people can't. Secondly it is a 'scarcity' based currency, subject to
hoarding and wealth accumulation (only 21m bitcoins will be created,
insuring a constant growth in value), that does not really change what is
'wrong' with the current currency system. As many so-called 'peer to peer'
technologies (such as crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, etc..) it may increase
wider participation and 'distribution' but without necessarily changing the
dysfunctional neoliberal functioning of the market. Nevertheless, what it
really shows is that socially sovereign currencies are viable, and could be
created as a tool of the countereconomy, though this may require a
different ruleset for its functioning. so that true 'social' peer to peer
values can be integrated in the design of future 'post-Bitcoin' currencies."

(I couldn't agree more.)

Florian


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