Crypto Debate

Today at 3:00 PM I will be debating cryptocurrencies with Kart Thorburn. He is the house cryptocurrency enthusiast for Counter Currents. The topic is whether crypto can threaten the hegemony of the dollar and fiat currency in general. My position is that cryptocurrency can be useful to dissidents on the margins, but it will never be a threat to legal tender, regardless of who holds power

The replay is here:

Tomorrow I’ll post the mp3.

I had a good time and I was not too unpleasant about it.

89 thoughts on “Crypto Debate

  1. Considering that the left hates bitcoin, I would have thought it would be a point of honour for any self respecting right winger to have some, just because. Once you understand why they hate it, you’ll want more!
    Great for trolling lefties when they complain about it causing the oceans to boil etc.

  2. Banning bitcoin would piss off some powerful international people. But who knows — maybe it’ll just become another thing that GH weaponizes.

    • Banning bitcoin just makes it more interesting. The Dissident Right should pay more attention to this fact.

  3. The most likely bad state – a poor outcome for crypto would be co-opting the blockchain by a nefarious nation state. One method which has been debated is for the nation state to gain enough of a currency, like bitcoin, to where they can push through policy changes to the block chain like the ability to white list transactions with a miner incentive fee. And withdraw that fee for “bad transactions.”

    This would effectively enable them to control The blockchain.

    It’s worth noting that the inherent corruption in our system makes it impossible to outlaw bitcoin at this point – too many important people with lots of money have deep interests in blockchain. If a nation state tries to outlaw bitcoin, it will potentially face a civil war. You’d have clear losers from the “ban decisions” who would lose a lot and have a lot of resources.

    Buying bitcoin is a fascinating double-sided bet on humanity. On one end, you can say that it’s sound money policies and it’s lack of vector for manipulating make it hard to tamper with and thus rob us of the agency to change it. At the same time, it’s inherent flaws in scaling and creating the proper long term incentives necessitate these changes. Buying it you could argue it goes one way or the other.

    • A State owning lots of bitcoin doesn’t give it any any extra power over the policy direction of bitcoin. You are probably thinking of ‘Proof of Stake’ shitcoins, where a larger stake does give you influence. The only way to control the direction of bitcoin is to attempt a 51% attack, which at this point is unlikely. That is why bitcoin consuming a lot of energy is its secret sauce and makes it very difficult to attack. Bitcoins environmental damage is just the latest FUD produced by the very same people, governments, media and ‘experts’ that we all love to hate.

      For the first time we a have a decentralised, virtual store of value, based on math rather than the machinations of central bankers and other wankers. It won’t compete much with fiat currencies but it will help reign the excesses in. The Dissident Right missing this is a huge blind spot.

      • Couldn’t sovereign wealth funds just bid up the price, for example, then dump it to crash the value?

        Or other such price manipulations ?

        • They are welcome to try. Bitcoin doesn’t really care. What would a population think of a Sovereign Wealth Fund that did that?

          That is the interesting thing about bitcoin and which makes it different to all other crypto. There is no central point of attack. Strange ( and often angry ) people have for years been dreaming up ways to kill bitcoin, yet here is 12 years on, stronger than ever, $1.1 Trillion in value, the regulations around it have largely been positive, companies are now starting to hold it, 100 Million people have some and it still chugs along, completely oblivious to all the fuss.

      • 51% attack isn’t unlikely. Why would you think that? The US could easily own that or a coalition of dedicated players could own that.

        • The opportunity to do that was years ago. You would have to spend roughly $75 million every 24hrs to even stay in the game. Likely 10 times that to make any difference ( + cost of miners ). Users would soon notice and fork away or ignore those miners.

  4. Bitcoin is a revolution disguised as a get rich quick scheme. Few understand this. The skeptics tend to repeat the same FUD over and over but have been wrong about bitcoin for 10 years now. There is a deep rabbit hole for anyone here to explore, eg: Robert Breedlove – Medium.

    • I don’t consider myself a cynic or world weary but what you’re saying strikes me as farfetched.

      A revolution? Is that an intentional exaggeration to make a point?

      When I think of revolution I think of a true overturning of the status quo, one ruling class is replaced by another. How can the status quo be truly challenged by Bitcoin when the people in charge can deny you both electricity and internet connections to conduct Bitcoin trading?

