5 reasons every Objectivist needs to pay attention to cryptocurrencies

Posted by BrettRocketSci 3 years, 2 months ago to Economics
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Within the past 2 weeks, something "clicked" with my understanding and interest on cryptocurrencies. Now I am convinced that this is a disruptive innovation that will transform our world. It's like the creation of the internet, but for money. Objectivists and capitalists, more than anyone, should appreciate what a revolution in money can mean for our society.

Here are more reasons I urge everyone here to pay attention to this technology:

1. Cryptocurrencies are the free market applied to currency.
Research this and you'll see what I mean. Currency monopolies are in BIG TROUBLE. This is both scary and exhilarating. Those who understand this need to decide what kind of system they want to put their money into.

2. Cryptocurrency fans and advocates openly discuss and celebrate the prospect of DITCHING FIAT CURRENCIES.
There are more educated / aware / rational people out there than we may have appreciated.

3. Cryptocurrencies can operate outside of and independent of any government.
Yes this does also mean they can operate outside of any regulation or established authorities. But how well have those done for us lately!?!?

4. Cryptocurrencies can be based on absolute and inherent facts of reality.
There are rational reasons why currencies have value. Each person needs to understand cryptocurrencies enough to know how they honor and maintain the features of a viable currency. Not all cryptocurrencies are created equal. Same with traditional currencies, right?

5. My short list of key features & benefits of cryptocurrencies that made it "click" for me.
When I connected all of these dots, the situation became obvious to me. Maybe these will make sense to you too.
a. computers and computational power has inherent value in our society today
b. privacy and digital security have unique value in our society today, and it is only going to increase in value
c. defining a medium of exchange that is free from manipulation, corruption, and inflation is incredibly valuable
d. much of the world's population has no access to reliable or accessible banking. (And they will sooner have access to a handheld internet device.)
e. Speed of financial transactions across geographic boundaries is an incredible benefit and value in our digital world
f. In a digital economy, a digital currency just makes sense.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a certified financial advisor and nothing I say here is considered to be financial advice. Also, if you rely on disclaimers from federally-regulated authorities you have surrendered the most important authority and are probably too far gone to appreciate what I gave you in this post. :-)

This is my perspective on things. Want someone else's? Here is a 7-minute video segment of Ronnie Moas. He is rated the 8th best financial advisor in the world based on his financial predictions & recommendations from 2008-2017. His projections and justifications should capture your attention and interest.


I expect this post will spark a lively discussion and set of comments. That will be nice to see. Don't expect much engagement from me in those responses please. I'm not posting to persuade or debate.

More than any of that, I hope this post sparks a greater amount of RATIONAL THOUGHT.

I don't want my fellow travelers to be left in the dark. Or left the dust heap of economic history.

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  • Posted by $ Radio_Randy 3 years, 2 months ago
    I am about as trusting in Bitcoin as I am The Cloud.

    Give me good hard currency, any day, that I can spend when the electricity goes off.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 years, 2 months ago
      Trusting the technology of digital representation together with its infrastructure is separate from the question of trusting that something has value just because someone says so by fiat, generating a psychological expectation: the 'commodity' backing it that you invest in is someone else's psychology of willingness to go along.
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  • Posted by term2 3 years, 2 months ago
    It appears to me that these crypto currencies are in fact FIAT currencies, just manufactured out of thin air by computer programmers. I wouldnt trust them any more than the government supplied fiat curtrencies.

    They have no intrinsic value
    They can disappear overnight with the press of a button
    They can be inflated without the bearer even knowing it happened.

    Currently, the attraction of gold based currencies is that the supply of gold is fairly stable, long lasting, doesnt dissolve easily or rust, and the currency can be tied to a specific quantity of the gold.
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  • Posted by chad 3 years, 2 months ago
    I don't understand where any of your points sets any cryptocurrency as having value. Bitcoin has stated that it has a limited supply of Bitcoin and will never change how many are available and this supposedly adds value. This alone does not add value to it for it has no existence except what someone has declared. There is no way to verify that the specified limit has been adhered to. For all anyone knows one person owns a bitcoin that another person also claims ownership to and like fractional banking as long as not everyone wants their money at the same time no one knows their dollar is not in the bank waiting for them to pick it up.
    The cryptocurrencies are not backed up by anything of value. If I own a hundred homes I can live in one, sell others, rent some for an income stream. If I own 100 houses in a computer program and interest people in purchasing them and sell them for a profit I might make money until someone discovers you cannot live in one.
    Bitcoin is a computer fiat currency, no one knows who started it or runs it, no one has any method for auditing it to find out how many exist. Another way of increasing the number of units is that you are allowed to divide a bitcoin down to .00000000001 units (might be mistaken on the number of zeros put in) and what will prevent its inventor from inserting more zeros. This is like the tulip bulb investment in Holland in the 1600's where a single bulb at one time could purchase a home and when the excitement collapsed a bulb couldn't buy lunch. Like any good Ponzi Scheme some of those who get in early and get out early might increase their fiat currency holding but that is about it. I don't know that there would be anything from keeping the creator from shutting it down tomorrow and keeping everyone's fiat investment. The only thing being traded here is excitement.
    The only place computers might have in the future of banking that is trustworthy and trades value is in tracking where the item of value is and getting it to those to whom it belongs.
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    • Posted by TomSwift 3 years, 2 months ago
      Most of the things you have brought up are not correct. the Bitcoin algorithm is been tested and investigated by some of the smartest Mathematicians on the planet and there are no faults with the primary system. There IS a limited amount. Two people cannot own the same bitcoin. The value of the Bitcoin is their scarcity and freedom from central banks. It is not a fiat currency and its auditing system is virtually perfect. You can track every fractional bitcoin from its creation to its destination, starting from the very first transaction. You cannot put more orders of magnitude into it because the code does not allow it. It is also nothing like the Tulip Mania (which has been greatly exaggerated anyway).

