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Tuesday

22 June 2021

No, Bitcoin is not ‘technobabble’

No, Bitcoin is not ‘technobabble’


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Krugman starts off by comparing Bitcoin’s so-called lack of progress during the past 12 years — since its inception — with other technologies, such as Venmo, the iPad or Zoom that have thrived and become major parts of our lives.

What’s even more interesting is that Krugman completely ignores the fact that this progress has occurred despite multiple governments’ repeated attempts to fight Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

In the past, Krugman has claimed that “fiat money [...] is backed by men with guns,” which may explain why in this article he ignores the fact that most governments perceive cryptocurrencies as a direct threat to their own currency, and as a result, they try to combat them.

This reason alone could explain why cryptocurrencies still have yet to become part of our everyday life?

Krugman goes on with the weak argument that he has never heard a clear answer for the simple question: What is cryptocurrency and/or blockchain good for.

I will admit that other use cases for blockchain (other than finance) are not easy to come by, and it could have been that he was not convinced by the potential that perfect transparency and inclusion, provided by blockchain, could have on better supply chain management, financial and aid funds control, fighting corruption through cleaner public procurement platforms, eliminating elite capture, fighting the proliferation of minors’ abusive imagery, and more.

In fact, Krugman sees the two as similar: “Gold, after all, suffers from pretty much the same problems as Bitcoin.” In many circles, Bitcoin is referred to as “digital gold.” Funnily enough, I cannot think of a better supporting argument that crypto believers could have hoped for, other than Krugman’s quote.

Last but not least, I want to address Krugman and others’ repeated argument that Bitcoin is closely associated with illegal activities, and whose Pavlovian conditioning to cryptocurrencies summons ransomware, drug trafficking and money laundering.

Yes, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been, and still are, used by bad actors to finance their illegal activities.

Actually, the fact that such a highly respected Nobel Prize recipient and economist wrote an opinion column about Bitcoin in one of the world’s most popular newspapers — twice already — proves the impact that cryptocurrencies have on our lives, and may have on our future.

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