JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Says The Government Will 'Stop' Bitcoin

from the good-luck-with-that dept

One of these days I'm finally going to get around to writing the piece I've been planning for the better part of a year on the importance of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, but in the meantime, it's still fun to see the way traditional bankers try to wrap their heads around it. Apparently, for JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, it's to say he's not at all concerned about it because he's sure that the government will step in and kill Bitcoin should it ever really matter:
“Virtual currency, where it’s called a bitcoin vs. a U.S. dollar, that’s going to be stopped,” said Dimon. “No government will ever support a virtual currency that goes around borders and doesn’t have the same controls. It’s not going to happen.”
That's kind of an incredible statement when you think about it -- a sort of direct admission that Wall Street knows how tightly it's in bed with Washington DC, that should something like Bitcoin ever challenge Wall Street's power, he has no fear that the politicians will "stop" the virtual currency.

Talk about regulatory capture...

Of course, that confidence that the US government will kill the innovation is perhaps the biggest weakness of Dimon's argument. We have no doubt that governments are already trying their damnedest to kill off innovation around cryptocurrencies, but the larger question is really whether or not that's even really possible.

Here's the problem for Dimon: should Bitcoin really reach the point at which Wall Street really views it as a true threat, then it's probably too late for it to be stopped. That's one of the (many) interesting parts about cryptocurrencies. The ability to stop them as they get more and more successful becomes significantly more difficult, to the point of reaching a near impossibility. But, it sure will lead to some amusing and ridiculous regulatory fights.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    GMacGuffin (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 12:36pm

    JP's late to the party...

    "Stopping" a decentralized digital protocol is ... well, impossible. Other big players in Fintech already know that and are jumping in (and the Winklevosses too).

    Wall Street, MasterCard, Visa, and other huge financial players are already investing in bitcoin startups and blockchain technology. E.g.:
    http://www.nasdaq.com/article/visa-nasdaq-others-invest-in-bitcoinrelated-startup-20150909-01388

    This is likely part of the reason Bitcoin's price bounced so rapidly from the $250s to current high $300s the last few weeks (about which I am quite happy). Legitimacy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Varsil, 6 Nov 2015 @ 12:57pm

    51% attack

    I'm no expert, but my understanding is that if you can get 51% (or rather 50%+X) of the computing power in the Bitcoin network you could work enough damage to make people really, really reluctant to ever trust Bitcoin again.

    That's not out of reach of the U.S. government, I don't think.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 1:48pm

      Re: 51% attack

      Actually this is completely out of reach of any single government.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 4:48am

        Re: Re: 51% attack

        government MUST use insiders like the Winklevoss twins NOW,
        print money and buy bitcoins and miners BEFORE the dollar is worthless.

        the moment the dollar is worthless due to externals like bitcoin then it will be to late since they cannot use what they print to buy miners

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jake, 6 Nov 2015 @ 2:30pm

      Re: 51% attack

      Perhaps, but how much of that 51% belongs to individuals and organisations who can cause some major political headaches if the NSA compromises their hardware? I can't imagine Google would take that lying down, or some big-name currency trader in Europe or -God forbid!- China.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 2:46pm

      Re: 51% attack

      Yes. Or at least you can disrupt things quite a bit. The bigger your percentage, the more you can disrupt things until you can effectively destroy the block-chain.

      BitCoin's biggest weakness is that it assumes that any attacks come from a rational actor. The basis of the security is that for any given amount of computing power, you can make more money by mining bitcoin than you can by disrupting the block-chain. This of course assumes your goal is to make money, and not just cause trouble.

      The size of the bitcoin network has grown to the point that they pretty much only have to worry about nation-state attacks. But it's still possible.

      If JP Morgan, the US Government, et al were smart, they would be putting money into mining bitcoin to increase the stability of the network, and then take advantage of it. Of course no one said they were smart.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      GMacGuffin (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 2:56pm

      Re: 51% attack

      Holding 51% of the hashing power may allow a bad player to alter some transactions in previous blocks on the chain, but not much beyond that. It would take much more mining power than everyone else combined to really wreak havoc. And since mining is done by huge farms full of dedicated ASIC machines (in China and elsewhere), or individuals in pools, a govt. intervenor would not be something that could really be kept secret, and measures could be taken at various levels down to the protocol.