      People are starting to realize how useful and freeing digital currencies are. When I ask people why they are buying it, most tell me that they don't trust government money anymore. This is a good thing.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 years, 2 months ago
      The value that Bitcoin represents is like investing in circular reasoning. If the con works you 'make' money, otherwise...

      The idea of a currency representing value versus superficial expectation is distinct from the idea of representing value by secure digital methods.
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  • Posted by $ gharkness 3 years, 2 months ago
    I know little about this subject, but when has that ever stopped me from jumping in with both feet? Actually, this time, only one foot, but I spent the last three hours learning about and creating paper wallets to send my grandkids some cryptocurrency for Xmas (along with other more interesting - to them - gifts). I have invested $5/month in being a Patron for someone who appears to be quite knowledgeable, and I've already earned far more than I've spent in showing my support for him.

    It's my hope that the grandkids will put these wallets somewhere safe and discover some day that this was the first step to a better future for them. If they don't, then it cost me very little in real money, and it was worth it to try.

    I never invest money I can't afford to lose, so I haven't invested (for myself) a whole lot into crypto, but I find the subject fascinating, and - for me - I always learn better by doing. In addition, I have a horrible fear that at some point I will give into the "you know enough already - no need to learn more" paradigm that I frequently see with my co-elderly people. I know I have to go some day but when that day comes, I HOPE to arrive there with most of my faculties still kicking.

    And finally, the more resistance I see to the idea of crypto becoming mainstream, the more likely I think it will eventually prevail.
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  • Posted by $ AJAshinoff 3 years, 2 months ago
    I have little use or respect for The Atlantic after repeatedly proving them biased and willfully deficient in doing their own research. Even so, the headline caught my eye and I bothered to read this article; it has valid points. I'm not set in stone but I cannot trust crypto-currencies, taking money I earned and giving it away in exchange for bits and bytes someone devised somewhere.

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  • Posted by $ CBJ 3 years, 2 months ago
    How will cryptocurrencies impact gold's price and demand? I've heard predictions all over the map. Some say that Bitcoin and other cryptos will render gold obsolete, while others think gold will continue to be the alternative currency of choice because it's physical rather than digital. At present Bitcoin's value is gyrating wildly and gold is stagnant. It may take a while for free-market monetary theory to catch up with the changes brought about by the introduction of cryptocurrency.
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    • Posted by handyman 3 years, 2 months ago
      Does anyone know (or have an opinion) on why there are no gold-backed cryptocurrencies? Just wondering. A cryptocurrency that is backed by some stable commodity would seem to offer advantages that both gold bugs and cryptocurrency fans are after.
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      • Posted by term2 3 years, 2 months ago
        I could go for it if backed by gold. But of course its going to be outlawed at some point by the US government.
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        • Posted by handyman 3 years, 2 months ago
          My thought also. If not outright outlawed, federal and state governments could claim that all transactions are a commodity exchange and therefore subject to tax - probably at a straight income level of tax. Such a barrier would be as good as outlawing it.
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          • Posted by term2 3 years, 2 months ago
            I suppose what they didnt know about couldnt be easily outlawed either. Eventually, the value would need to be translated into their fiat currency as "legal tender", but as the fiat currency depreciated, the gold backed cryptodollar would keep its value and would buy more fiat dollars
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  • Posted by $ TomB666 3 years, 2 months ago
    Chad said it pretty well. One difference between Bitcoin and tulip bulbs is that you could actually hold a tulip bulb. Not that it makes any real difference. Like it or not gold does have a certain utility going beyond jewelry even. I have seen with my own eyes a sheet of gold foil used as an insulator in a space capsule because of its unique electrical properties.
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  • Posted by CaptainKirk 3 years, 2 months ago
    I just bought some LiteCoin around Thanksgiving.
    It has almost quadrupled. I will wait until next year to take my initial investment out (delay the cap gains), and let the rest ride.

    It will NOT work if the internet is down!
    If you have the ability to make a transaction on your account without a private key entry (every time),
    so does a hacker. There is very little control over disputed transactions. And they become dangerous.
    But SOMETHING here must get done. Banks have unrolled and uncashed checks 90 days after the event
    occurred (mostly because they can). Stealing money with wires is very hard today, because they can be
    pulled back (unlike in the movies). But in a much smaller window of time.

    Finally, there is no true HIDING. at some point, the government can subpoena you for your keys.
    And with the IP Address logging on transactional accessing of accounts. When IPV6 is live, they
    will literally know the exact devices involved, and be able to track to you. Remember it takes ONLY 3
    credit card transactions and a cell phone with location services turned on, to use the 2 things to
    uniquely identify who you are!

    I have fears and doubts. This is a bubble, and I could lose it all. But I was a later comer to the
    Dot Com because it was a bubble for a LONG TIME, then it popped. The trick is to get your
    initial investment back (you can't get hurt), and then take some off over time. And diversify
    back into Gold/Silver.

    I am not a Financial Adviser. Do what feels right for you.
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  • Posted by $ pixelate 3 years, 2 months ago
    Bitcoin is not money; it is currency. Money <> Currency in that money has the distinction of being a store of wealth. Land, gold, silver .. these are money. Bitcoin is like gold and silver only to the extent that they share the same properties in terms of use as a currency: medium of exchange, fungible, divisible, portable. Bitcoin is interesting in the context of applied mathematics, but it is also no more complex than the offering of a math Ph.D. dissertation. At the end of the day, at the very bottom of Bitcoin, there is nothing there. Of course it will continue to surge higher – I expect it to top 100k / coin. When the scales fall, and Bitcoin collapses back to its intrinsic value, the epitaph will be much ado about nothing.
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