hi dustin and all
i am more interested in the intellectual and social implications of the rise of digital currencies than how much money is being made amidst the most recent tulip mania. dustin, you raise some interesting points!
let's face it, the current world wide federal reserve/international banking system is inherently controlling/enslaving in many ways, but most significantly by creating money out of thin air that consequently creates crippling debt that is passed on to taxpayers/individuals. concurrently these governments force them/us to participate in this monetary system. it is the ultimate ponzi scheme, if we want to use that trope/metaphor. take u.s. currency, for example, that was once backed by gold, then by silver, then . . . by nada . . . all you get is a 'legal tender.' its a worthless piece of paper with fancy ink on it (and a little electronic marker/strip embedded in it! cough, cough). the only reason the dollar holds value is because people believe in it (well, you kind of have to, since you are forced to participate in the system and its the only game in town), and governments require it (b/c it is the de facto currency of exchange between nations, although that is being challenged in places like asia; that is interesting to watch!). the critics who say that cyrptocurrencies have no underlying value miss the point that the current world economy is built upon precisely the same thing, only worse!
so, cyrptocurrencies have tremendous (disruptive?) implications because they provide people/companies/banks an alternative to the 'officially sanctioned' monetary system, and, at least initially, seem to avoid the issue of debt that attends the current government system(s). what's not to like?! its because of their disruptive potential and perceived threat to the government sanctioned monetary system that i agree with a small handful of writers who seem to think that governments will get in the business of legislating against, cracking down, regulating, controlling, dare i say, assimilating (?) cyrptocurrencies. there are already a few, besides bitcoin, as you mention that are gaining more mainstream legitimacy from banks, e.g., not to mention the new trading in futures on the cboe that allegedly will find institutional money flowing into it. i love to see all these little companies who have nothing to do with cyrptocurrencies, technology, or even economics switching over to try and catch the wave, lol. its very dot com esque in many ways.
in any case, cyrptocurrencies are very interesting phenomena and it will be fascinating (and a little scary) to watch them evolve. you might remember a few years back, everyone was celebrating the roll out and revolutionary potential of the internet and cell phones, and, well, we all know how that turned out
. digital currencies will eventually become another mechanism of control. indeed, i think the teleological movement of 'money' is toward the online (the logic of techné forces us there; see, e.g. jacques ellul) as we move headfirst to a cashless society . . . until, of course, we are eventually branded with the mark of the
fortunately, we have a well trained cadre of luxers to deal with that when the time comes!
♪♫ one world is enough . . . for all of us ♪♫