      Right now Bitcoin has $5.5 BILLION market cap. That's a lot of power to the people. The US gobment has shown no inclination to "shut down" Bitcoin -- a quixotic quest in any event. They'd rather regulate it and take some of that cash for themselves.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 4:38am

        Re: Re: 51% attack

        "The US gobment has shown no inclination to "shut down" Bitcoin -- a quixotic quest in any event. They'd rather regulate it and take some of that cash for themselves."

        bitcoin cannot be killed nor regulated,
        that is the whole point,
        it´s value jumps mostly due to governments imposing barriers on money like CYPRUS, GREECE, CHINA, ARGENTINA, VENEZUELA, etc

        if they can regulate it, then they can kill it, don´t they?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Peter, 6 Nov 2015 @ 1:20pm

    Regulatory capture?

    I interpreted his comment differently, to mean that national governments would shut down any alternative currency that becomes a plausible way to circumvent the government's own laws and regulations in a significant way.

    This isn't regulatory capture, it's governments defending their power and authority.

    As to whether that's possible, I suspect it's more possible than the techno-libertarians think it is. It might not be possible to completely destroy Bitcoin, but it can be driven far enough underground to not matter for any business that's not on the black market.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 3:28pm

      Re: Regulatory capture?

      I think that we might be getting to the point that regulatory capture and corporate capture have almost converged, leaving a situation in which governments defending themselves is no different than corporations or industries defending themselves.

      On the down side, that sounds like the New World Order people might get the chance to smugly say 'told ya so'. On the up side, William Gibson's early stuff can shake off some of its zeerust.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 4:46am

        Re: Re: Regulatory capture?

        "we might be getting to the point that regulatory capture and corporate capture have almost converged, leaving a situation in which governments defending themselves is no different than corporations or industries defending themselves"

        that is literally the real definiton of FACISM

        (better explained by the roman symbolism of the fasces)
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasces

        government + guilds + cops + death penalty= fascia

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2015 @ 8:21am

      Re: Regulatory capture?

      "national governments would shut down any alternative currency that becomes a plausible way to circumvent the government's own laws and regulations"

      Doesn't this statement describe TPP? TPP circumvents every govt's own laws and regulations.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2016 @ 12:36am

      Re: Regulatory capture?

      Governments should not have the power and authority to force us to play a game of music chairs with their net negative fiat system.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 1:23pm

    Stop bitcoin? Ha!

    Not likely... but they could certainly reduce its relevance to near-zero for legal purposes. That's basically the same thing for the masses - and once criminals are the only ones using it, it will probably become criminal to use it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 6:47am

      Re: Stop bitcoin? Ha!

      Not likely... but they could certainly reduce its relevance to near-zero for legal purposes.
      Yes, they could regulate it like certain drugs. You'd still be able to get it through black markets of course, but would you bother? The markup would make it more expensive than other forms of payment, and you couldn't use it to get stuff shipped to you (because it would be evidence of illegal activity). Legitimate employers and shops in the restrictive jurisdiction would be unable to use it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 1:38pm

    This is all well and good, until some government makes it their national currency. Guess a PC would no longer be a luxury, but a necessity. Think of the time and money that would save. But that sounds like end times shit to me. I for one make use of the credit unions, especially since the banks went rogue and burned through all that money. Not to worry though, Joe Sixpack and Suzie Housecoat will bail you out, again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 1:45pm

    history will repeat

    The US government has been ruthless in destroying any and all alternatives to the US dollar.

    If history is any guide, the US government will step in and bust up Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and throw people in jail, as previously happened with precious metal coiners such as Liberty Dollar, and precious metal electronic exchanges such as E-Gold. Criminal charges have ranged from counterfeiting (despite the coins/notes not resembling any US currency) to money laundering (despite the principals not being involved themselves) to operating an unregistered bank (despite a gold exchange not being a bank). Large amounts of Gold were confiscated from depositors as civil asset forfeiture when the operations were raided. To date, essentially all alternative currencies that emerged in the last quarter century have been forcefully shut down by government action.