      Maybe if you had a real threat to their monopoly on THOSE things, I could see it, like a way to create lots of cheap energy that they can’t control, etc.

      I think as long as Bitcoin is dependent on the nation’s power grid and a strategic asset such as the internet, it’s operating on government property and thus cannot constitute a true revolutionary threat.

      My two cents

      • Bitcoiners are an optimistic lot and don’t see the future as some dystopia where the internet and electricity are not available. Sure, there is maybe a 10% chance of that happening but we think it is far more likely that the future is increasingly decentralised. It is beyond obvious to pretty much everyone by now that governments of all stripes just can’t keep up with the modern world and fail at pretty much anything they do. The only option is decentralisation. This won’t happen by political means – politics itself is a big part of the problem. Fortunately a new ‘revolutionary’ technology, based on math and Proof of Work has come out of nowhere and is slowly usurping the role of The State. Governments may try to stop it but it’s a losing battle. Fun to watch though as everyone tries to figure it out. Having skin in the game makes it even better. The Dissident Right’s dismissal of it all is weird to be honest.

  5. It’ll be interesting to look back at the comments here and see how they’ve aged. Bitcoin is just a store of value and will always remain so, but the other blockchains have much more utility such as decentralized finance, NFTs (not the pseudo art BS we’re seeing now), decentralized cloud computing (alternatives to AWS), and many other use cases. There’s quite a bit of money to made in this space and the bitcoin maximalists and crypto/blockchain skeptics will miss out on a once in a life time opportunity.

    • How so?

      If those things are dirt cheap right now, then you will have a lot of people pumping $100 into it looking to make a huge return

      Thus there seems to be no risk and only upside by what you are saying.

      Or are you saying there simply aren’t enough speculative investors pumping $100 into it hoping to make huge returns?

      • When the upside is 10-100x you must be willing to accept risk. I started small in the fall investing $1k-2k in several low cap tokens and have not suffered losses in any of them. Some have grown 30x (note- crypto traders don’t use percentages because quite frankly, a 100% gain isn’t significant). It’s important to research a project and determine if its use case and fundamentals warrant an investment.

  6. Looking forward to listening. Unfortunately, I have no ability to understand the more technical side, but I keep coming back to the control question.

    There’s a reason that kings always controlled the mints. Yes, part of it was getting the shavings, but another huge aspect was telling their subjects that they were in charge. That’s why they put their faces on the coins.

    That desire for control is even more important in our current situation. The Fed printed money like crazy in 2020. Do you really think governments want to give up control of the money supply? In a financialized economy, control of the money supply is one of the – if the “the” – most important power governments have. (And don’t think for a minute the Fed is independent.)

    But, hey, I keep hearing from crypo fans that governments can’t ban Bitcoin, that it’d be like banning the internet and missing out what that’s done for the economy, i.e. banning Bitcoin would make us like North Korea banning the internet. Basically, I’m happy to be proven wrong since I have no dog in this fight.

  7. Short on time II:

    27:00 to 40:40

    May as well be a segment from the Zman podcast. I call it the sit-back effect. When someone in a group discussion emerges as so undeniably high-caliber that the others tacitly concede to sit back and just let him be interesting. With the understanding that egos will be spared. And that it’s the right move for the entertainment value of the show.

    One still awaits the day when Z squares off with a man of similar verbal skill, knowledge and authoritive aggression.

    Other highlights:

    35:44 Nix does bored orangutan in zoo impression
    37:05 Nix takes phone call
    38:10 Nix drinks like a lady
    1:37:25 Nix interrupts the master to talk about corn

  8. The saga around Tether LTD is a perfect example of the illegitimacy of crypto. As Jim Chanos said las year “the world is in a golden age of fraud.” But what’s crypto but another star in this constellation of fraud? Even Morgan Stanley admitted that over 42% of bonds worldwide should be labeled junk. I’m sure that analyst’s key card stopped working the next morning after that was issued.

    • Crypto and bitcoin are two different things. All new ideas bring in the scammers. Bitcoin doesn’t care.

      • History won’t care about Bitcoin either. It’s a fraud. Or more precisely, an attempt at a new currency that is bound to fail. It lacks even an agent of coercion (government) to back its fiat value. Cost of time and energy to “make” a unit of bitcoin remains unimpressive as imparting it any real-world value.

