How Cryptocurrency can Abolish the Fed  (Part 3: Social Philosophy, Bitcoin Neutrality, and the Sicilian Defense)

How Cryptocurrency can Abolish the Fed (Part 3: Social Philosophy, Bitcoin Neutrality, and the Sicilian Defense)

Abolishing the Fed is easier said than done. It is a monumental task, but the tools exist. One is called Bitcoin. It is the fire Prometheus stole from the heavens and gave to humanity. It is the incubator of a new world, a financial godsend prepared to liberate the indentured. It is already allowing people to regain financial control and disrupt bureaucratic and political elites.

Also Read: How Cryptocurrency Can Abolish the Fed (Part 2: Disruption through Bitcoin)

Undermining the power structures of society come with ample challenges, though. There are powerful interests protecting the Federal Reserve System, which will fight zealously against efforts to destabilize it. These interests are well armed. They have weapons and tactics that can harm cryptocurrency, as well as prevent themselves from being annihilated.

Bitcoin lovers, Libertarians, anarchists, freedom-enthusiasts and monetary architects should all understand that their assaults on the system are going to be met with vigorous defense. Deconstructing central banking and authoritarian empires is a near Utopian ideal—but it is possible. Current technology and the human spirit provide the means to success.

Altering Social Philosophy and Inspiring a Revolutionary Spirit

brave the world.comCryptocurrency itself is not enough to upend entrenched bureaucratic interests. Certain necessary and sufficient conditions must be met in order to accomplish the task of freedom. Bitcoin is necessary, but it is not sufficient. People have to come to the understanding that total freedom–not just financial freedom–is the goal, because throughout history governments have always crowned themselves as the rulers of society.

If people do not realize the importance of liberty, cryptocurrencies may never be adopted; and the counterattacks from politicians, regulators and other bureaucrats will be fatal. Thus, cryptocurrency defenders need the courage to instill people with zeal for freedom. Merely trumpeting cryptocurrency as the solution to problems is not taking things far enough, and current institutions will maintain their vampiric hold on society.

The cypherpunks envisioned Bitcoin as a tool for social change ever since they mined the first coin. Cryptocurrency was meant to be revolutionary. Teaching revolutionary ideas is a vital part inspiring widespread adoption. Skirting around this issue and only discussing technical advantages is not enough. It does a disservice to Bitcoin and the cryptologists who crafted it.

The Fed’s Defense against Cryptographic Technology

Bitcoin is heavily fortified. It has moats with alligators, and bowmen on parapets. It would take catapults, battering rams, and a protracted siege to destroy it. No one can easily hack the protocol, or hurt it without a massive and costly effort. The protocol was created to withstand maliciousness by being distributed over a network and changing only when programmers form consensus. However, hacks are not the only way adversaries threaten and attack the blockchain—this leads into a problem referred to as neutrality.

Neutrality means that Bitcoin should remain global, decentralized and peer-2-peer. Fed apologists will threaten Bitcoin neutrality by trying to create super-nodes, minting their own digital tokens, or regulating coin exchanges.

Regulations

People have already witnessed the start of regulation in New York through Bitlicense, which halted Bitcoin operations and caused companies to make a mass exodus out of New York. This was just local legislation. If government got really worried, politicians could write federal laws to drive Bitcoin underground. Consider China. The Chinese government did not want its people toying with digital currencies and meandering outside the scope of their authority. They banned banks and other payment processors from dealing with it. The Chinese now have to use backdoor methods to exchange Bitcoin.

This is where freedom philosophies shine. If regulators try to enact new laws against Bitcoin, freedom advocates must fight it. There is a chance that Bitcoin can workaround these laws, but people must remain wary of the social and political ramifications of regulatory attacks on Bitcoin. They could eventually undermine neutrality. People must know every time government writes a regulation, that regulation represents a gun to the head of innocent people.