    In short, the US government will find some excuse, any excuse, to raid Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as its continued existence poses a threat to the value of the government's own fiat currency, the US dollar.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 2:06pm

      Re: history will repeat

      I'm too young to remember, but I've been told that at one time each US denomination had 3 versions: the 'greenback' you still see today even though now there is more color; a silver note, and a gold note. Supposedly you could take silver and gold notes to a bank or exchange house and get actual silver or gold, and vice versa.

      But in either the late 1960s or early 1970s the US went off gold and silver standards, so the US stopped printing gold and silver notes; only the 'greenback' still got printed. There was also a time that it was illegal for an individual to own or possess gold; that changed in the mid '70s and one can now own and possess gold.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 6:07am

        Re: Re: history will repeat

        Greenbacks refer to the bills used during the civil war. While they are still technically legal tender, they are not circulated because they are worth much, much more as collectors items than as cash.

        Greenbacks came in two forms: demand notes, which were not originally legal tender but could be used to pay customs duties, and United States notes, which were legal tender and the nation's first fiat currency.

        Demand notes stopped being printed in 1862, US notes in 1865.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 6:49am

      Re: history will repeat

      Well, now that TPP has been finalized, fast tracked by Congress and Obama is eager to sign it into law, there's a good chance that any attempt to shut down BitCoin will run into the new ISDS system.

      All it would take is one corporation that isn't based in the US to invest into bitcoins, and suddenly we'd have a state-actor harming the profits of a foreign sovereign corporation, something TPP prohibits.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2015 @ 8:17am

      Re: history will repeat

      Bitcoin is borderless. It does not care what the U.S. government thinks or does. It can't be controlled by anyone.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 9 Nov 2015 @ 1:04pm

      Re: history will repeat

      In short, the US government will find some excuse, any excuse, to raid Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,

      How could they "raid" Bitcoin? There isn't a central place where all the bitcoins are is there?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    kog999, 6 Nov 2015 @ 1:57pm

    depends on your definition of stop. sure they can't realistically stop people from running bitcoin clients. but it can be "stopped" by simply making it illegal for business to accept it. if no business can accept it then what good is it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 2:07pm

      Re:

      You make make a business in a single nation stop accepting it but others can still use it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 6:52am

      Re:

      ISDS. If the crackdown happens after TPP gets ratified, the US would very likely get slapped down by an international tribunal if it tried to harm the profits of companies in Asia that way.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2015 @ 8:46am

      Re:

      Making Bitcoin illegal in the U.S. will only make it used less often in the U.S. The rest of the world will continue to use it. And, many in the U.S. will continue unless the government goes into every home and stops the click of a mouse. Just like they have stopped Torrent file sharing right? Never going to happen.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 2:39pm

    "The ability to stop them as they get more and more successful becomes significantly more difficult, to the point of reaching a near impossibility."

    That's actually been true of a lot of innovations that government and traditional industries don't like

    1:) The printing press

    2:) The auto industry (vs horse and buggy)

    3: Uber (vs taxi cab incumbents)

    4:) VHS


    5:) E-Mail (vs the USPS and how they complained so much about it and how the govt wanted to tax e-mail).

    6:) Youtube


    Corporate interests working with government have tried very hard to kill new innovations that threaten incumbent industries but as those innovations become more and more successful and entrenched in how we do things it becomes more and more difficult to destroy them.

    Having said that there are a few stories of innovation being killed by entrenched industries pulling governmental strings for no good reason other than to protect industry interests from competition.

    1:) Megaupload

    2: Veoh (the original) even though this was ruled legal

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    alternatives(), 6 Nov 2015 @ 3:33pm

    taxes/fines/fees in bitcoin

    Part of the parasitic load in life is things like taxes.

    Yet New Hampshire has HR552 so bitcoins could be used to pay taxes.

    Its hard to demand a shutdown as stated would happen if you can pay taxes with crypto-currency.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 3:50pm

    All currencies are virtual

    I find it interesting that a banker would come out against a virtual currency (include calling it that) when their very dependence relies on all currencies being virtual.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John W. Ratcliff, 6 Nov 2015 @ 3:52pm

    One of the most interesting things is when you think about what bitcoin actually, physically, literally 'is'

    What 'is' bitcoin? Bitcoin is an entry in a database. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    So, step back and think about that for a moment. How can a government make it illegal to store an arbitrary number in an arbitrary database?