        Here’s a very short list of currencies that once were valuable but have become worthless (save, perhaps, value as collectibles). The list would be much longer, but I lack a history reference and my fingers would be worn down to bloody stumps typing it all:

        Pre-Soviet Ruble, Germany: several currencies from the 20th century; France ” ” “” ; Roman denarius, paper money of almost any nation, some of which no longer exist etc.

        It’s an historical exception that only two present nations, the UK and the USA, have never repudiated their currency, at least in the modern (last few centuries.)

        A century from now, Bitcoin won’t exist, not even as a coin or a paper bill. I suppose a USB Flash drive will be exhibited in a museum somewhere.

        • Stating that bitcoin is a fraud is a pretty bold statement. Just who is defrauding who? Also bitcoin doesn’t need the coercion of the state to make it valuable. That is what makes it interesting and most likely unique and never to be repeated. A truly remarkable thing, trust based on math rather than force. Its like saying you need the government to force everyone to agree that 2 + 2 = 4 – whereas we all know that government types are now trying to force you to believe the opposite.

          We now have a digital system that lets you objectively prove that A happened before B and no one, not even governments can change that fact. It’s not just about money.

          You are probably thinking about some other coin.

    • Wasn’t long ago that the “smart kids” were saying that renting instead of owning was the future and that land was no longer important because we had moved beyond an agricultural economy and what mattered was technical knowledge.

      Didn’t age well

  9. The clearing time for a bitcoin transaction is laughable. And as the chains get longer it won’t improve.

    • Bitcoin cleared nearly $7 Billion worth of transactions yesterday and could scale way higher. You don’t buy lunch with it.

      Also the length of the chain has nothing to do with it.

  10. For those short on time. Nice 6 minute summation from Z.

    1:10:10 to 1:16:10

    The finite problem with bitcoin / Necessity of world currency control (a controlling authority) / Is bitcoin – money, currency, assets? / The state is a jealous god.

    • Bitcoin being finite sounds a lot like …. real estate

      Also just another asset but not a currency

      I wonder what Karl would have to say about such a competing asset. And if most people were limited to only one what would they rather own? I notice how Bill Gates is out there gobbling up real estate but not so much bitcoin

      Another thing is that the current value of a single bitcoin is like $50,000. You would have to break that up into $1 pieces for it to have any utility in a normal marketplace. And there’s yet another cost there in doing so.

      • It’s actually worse than real estate. We can reclaim land and the earth does not shrink over time. Bitcoin does shrink and we have no way to reclaim lost coins. This is why some argue that BTC is really just a digital Ponzi scheme.

  11. The cryptocurrencies will not threaten regular fiat money, not because of potential government regulation, but simply because most people are lazy, go with the flow types who will not use cryptocurrencies much.

    This is a perfectly satisfactory state of affairs with me. I don’t care what most people do either in terms of finances or DIY life extension, providing they never attempt to prevent me from doing anything on my own.

  12. Karl’s position will only come into being if the government decides to use Bitcoin as its legal tender. Sure, that could happen. That seems to be what he’s betting on but it’s funny that his mind is stuck on this idea that government will never simply adopt or convert to Bitcoin but that it will happen by Soros types attacking the coin of the realm like in a comic book movie

    • “Soros types attacking the coin of the realm like in a comic book movie”

      That is exactly how Soros got rich.

      • and that is how Bitcoiners will join him in the billionaire’s club?

        If you believe that, go for it

  13. I was driving through canyons with spotty reception when the podcast was being broadcast, and didn’t ever hear what Bitcoin users are to do during a blackout or if the government kills the internet for “national security” reasons, etc. but maybe that point was touched upon. But seems like a big deal to me.

    I assume Karl is on the younger side? Because he doesn’t seem to get that gold and silver are also in demand because they are beautiful. And there are always going to be rich people who want to decorate their places or themselves with it. Be it vases, jewelry, etc. like I say, if someone dumps a few hundred gold coins on the bed in front of you and it doesn’t cross your mind to kill him and take them, you’re lying. Gold is mesmerizing at that quantity.

    Bitcoin jewelry for sale ! Come and get it. Just like cotton candy

    • Your comment is good but I must point out that if the ‘government kills the internet for “national security” reasons,’ then your money in your bank is probably inaccessible as well.