Mining

pando.comThe Fed may also gain control of mining nodes. Currently, the system is distributed and protected by the network. Bitcoin has maintained its decentralized and peer-2-peer nature through competitive mining. At anytime this can change. Governments or special interests can create super nodes and super-exchanges and gain control of the network. Programmers call this phenomenon a 51 percent attack, which is a situation where a miner controls 51 percent of hashing power, and is able to make nefarious changes to the protocol. They could even create a fraudulent blockchain and essentially steal as many coins as they wanted. It is the only legitimate way to gain control of Bitcoin internally, but there are ways to prevent this, and the good guys are already devising solutions.

Redlisting

The Feds could even have coins “redlisted” or “blacklisted,” meaning they can have coins marked and tracked.  If government were able to control a super-node, or push regulations through, they could earmark coins so that when they output from a specific address those coins would be flagged. Defenders of redlisting argue that it will help diminish theft. In reality, this is an Orwellian control measure that obliterates neutrality. If this were to happen, it would completely undermine Bitcoin’s decentralized status.

Bitcoiners will have to fight against any attempts of government regulation, no matter what euphoric, “for your own good” rhetoric they spin in order to promote their agendas. All government solutions are violent. They hurt freedom and destroy the chastity of cryptocurrencies.

FedCoin

Government could also create their own digital tokens, ironically referred to as “govcoin” or “fedcoin.” On the surface, this is not something most developers are concerned about, because people will have the right to choose what coins they use. Many people understand that government money is not trustworthy. It is only trustworthy to the extent that people are compelled on threat of violence to use it. The largest problem is that government could generate laws mandating their digital token over others. This, along with other laws, could create a situation much like the drug war, where people who are dealing in black market tokens could be arrested and thrown into jail.

Vigiliance and defense are going to be the only ways to handle these problems. Sitting back and pretending that Bitcoin will do the work itself may prove to be wishful thinking.

U.S. Government Hopeful for Bitcoin Technology

yaf.orgGovernment threats are scarce at the moment. The United States, ironically, appears hopeful about Bitcoin. They like it. Politicians understand that Bitcoin is only pseudo-anonymous, and are not concerned about people committing “crimes” through it. They have shown resourcefulness in catching people who have tried to launder money or purchase drugs. Their thoughts on Bitcoin, then, have been advantageous to those who value decentralization. If government sees the currency as innocuous it allows for its continued growth, and the chance for mainstream acceptance. This is the upper hand that cryptocurrency enthusiasts currently have.

A 2013 Washington Post story titled “This Senate Hearing is a Bitcoin Lovefest” summed up how bureaucrats feel about cryptocurrency:

“The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, chaired by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), is holding the first congressional hearing on the future of Bitcoin. The first panel features senior figures from the Obama administration. And their comments about Bitcoin have been remarkably positive.

End Game

Abolishing the Fed is possible, but vested interests are not powerless. They have a multitude of ways to fight Bitcoin; and bitcoiners must be honest with themselves. Just parading Bitcoin as a Utopian panacea is not going to work. They have to have a thoughtful plan, philosophical insight, community cohesion and technological defenses in place. The more defenders Bitcoin has the better. But government has the power of fear. They can threaten people with violence for using it, and they can attempt to control the network to varying degrees, if they feel so compelled.

Defenders of freedom have to tools and knowledge to defend themselves. It is like a game of chess. They can sense the attacks coming, issue defensive moves, and execute a Sicilian Defense. Bitcoin lovers cannot pretend that the Fed is going to sit idly by as crypto-enthusiasts decentralize the board and checkmate the white King. That would be juvenile.

Instead, they must rely on converting the world to individual and financial freedom, as well as combat all the guns in the room. Bitcoin evangelists have a leg to stand on. They can win this battle. They just have take defense postures and initiatives. Whether Bitcoin lives or dies could color the future of the world, and decide whether humans enjoy a free and relatively peaceful world, or if they become stuck inside a dystopian nightmare.

Which will it be?

How do you think Bitcoin will fare against the Fed?


 

Image Sources:

Featured Image from the Video:  Century of Enslavement: The History of The Federal Reserve

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