Friday, December 22, 2017

The infuriating irony of libertarians' wet dream, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency


I suspect that most people do not understand bitcoin and cryptocurrencies because they also do not understand how money is "created." The reality that money can be created out of nothing is so ludicrously simple that most people simply cannot believe it. John Kenneth Galbraith observed that "The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled."

I am going to go out on a limb and assert that if you do not understand the creation of money, you cannot be truly progressive on economic issues. You can support progressive positions on economic issues, but until you understand how money is created, you will always be vulnerable to being herded into a veal pen for slaughter by financial oligarchs.

If you want an explanation of money creation, in January 2015 I posted Creating money out of thin air on DailyKos. If you want examples of so-called progressives freaking out because they refuse to believe money is created out of nothing, read the comments. The hostility and arrogance of certain imbeciles is part of what pushed me away from DailyKos.

Cryptocurrencies, of which Bitcoin is now the best known example, with the highest market capitalization -- $217.8 billion the minute I write this -- are nothing more than computer programs creating their own units of money. Libertarians love it, because it is money that is NOT being created by governments. No small number of libertarians also hate the big banks almost as much as they hate government. So, I think cryptocurrencies are going to be more than a passing speculative fad simply because they are a libertarians wet dream. Nothing will happen to knock cryptocurrencies that libertarians won't shake off as they cling to their anti-government, anti-"crony capitalism" ideology. 

The infuriating irony is that one of the things libertarians hate most about governments and central banks (which are often quasi-government entities controlled by the very financial oligarchs who control the big banks of Wall Street and the City of London) is that governments and central banks issue fiat currency that is backed by nothing. Libertarians insist on a return to the gold standard, so that government-issued money has "value." What about cryptocurrencies, though? I have yet to hear any libertarian denounce Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency because it is not backed by gold, or backed by anything else of "value."

So, while the speculative frenzy of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is bad, the one good thing is that it is teaching people that money can be created out of nothing. I suspect that's why Dimon of JP Morgan hates Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies so much. Either that, or Dimon is just talking them down to manipulate the price.

(A note on why the speculative frenzy is bad. Because it is a misuse and misapplication of society's talents and resources at a time when the only frenzy should be building the Tesla and electric car recharging stations, wind turbines, solar energy arrays, geothermal generating plants, urban mass transit systems, and upgrading and replacing every man-made structure on the planet to, to transition as quickly as possible away from burning fossil fuels and worsening climate change.)

1 comment:

  1. I read your article and i am not a bot selling ___________.

    ReplyDelete