Comment: Accentuate the affirmative

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Accentuate the affirmative

I have read a lot about Bitcoin lately, and I see mostly two things.

The mainstream media keeps spreading negative lies about Bitcoin, which get repeated and refuted to death. For example, they talk about its wild price fluctuations. Have you ever seen a chart of the price of silver? Bitcoin is tame by comparison, and the bigger it gets, the less it fluctuates. The wild "crash" of 2011 saw the price drop about 40%, and it took about 7 months to get back where it had been. That move was tiny in comparison to the Tech and housing bubbles.

Another thing they always bring up is its use for illegal activities (most of which should not be illegal anyway, but that's another story). Bloomberg today said one downside of Bitcoin is that there are supposedly $2 million worth of illegal drug purchases in Bitcoin every month. Seriously? We should all abandon Bitcoin because 0.005% of the global illegal drug trade is paid for in Bitcoin? That's the best argument you can come up with?

The other thing I see is people trying to defend Bitcoin by explaining the technical details. It takes several hours to fully understand the details, kind of like learning how the Fed works, but without the nausea. All most people need to know is that it's suitable to function as a global currency, and cannot be created or controlled by any government. The algorithms are published, and the software is open source, available for all to view and validate, so there are no hidden beneficiaries.

Yes, the ones who get in early stand the most to gain (just like with fiat currencies), but since inflation is strictly controlled by the algorithm, unlike quantitative easing, this is a one-time inequity. Those who risk today get rewarded if Bitcoin becomes the global currency. Those who wait simply benefit from having a complete separation of currency and state.

But what I rarely see is people talking about the advantages of a cybercurrency. With Bitcoin, you can easily send any amount of money (that you own), anywhere in the world, any time of night or day, with minimal transaction fees (30 cents or less), and have the transaction confirmed in about an hour. Compare that to bank transfers that take several days, or wire transfers that cost $35 or more.

The amazing thing is that individuals can interact directly, across the globe, with all the advantages of an uncounterfittable version of cash. There are no banks involved to rack up fees and collect interest while your money is in transit.

Merchants will be delighted to know that the transfers are irreversible. You can ship your goods the same day without fear of bounced checks, chargebacks, or disputes.

If the buyer wants protection from a possibly unscrupulous unknown vendor, he can make payment through an escrow service, a mutually-trusted independent third party who, for a small fee, holds onto the money until any disputes are resolved.

Money is one of the greatest inventions of all time. It allows bartering across time and space, which makes advanced civilization possible. The biggest problem with money is that governments control and abuse it. Bitcoin is an advanced form of money that solves that problem, and many others.

Bitcoin is like the Internet 20 years ago. It's a great technological advance, but so far, only a few people see it's true potential, or even know it exists. Congratulations, you are one of the lucky few!