    People often forget that, for much of the lifetime of bitcoin, it had no value. Literally none. Because, think about it, who would pay a single penny to 'own' an entry in a random database?

    It took years before anyone would associate any value of any kind to a bitcoin. The first famous bitcoin transaction of value was when two pizzas were purchased for 10,000 bitcoins. Since two pizzas cost, let's be generous and say, $30, that means the first known recorded real world value of bitcoin was 1/3 of one penny!!

    So, what gives bitcoin its value? It is simply that a group of free people choose to 'believe' it does. They could choose to believe pebbles, or shells, or any other token has 'value' and the government would treat it with the same level of hostility. Because what they are actually trying to legislate is *BELIEF*!

    The only reason bitcoin is 'worth' anything is because a community has collectively agreed it does.

    The thing is, the same is true for all of the worlds fiat paper money as well. If you don't believe me, just ask someone in Zimbabwe or Argentina, or Venezuela.

    Bitcoin, in a sense, exposes the fact that the emperor has no clothes. It de-hypnotizes the population from the illusion that fiat (government issued paper money) has some inherent value when, in fact, it does not. It only has value because we have all, collectively, agreed to believe that it does. And, as soon as a population loses faith in the governments paper money, the whole thing collapses like a house of cards. And, as history has shown us, it can happen very rapidly.

    Now, while there is no basic difference between why bitcoin has value versus fiat currency; they both have value based on the collective belief or the community which uses it. There is one key distinction. With bitcoin, there is a fixed supply that will never change. Whereas with US dollars there is an infinite supply, measured in literally hundreds of trillions of dollars, which continues to grow non-stop. You know that trillions of dollars in 'debt' that the US holds? That will never get paid back in any other way than simply printing a couple of dozen trillion dollar bill notes.

    Because that is all they can do; just keep printing more. And, anyone can see that this cannot continue forever.

    So, as a segment of the population chooses to believe that an entry in a double-accounting ledger (distributed database called the blockchain) has more subjective value than government issued fiat currency, there will be a major change and shift in power.

    Right now bitcoin is very tiny. So tiny that it is amazing that people like Jamie Diamond or various governments, or the press, gives it so much attention. They give it this attention because they know just how flimsy their house of cards is and how rapidly it can collapse.

    So, yeah, let's make having an entry in a database 'illegal'. Let's make it 'illegal' for people to transact value using tokens that were not issued by a government organization. So much for freedom I suppose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 9:43pm

      Re: One of the most interesting things is when you think about what bitcoin actually, physically, literally 'is'

      So, step back and think about that for a moment. How can a government make it illegal to store an arbitrary number in an arbitrary database?

      Probably easy for governments like that in Germany whose parlimant enacted a law that forbids copying databases someone else compiled, even if they only contain factual information like soccer results.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 9:57pm

      Re: One of the most interesting things is when you think about what bitcoin actually, physically, literally 'is'

      Very interesting, but I'm afraid I won't truly understand it until Neal Stephenson MacGuffins bitcoin in a novel.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 7:01am

      Re: One of the most interesting things is when you think about what bitcoin actually, physically, literally 'is'

      The thing is, ALL money has value only as long as it is believed to have value, not just fiat currencies.

      Money is a portable symbol of wealth, wealth that is often not portable at all -- for example, have you ever tried to pick your house up and carry it with you to a swap meet?

      This is as true of gold bullion as it is true of the US Dollar.

      Outside of certain industries that use gold as a raw material to create wealth, gold has more value per ounce than tin only because people believe it does.

      This is one of the things that killed off the Spanish Empire. They brought so much gold and silver back to Europe that they devalued gold to the point that it became a fiat currency, and inflation soared. It got to the point where people were directly bartering wealth, because gold was all but worthless.

      Wealth is those things that make like easier or even possible, from a car (and fuel) to the roof over your head.