      • Inaccessible but not forgotten, and insured

        Which brings to mind something always interesting to me, and it relates to legal rights or title. After WWII and the ((())) were coming back at Germany for their properties it had confiscated, that piece of paper or legal title held by the ((())) was used to reclaim their property. IOW a piece of paper establishing title is not something that can be easily dismissed in any country that upholds or maintains or has a semblance of private property rights. Sure, one regime may do away with private property rights, but as long as the people in charge are somewhat reasonable there will always be a legitimate counterclaim as to the true and rightful owner. I think this has proven to the case even in Africa where blacks confiscated white farmlands.

        • Falcone, I may be wrong, but I believe the ((())) have had far more of their ‘property’ returned than the Germans who lost theirs during and following the war and changing national boundaries. And that totally ignores the financial manipulation that resulted in the ((())) gaining a lot of that property in the first place.

          Ultimately, a piece of paper is only going to be recognized as a legitimate possession or claim to one if there is Western style rule of law. Since I don’t expect that in the future (it doesn’t really exist even now), I would not count on having your bank account restored to you when/if everything goes sideways. Yes, I realize it’s a TEOTWAKI trope, but one of the first things predicted to happen is banks closing and no one being able to access cash, and then fiat money itself becoming valueless.

          All of that is just another way of saying keep what you can diversified and as immediately accessible as possible. Some cash, some precious metals, etc. Of course, note where you put it. My husband had a business acquaintance who died very unexpectedly, and the deceased’s wife was finding precious metals for a couple of years afterwards that he had bought and squirreled away in the attic insulation and all over the house.

          • Yes yes, I agree with you that it requires a western style mindset.

            But I guess that was point as well, that we still are being ruled by the standards of the west — even in Africa — and as long as we are, then having that proof of title or ownership can go a long way

            You can also use it to work on a person’s sense of worth and dignity. If you can convince him and, say, people higher up the food chain that you are the rightful owner and how would they feel if something were taken from them, stolen, etc. You might make headway.

            But of course, if you are dealing with people of bad character or who are not dealing in good faith, the proof of title won’t mean much. I doubt the ((()))) with give two hoots if they confiscated my property and I have title and a legitimate claim.

          • Here’s a recent news item. Some of you will hate me because it seems like I’m showing another historical abuse of Blacks. I am, but for teaching purposes.


            Let’s leave the racial discrimination angle out of it. What is unusual is the vast amount of time before the government returned the property. The plantiffs had some brilliant lawyers if nothing else. Almost surely, this is yet another example of a local government virtue signalling.

            Of course, eminent domain is a legitimate power of government. But it has a long history of being misused; I’d argue that the LA example was one such. To state the obvious, a century ago, Negroes were undesirable, lacked the legal protections that came later, and the White dominant power structure did what it could to remove them.

            In theory the property owner received fair market value at the time of the taking. For all I know, that happened but beyond all doubt, it was a niggardly sum. Today’s administators clear see it as a black mark on their heritage and are making perceived reparations for brownie points.

            The point is that the government did, does, and will be completely arbitrary in the way it enforces the laws, such as property rights. I too value living in a time and place where the “rule of law” is (usually) honored. I think that’s under attack. In coming years, I think we’ll see a continuing erosion of property rights, along with the other deterioration we’re seeing.

            As Whites, we can expect to be the new group discriminated against. White is the new Black, you could say.

            Whether we will — or even can — do anything to roll back the tide remains to be seen. 🙁

      • “You have to shut down the internet to ban crypto” is no different than “You have to shut down the internet to control free speech” which was not an uncommon like twenty years ago. The promise of the technological revolution was that the old system would give way to a new distributed and more democratic system. The result thus far is the exact opposite. Digital currency will most likely follow the same path.

        • @Z – Doesn’t the fact that you’re still using internet for your argument invalidates the argument?
          Yes – we are experiencing the (extreme) bottleneck in the freedom of speech on the internet. Is it unsurmountable and/or intrinsic flaw of “The Internet”? Remains to be seen. Personally, I doubt it is. Esp. globally.
          Google (or duck) “Nigeria (or Kenya, or Ghana) + Bitcoin”

          P.S. imho, you had very – very – week opponent

      • You can physically go to the bank and withdraw it as cash. (At least until too many people get the same idea.) If all else fails, you can rob the bank. Same with gold-based currency.

        Where do you go to withdraw your bitcoin from a nonworking internet?

