Archive | Blockchain

The rise of crypto-anarchism

At some point, and probably sooner than we think, the current left and right offerings of the major parties, including (perhaps especially) the populist, will start to appear ludicrous and unworkable. New political movements and ideas will arrive before long for this industrial revolution, especially once the majority of the population will soon have grown up online. It will be a politics that offers solutions to the challenges society will face, and be bold enough to steer technology rather than be led by it, to harness it rather than dismiss it, to see it as a motor of social change, not just a job maker.

The Guardian: Forget far-right populism – crypto-anarchists are the new masters »


Mixed signals from the EU on Bitcoin and virtual currencies

The past year, there have been very mixed signals about Bitcoin and virtual currencies from the EU. They range from the opinion that it is too early to regulate, as we cannot tell how they will develop – to demands for mandatory registration of all players and all transactions.

This piece might give you a picture of the current state of the debate: EU Parliament states Virtual Currencies cannot be anonymous »


The real Cryptocurrency Revolution

Cryptocurrency will cripple governmental ability to collect taxes, and they won’t see it coming. When it’s already happened, expect major changes to take place in how society is organized on a large scale – but also expect governments to act in desperation to retain control. (…)

The deployment of cryptocurrency is to tax collection what deployment of end-to-end encryption is to mass surveillance.

Rick Falkvinge: How cryptocurrency will cripple today’s governments – and they won’t see it coming »


“EU agency: too soon to regulate Bitcoin”

EU Observer:

It is too early to regulate the so-called block chain technology that underpins virtual currency Bitcoin, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said on Tuesday. “At this stage, it is premature to fully assess the changes that the technology could bring and the regulatory response that may be needed,” ESMA said. It added that the new technology may benefit the financial sector by reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

Link 1 » | Link 2 »


Authorities: Regulate digital currencies

On January 16-18 in Doha, Qatar, a large group of representatives from the Basel Institute on Governance, Europol, Interpol, and authorities from Qatar met to discuss money laundering and digital currencies. The event, filled with investigators from all around the world, focused on ideas on how to tackle regulatory concerns tied to these emerging technologies.

Basel Institute: “Take Action Against Digital Currency Mixers/Tumblers” »


Latest digital currency: Zcash

Competition between currencies is the stuff libertarian dreams are made on—and central bankers’ nightmares too. Already digital monies, in particular Bitcoin and Ethereum, are rivals. On October 28th a new crypto-currency will join the fray: Zcash. Many such “altcoins” are dubious affairs and don’t add much. But this one brings important innovations.

The Economist: Known unknown »


Central banks fear Bitcoin

A piece of news that has been sadly under-reported is that the European Central Bank (ECB) has called for tightened rules on digital currencies such as Bitcoin. The reason, according to Reuters is a fear that they “might one day weaken its own control over money supply in the euro zone”. (Link»)

The European Commission has been fairly relaxed when it comes to digital currencies, being aware of the dynamic evolution of Blockchain-based electronic money. It seems the Commission realizes there is no way the Brussels bureaucracy can grasp or foresee all the different ways Bitcoins can / will be used and the technical development. (The EU, however, demands that identity must be proven when changing electronic currencies for fiat money.)

However, this opinion from the ECB might change that. After all, the EU is struggling to keep the common European currency – the Euro – afloat.

While the ECB is “printing” money as mad, Bitcoin has a known volume growth rate and a given maximum volume. The real value of the Euro is slowly decreasing with inflation, while (despite its volatility and other problems) the value of Bitcoins seems to slowly be on the rise.

If nothing else, this exposes how central banks are robbing the people, by stealth. Clearly, that is not popular with central bankers.

We also know from the Euro crisis that the ECB and national central banks are prepared to take drastic steps to protect the Euro. Greece has seen closed banks and limits on ATM withdrawals. In Cyprus, the public had a portion of its bank savings confiscated. In this perspective, the Euro has lost much of its trustworthiness against e.g. Bitcoin.

And it doesn’t have to be Bitcoin or Ethereum. Chances are that someone sooner or later will create a new digital currency that has learned from the problems and mistakes made by its predecessors, winning wider public trust and acceptance.

But no government and no central bank can end the development of digital currencies. There might be government Luddism and some countries will try to outlaw them. But Blockchain-based digital money cannot be stopped. And there will always be a demand.

In the long run, the ECB might very well be right. Central banks risk losing control over money supply. But that is not because digital currencies are a bad idea. Rather the opposite. It’s because inflation, debt, and centralized systems are undermining the confidence in state-issued fiat money.