      A lot of people get into trouble that way in times of crisis -- they invest heavily in gold or silver, rather than actual wealth. So the crisis hits, whatever that crisis may be, and suddenly there are people with lots of worthless metal -- you can't make useful tools out of it, you can't burn it for warmth and you can't eat it -- surrounded by people who have actual wealth but are unwilling to sell any of it for useless pieces of worthless metal.

      If you're preparing for a crisis you buy water filters, food, tents, weapons -- real wealth. Spend the fortune you would have spent on metallic fiat currency on useful things instead.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2015 @ 9:49am

        Re: Re: One of the most interesting things is when you think about what bitcoin actually, physically, literally 'is'

        This is one of the things that killed off the Spanish Empire. They brought so much gold and silver back to Europe that they devalued gold to the point that it became a fiat currency, and inflation soared. It got to the point where people were directly bartering wealth, because gold was all but worthless.
        My above comment about Neal Stephenson was just a tangential throw-away pop cultural reference... but embarrassingly enough, I did learn more about the Spanish gold crisis from his Baroque Cycle books than I ever did in school. In my defense, everything else I know was learned from a much more reputable source: Star Trek.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 7:02am

        Re: Re: One of the most interesting things is when you think about what bitcoin actually, physically, literally 'is'

        "Money is a portable symbol of wealth, wealth that is often not portable at all -- for example, have you ever tried to pick your house up and carry it with you to a swap meet?"

        WHOT?
        you can always arrive driving a Bugatti, wearing a perfectly tailored suit/shoes and a IWC/AP watch... not forgetting the argentinian victoria's secret angel on the right arm.
        and a perfectly groomed hair/beard/smile...

        or if you are thinking shtf wealth then a small self-sustainable city inside a yatch can always be of help

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      NWO solution, 9 Nov 2015 @ 6:49am

      Re: One of the most interesting things is when you think about what bitcoin actually, physically, literally 'is'

      we can always fix problem of people avoiding taxes via movement of wealth (goldbars/bitcoin) through the borders by
      having no borders at all
      this would solve the problem of citizens avoiding taxation by renoucing citizenship...

      let's call it the New World Order

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 9 Nov 2015 @ 1:13pm

      Re: One of the most interesting things is when you think about what bitcoin actually, physically, literally 'is'

      How can a government make it illegal to store an arbitrary number in an arbitrary database?

      You're kidding, right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 6 Nov 2015 @ 3:53pm

    Easy to shut down

    Just put VAT on the exchanges. Of course, this could backfire in the long run because people may then just stop exchanging Bitcoin for other currencies. Like the dollar. And if nobody wants the dollar any more...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 7:06am

      Re: Easy to shut down

      That sounds like an awesome way to cripple your own economic hedges.

      If I hand you one dollar and you hand me four quarter-dollars, does either of us owe a VAT to anyone? No, because no value was added. This would especially apply to speculative transactions -- if you lose money on the exchange, does the government owe YOU a VAT?

      Nations buy and sell eachothers currency all the time, mixing taxes into currency exchanges kills that off, and those currency exchanges are one of the ways nations use to prevent their own total economic collapse when the economy suffers a downturn.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jameshogg (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 5:13pm

    Okay I'll take the opposition view here: I don't think BitCoin should be banned but, I do think it is doomed as an idea.

    I think a few folk here interested in economics will know what I mean why I use the word "utopia" to describe the gold standard as the basis of your currency. It may stop state artificial-inflation of the money thus stopping the arguably unjust deprivation of folk's value of the dollar (though maybe just if you consider it taxation..), but it cannot keep up with the fluctuations of outside markets, additional markets, assumes there is enough gold to go around, and all the usual arguments as to why the gold standard is just a libertarian dream, nothing more.

    And what is BitCoin if it is not another attempt at a gold standard? The giveaway is in the language when they are talked about as things that can be "mined", things that are naturally scarce, things that are difficult to move around! (Assume your customer has a computer + ISP, and assume that the peer-to-peer technology won't slow right down overtime...) But here's the hard truth: we need fiat money, otherwise we become defenseless against the problems that come from capitalism since there's no way to recirculate the money where it's really needed. Sure it means that you can take value from others just by printing the stuff, but it does mean a democracy has options to try to mend it's economic troubles in a more practical way (e.g. sub-prime mortgage crashes) without being severely lagged by the harder limitations of gold.