        • I expect that if the internet is down then no bank with more than one branch will allow you to withdraw funds, otherwise you could go to each branch, withdraw all your savings, and the branches would have no way to detect this.

  14. Karl thinks Bitcoin will challenge fiat currency because he has lots of Bitcoin—pure wish fulfillment.

      • I would have cashed out long before 50k. Hell, long before 10k.

        He doesn’t seem to grasp that the government makes the rules. The rules are whatever they say the rules are. The government also gets to decide upon whom the rules are enforced and to whom and when they are not enforced. They can also change those rules at any time with or without reason and whether or not anyone likes it. If you don’t like it, just try disobeying! They’ll throw you in a cage and shoot you if you resist.

        • I would NEVER put my faith into something dependent on electricity for its value.

          Especially if we go green and the cost of electricity skyrockets

          • Falcone;
            Bingo_! You have put your finger on the main hidden vulnerability of Bitcoin, et al, namely that its very existence depends on steady electrical power. Hell, most of *all* of our existences depend on it.

            Z Man has almost persuaded me that Bitcoin could be a speculative asset for (very) limited investment, but I’ve got a, ‘I’m too late to the party’ problem, I’m pretty sure.

            But under *no* circumstances could it be a hedge against serious social disorder. You’d do better to stockpile bullets for barter. Think about it: Aside from not being legal tender, bullets (actually cartridges) have many of the useful aspects of ‘money’ such as long life, easy to spot counterfeit, limited supply (apparently)…

            An excellent and informative session, BTW.

          • Ironically, bitcoins huge and growing energy requirement is driving a green energy revolution. It requires the cheapest electricity and is constantly looking for cheap, stranded energy.

  15. Glad to hear Z-Blog-Man is interested in the potential benefits of blockchain tech outside of buttcoin and crypto-currencies. I think smart contracts could be a really big deal but I’m afraid that the crypto-scammers are gonna draw governments into over regulating before it really takes off.

    Also, this pro-buttcoin guy is kinda a mid-wit or actually maybe a moron.

    • Smart contract technology has been in existence for several years now. I used to program them on Ethereum. I have seen some legitimate uses and a lot of bullshit uses. Overall, the technology has not taken off, even though there are almost no impediments. Makes you wonder.

      • Hun: “Makes you wonder.”

        Do you have any ideas about why Ethereum hasn’t been more successful? I share your view that it has legitimate uses and no impediments.

        • Too much hype. Insane levels of hype. That prevents the proponents from seeing that most problems they are trying to solve using the blockchain and smart contracts can be solved without them too.

          I was a big fan of Ethereum almost from it’s beginnings and did a bit of smart contract programming for a clean energy startup. It was cool, it was *neat* and that is all it really was.

      • I think the Bitcoin bubble is sucking the oxygen out of the market right now. Smart contracts have real value. Ethereum is the one crypto I jumped on early for that reason. it has been ticking up, but that’s just due to the bubble. What have you done on Ethereum? Just hobbies or actual work?

        • Actual work, like I mentioned in my other comment. That was a few years ago. Imagine a closed grid of micro-producers of electricity, while also being the only consumers. Smart contracts being used to resolve production/consumption balances.

          I was involved with a lot of startups, in various capacities, including some bitcoin related big bank stuff. As far as I can tell, none of them made a big dent into the tech world, even though several resulted in fairly big money being transferred and some involved big shiny names too.
          Startup world is 90% scams and I am feeling quite generous right now.

    • He’s what we used to say of a fox smart enough to dig a hole but not smart enough to figure a way out.

  16. Look at places like Germany and Italy and France and Austria. People like to pay in cash there, same also with Japan. And why are they doing that …

    DUH TAXES. They are paying in cash so there is no record of the sale and the taxes are not paid. The store owner does not take and segregate the taxes, the price is the pre-tax price, and the sale is not booked. The cash goes into his pocket. The buyer pays often significantly less by paying cash — sales taxes can be often with VAT over 20%. The FT had a podcast when they still did them regarding Russia’s massive tax evasion that followed that cash payment pattern. The Security Police had to basically mandate electronic payments only and bust lots of shop keepers to make them pay the tax. And that effort only worked in “Metropolitan” Russia — not the Far East nor Siberia.

