Nettime mailing list archives

Re: <nettime> de Jong, Lovink, and Riemens: 10 Bitcoin Myths
Rob Myers on Tue, 1 Dec 2015 04:10:01 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> de Jong, Lovink, and Riemens: 10 Bitcoin Myths

On 2015-11-30 11:06, nettime's_forgotten_password wrote:

>1. "Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer system."

It is. Anyone can (and should) run a full node. Doubly so if they're 
concerned about centralisation.

>2. "Bitcoin does away with intermediaries and fees."

There are no necessary intermediaries in transactions.

You can submit transactions with no fees.

>3. "Bitcoin is an alternative currency."

Speculation and use as a wire currency do not alter the status of a 
currency, otherwise there would be no such thing as the US dollar.

>4. "Bitcoin is not a fiat currency."

As it is not created by state or any other fiat.

>5. "Bitcoin is anonymous."

No legal or social identities are involved in transactions.

But if it helps, we can say that it's pseudonymous.

>6. "Bitcoin is secure and cannot be hacked."

As far as we know at this time.

Forgetting keys is a separate issue that is addressed by multisig, 
hardware wallets, or writing down your passphrase and putting it with 
your birth certificate and insurance details.

>7. "Bitcoin operates without trust."

Between people at the level of transactions.

>8. "Bitcoin is politically neutral."

It cannot be used at the protocol level to enforce state or social 
political objectives.

>9. "Bitcoin is a sustainable system."

Block size increases, sidechains and other developments address energy 

>10. "Bitcoin can scale to world size."

... and scalability.

1, 2, 5, 6, and 10 are *technical* critiques that have been made and 
addressed internally by the Bitcoin community.

7 is philosophically interesting, 8 is politically interesting. Nick 
Land on both is fun.

- Rob.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: http://mx.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} kein.org