    If this is an incorrect interpretation I'd like to hear why.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Kal Zekdor (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 7:59pm

      Re:

      Yeah, there's a reason we got off the gold standard. The reason, though, why some people like the idea of a gold standard or BitCoin is Fiat currency is complicated. Anybody of reasonable intelligence can figure out the economic rules of BitCoin. Understanding all the effects and secondary effects and tertiary effects of Fiat currency takes a degree in macroeconomics. What happens if you introduce 10% more currency into circulation this year? Will it increase spending? Will it raise prices? Will it cause a panic? Hell if I know.

      We're creatures of patterns. Simple systems appeal to us.

      I think BitCoin was an interesting experiment, but I don't really think it will ever become "mainstream". (And I say that as someone who made ~$1000 during the early days.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      not a serf, 9 Nov 2015 @ 7:28am

      Re:

      "But here's the hard truth: we need fiat money, otherwise we become defenseless against the problems that come from capitalism since there's no way to recirculate the money where it's really needed."
      WOW
      what a slave mindset:
      "but who will do god`s work if not the leisure class??"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 7:34am

      Re:

      "Sure it means that you can take value from others just by printing the stuff, but it does mean a democracy has options to try to mend it's economic troubles in a more practical way (e.g. sub-prime mortgage crashes) without being severely lagged by the harder limitations of gold.

      If this is an incorrect interpretation I'd like to hear why."
      not you, no neighbour or no leader of the stupid masses should steal from you to give to his friend's mal-investment.

      -picking winners and loosers
      -missalocation of resources
      -redistributionism
      -subsidies
      -etc

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2015 @ 1:13am

    Bitcoin is nothing more than a digital version of fiat currency. No fiat currency has ever succeeded without oversight and support of a central bank.

    The idea might someday prosper, but its name will not be bitcoin.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      art guerrilla (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 3:59am

      Re:

      i don't get it: why fiats ? ? ?
      there are a lot of cars that are a lot nicer than fiats, like hyundais; so why not a ford currency, or a tesla currency ? ? ?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 7:12am

      Re:

      The thing is, gold is also a fiat currency. All money is -- the idea of money relies on the idea that the symbol of wealth equals wealth. Outside of certain industries, gold has no more value than aluminum or paper.

      You can't eat it, it makes a very poor blanket, you can't burn it for warmth, you can't build a house out of it and it only has value if people believe it does.

      Real wealth is the things you need to continue living, and the things that make life easier. Tools, houses, food, that sort of thing.

      Buying gold as an investment is all well and good so long as money is accepted in place of wealth. But in a crisis, where you're not sure if you have enough food to last until the good times come back, trading some of that food for worthless pieces of metal makes no sense -- the man who has piles of gold but no roof, no food, no warmth in a situation where belief in money breaks down is going to die.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2015 @ 2:22pm

        Re: Re: Ezek 7:19 (WEB)

        They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be as an unclean thing; their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of Yahweh: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels; because it has been the stumbling block of their iniquity.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jameshogg (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 7:40am

      Re:

      It's not fiat, because you can't just print a new BitCoin whenever you please. It's much more like a gold standard, where BitCoins need a lot of work to mine before you can circulate new ones, like gold.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jameshogg (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 7:50am

      Re:

      A "digital version of fiat currency" would be if the Federal Reserve accepted JPEG dollars, which only they are allowed to print, as legal tender. But policing people from making forgeries of the JPEG dollars would fail spectacularly, and such a silly idea would very quickly fall apart in society.

      But for some reason we all fall for a delusion that is something very similar. Ask yourself: what else is a system involving failed attempts at artificial scarcity, where you choose who is and who is not allowed to make copies in order to give the "money" value, where not just JPEG is legal tender but ANYTHING with the dollar sign on it is legal tender, yet is collectively, religiously believed by many to be a workable way of protecting property rights?

      Start asking more copyright economists this question and see if you can get any good rebuttals.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 10:57am

      Re:

      Bitcoin is not a fiat currency because there is no authority that sets its value.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 9 Nov 2015 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re:

        Bitcoin is not a fiat currency because there is no authority that sets its value.

