Bitcoin: New money, but not new power

Posted on March 17, 2013

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Damn, this post by @leashless called “Why there’s no money: the imaginary part of financial systems” sums up so much of what I’ve been trying to put into words. Money is nothing, power is everything.

Or rather, money is just a way to measure power. Once you start thinking of the world like that, things make a lot more sense. Middle-class jobs are about borrowing power, just as one borrows money. Borrowing it from institutions in order to carry on living. It’s an illusion of power because it cannot change or escape itself.

Bitcoin is different because it changes the link between power and money. But power still exists, it’s just become “decoupled” and reattached. The rules aren’t fundamentally different – in fact, there’s a good chance they’ll re-converge, once powerful actors get involved. Banks might be scared, but bankers aren’t, and politicians aren’t. (At least, not by Bitcoin. Maybe about other things.)

But don’t believe that Bitcoin is a power unto itself. All it is is just another form of measurement.

 

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Posted in: Finance, Power