    Imagine paying 25% in taxes for food, clothes, and gas. That kills sales, so both shop owners and customers want/need a way to pay for something without it going through e-payments. I’m not saying it will be bitcoin — bitcoin itself does not scale properly, it bypasses the cryptographically expensive computations for most transactions and does them “later” and goes through normal EFT settling. Yes through banks. But something like it is probably going to emerge.

    Or it might just be low-tech. Gold and silver coins. If they have metallic value who cares who minted them?

    The only things certain in life are death, taxes, perversion, and tax evasion.

    • It’s worse than that. About 20 years ago an acquaintance in Denmark mentioned that he could not afford even the cheapest car due to how expensive it was with all the VAT. So I checked, and the exact same model that was $14k in the U.S. was $46k in Denmark, thanks to layer upon layer of VAT.

  17. I’ll play sort of devil’s advocate here. The system of money allowed trade to be far more sophisticated than the Bronze Age Palace economies (which did not have money) because gold coins could be checked for gold content easily with the “touchstone” and other methods. This meant peoples could trade with other peoples far over the horizon where the local rulers were quite different. It did not matter if the Maharaja or Chinese Emperor who issued the coins were long dead, they could still be used in trade far away. And the various Arab Dynasty coins, Anglo Saxon and Carolingian coins, Spanish Reals, Austrian thalers, etc. got used and traded around historically far beyond the sovereign’s borders and authority.

    And typically various currencies would start circulating the more the local one was debased.

    People have been searching for alternatives to the dollar for years because it has been debased by simply creating money (money printer go brrr). The dollar buys less and less of relatively cost stable goods like milk, cheese, eggs, and butter every year — prices go up. People will look for alternatives and will try to pay with something other than electronic dollars. This is particularly true as sales /VAT taxes go up and up and up to fund Team Biden’s giveaway to blacks and trannies.

    Contd …

  18. I really struggle with the concept of Bitcoin, or any similar crypto, having, “inherent value.”

    Examine what Bitcoin is created, or rather, mined from:

    1) Processing cycles on CPUs, GPUs, and ASICs
    2) The electricity required to run those cycles
    3) The waste heat produced by the imperfect CPUs, GPUs, and ASICs while consuming electricity to run those cycles

    Where is the inherent value in this process? I’m really struggling with that concept.

    I’m completely open to someone more intelligent and perceptive explaining what I am missing here.

    • Ultimately the inherent value is the belief that a sufficient number of people have that bitcoin is valuable.

      If my answer in unsatisfying then the inherent value is the electricity required to mine a new coin. Mining is solving an expensive cryptographic puzzle. The creator(s) of bitcoin intended mining as a means of preventing battalions of miners with cheap hardware from taking control of the blockchain. With countries like China provisioning vast server farms for mining, this prevention may be overcome.

      A few years ago, the amount of energy expended on mining per year was estimated to be comparable to all the electricity used in a year by Denmark. Not green energy.

      I was involved in one of many attempts to replace mining with a process that performs the same function but without consuming so much electricity. We failed and as far as I know, so has everyone else so far.

      • “the inherent value is the electricity required to mine a new coin.”

        How many bitcoins will it take to power a Tesla from D.C. to Hollywood. Do you just plug the motor into your crypto-wallet?

      • ” the inherent value is the electricity required to mine a new coin”

        That reeks of a excuse not a answer. If anything it reminds me of those dolts who pay real money for weapons used in video games. They think it has value but it doesn’t.

        If some hipster comes to me and offers me a bitcoin for say $100 dollars.I’d tell him to get lost. How do you redeem a Bitcoin for real world currency? You just can’t go to the bank and wave your digital wallet at them and demand $50k or whatever that a bitcoin is worth.

        • Good reply. If my answer fails to persuade you then blockchain will fail to persuade you. I’m fine with that. I’m not a bitcoin evangelist.

        • “You just can’t go to the bank and wave your digital wallet at them and demand $50k or whatever that a bitcoin is worth.”


          You kinda can today. There are Bitcoin ATMs all over the place in most major metro areas where the same said hipsters & shitlibs would predominantly reside.

          That being said, I’m with you in general in that I’m still very skeptical of crypto. It is fiat by a different name basically having no intrinsic value the way rare earth metals, etc. do because they are actually useful for production and have been the ‘standard’ for 10,000 years.

      • And now we have websites that offload their bitcoin mining to visitors’ CPUs, often without their knowledge or consent.