        Not sure what you mean. Is there an authority that sets the value of US dollars? If so, the value compared to what?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2015 @ 6:48am

    They could always pass laws saying using and or supporting bitcoin makes you a terrorist. That usually works to criminalize ordinary people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 7:14am

      Re:

      So rename it MoneyBit. Problem solved.

      Unless the law describes exactly how BitCoin works, outlawing a name just results in a name change.

      The problem is that a lot of the mechanisms that make BitCoin work are also mechanisms built into the economies of many nations, including the US itself. Outlawing those mechanisms would kill every bank on the planet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2015 @ 10:22am

    It's about control, always.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    trixtag (profile), 8 Nov 2015 @ 10:12am

    Global Corporatization needs currency

    Control the money, control the politics. The SIFI cabal can only effectively control the world when they have their own currency and bitcoin can be that solution. Dimon might believe what he says, but Lloyd Blankfein down the street is already on the other side.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Arioch (profile), 8 Nov 2015 @ 6:14pm

      Re: Global Corporatization needs currency

      Quote: Mayer Amschel Rothschild

      "Give me control of a nations money supply, and I care not who makes it’s laws".

      Which is precisely what happened.
      I watch with great interest as systems like Bitcoin undermine this arrogance.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2015 @ 3:07pm

    There are strong banking laws (that the banks sometimes ignore) that Bitcoin may circumvent. Try removing $20K in your bank account. Know your customer laws are strict, go ahead and open a bank account for a 16 year old and see how much paperwork you must fill out. Anti Money Laundering laws track large denomination exchanges. Hell, if a company does business with another business and it totals over $900 in a given year, it must be reported.

    Bitcoin can defeat those laws and more. Do you really think the government will allow this to happen without serious changes made to it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 7:43am

      Re:

      just try
      -to move out of the country or
      -to escape failing governments like cyprus, greece, argentina, usa, venezuela, China

      with your savings,
      without being tax-raped or even pre-crime- jailed.

      just try that, I dare you,

      in such case bitcoin is one of the best options
      (if you do not own a huge yatch or a private jet)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 7:46am

        Re: Re:

        If you belong to the leisure class
        you can travel everywhere with your lambo, gold, silver, cash, and tons of drugs...
        as all your friends do, too.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    marcus (profile), 9 Nov 2015 @ 4:51am

    Any currency could fail.

    I don't see it as feasible for the US Government to shut down Bitcoin but I can see them try. Many alternative currencies such as the Liberty Dollar were raided by the US Government. I think the bankers may want to worry more about people losing faith in the US dollar. If people start to distrust the US Government in handling financial obligations such as paying off the national debt, people may decide to use alternative currencies. One reason Gold has enjoyed a bear market is because a lot of people are buying gold fearing that the US dollar could collapse. With inflation, the spending power of the dollar declines which means if you work where your wages have been stagnant for quite some time, you are actually getting a hidden demotion since the spending power of a dollar isn't what it was a couple of years ago or even longer. Eventually we might see the US Government make Gold hoarding illegal again. They will also try to block alternative currencies such as the bitcoin through legislation but it may fail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2015 @ 10:15am

    Can we stop JPMorgan instead please

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 12:05pm

    bitcoin shall be worth a dollar a satoshi 1 btc in 5-10 yrs will buy you a house its too powerful satoshi nakamoto = sephiroth

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 12:11pm

    why bitcoin holds is value is because in the event of no money supply/disruption people cant transport drugs as values are mixed up a farmer shall always be able to send heroin/meth/weed/cocaine/acid to obtain a method of barter but the user in the rich place wil always trade a store of value to obtain a bitcoin the only method to score drugs so bitcoin is pegged to these economies it was invented by the light bringer himself 100+ 5000+btc accounts so just wait ONLY METHOD OF BARTER YOUR WOMAN WILL SELL HER MODESTY FOR A FRACTION OF MY ELECTRONIC PULSE ARE DRUGS RUN SOCIETY you animals need the full extend of your nihlism unleash upon thy self fools abstain from folly

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 12:12pm

    foolish mudfarmer

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.