  19. Informative debate but Z brings the pain.

    “Karl, Karl, I hate to be rude here.”

    I agree with Z that the fundamental weakness of bitcoin is the government outlawing the conversion of bitcoin to dollars. If the government wants to shut down bitcoin it will simply outlaw the crypto exchanges.

    Yes, two guys can still exchange bitcoin but what’s the point if that bitcoin cannot be converted to a currency that is accepted by the government?

    As always, it’s enjoyable when Z bullies the Austrians or the Libertarians.

    • Before the 2016 election, the media was trying to gin up a hysteria around Bitcoin based on the prospect of it being used to clandestinely fund “extremism” (i.e. politics the ruling class disagrees with). I believe Newsweek tried doxxing the supposed creator. Then Trump unexpectedly won and the issue went away. If Bitcoin is no longer on their radar, and I’m not sure that’s the case, that would likely mean the government is confident it could somehow track the transactions and identify the parties involved. I personally can’t see how Bitcoin sticks around without this government regulating it as they do bank transactions. They could certainly ban it if they wanted to. There are many different points of attack. I mean, what good is Bitcoin if businesses are legally forbidden from treating it as legal tender or exchanges are outlawed or heavily regulated? Maybe the government taxes transactions and then tracks and jails anyone got using Bitcoin for tax evasion like they did Al Capone. If that’s not legal, they’ll make it legal. What stops them? Morality, a sense of fair play? These are the kinds of people who sick the police on others for making fun of them.

      • *Note: I’m now using “media” as singular instead of plural. One is pretty much the same as the other in this messed up society. They all speak with the same voice, so I don’t make any distinctions.

  20. LOL, Z was a bully again. A lot of the debate appeared to be semantic in nature. The fulcrum of the discussion appears to be whether the government could effectively make Bitcoin illegal to buy goods or services. Or effectively enforce that ban. I’ve been too lazy to study the blockchain phenomena, but I guess I probably will now. Ahem.

    • ” A lot of the debate appeared to be semantic in nature.” Sure. If by semantic you mean Z not letting crypto guy change the meaning of words.

  21. Correct.

    >but it will never be a threat to legal tender, regardless of who holds power.

  22. Bitcoin guy is delusional. Bitcoin is a lion in a pen of gazelles? Governments couldn’t destroy bitcoin?

    • That guy believes bitcoin is the greatest thing ever because he wants to believe bitcoin is the greatest thing ever.

    • Not to be macabre, but one government G-man with proper legal authority and qualified immunity aiming his sidearm at the temple of whomever has the backdoor, master keys to any crypto could take down crypto in an instant.

      It would be 100% legal, too. Because governments write the laws. Remember when the “Patriot Act” made torture legal? As well as droning US citizens without judicial oversight in foreign nations?

      Good times. Crypto only survives if governments want it to survive.

      • One of the many engineering innovations of bitcoin and subsequent block chains are that there are literally no backdoors or master keys. It is truly decentralized and all the code required in open source and online for your inspection.

        If you are a paranoid about backdoors and such, you can hire a programmer to examine the code for vulnerabilities. If none are found, you can have that programmer create a program from that code and use that program.

        Probably the most intuitive way to demonstrate the decentralized nature of block chain is that if you send crypto to the wrong address then there is way to get that crypto back because there is no centralized control to adjudicate mistakes or disputes. Similarly, if you lose your password, neither you nor anyone else will ever gain access to your lost crypto. (Disclaimer: some say that quantum computing can crack the cryptology but that remains to be seen.)

    • These are the same people who said Donald Trump would never be banned from Twitter because all companies care about is the bottom line. Their economic philosophy is a religion to them. Challenging it means challenging their sense of self-worth and understanding, so they’ll go to extreme lengths (and make nutty arguments) to prevent hearing anything to the contrary.

      There are many ways to restrict Bitcoin usage. Even if it couldn’t be fully banned, what stops the media from doxxing the participants or the government from creating a more attractive, and regulated, alternative — essentially crowding out the competition? I believe China is already doing something like that with a digital currency.

  23. The federal government has already shown itself willing and able to seize Bitcoin tied to dark web activity it does not like.

  24. I won’t be able to take in the live stream, but I agree with you: Governments are never going to give up control of money.

    I’ll watch the recorded version and see if it changes my mind.

Comments are closed.