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Writings by Eric Voorhees. Pretty spiritual. Has come far since the days of running gambling platforms. 

Substantial bitcoin holdings must put things in perspective. Not that I disagree on the fundamentally flawed nature of Bitcoin, just that is hard for me to buy into the moral higher ground from which he is trying to speak from. I also think he understates the technical challenges and overstates the potential in general. 

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Bitcoin is at once a political, social, economic, technological, and philosophical experiment rolled into one. From a technological perspective it has succeeded as evidenced by its persistence and its derivative blockchains. As a political experiment I think it is doomed to fail. The operating principles behind Bitcoin as a political experiment are that a) a central authority is not needed because out of the balanced and counterpoised interests of network participants consensus arises and b ) a central authority is necessarily a threat to the individual. Bitcoinistas see decentralized consensus as a general model for how society could be organized to protect us from "the man". 

The misstep is in assuming that consensus yields a desired outcome either at the group level or at the individual level. At the group level we have already seen this bitcoin network fork, twice (so clearly consensus was insufficient to meet the needs of all). At the individual level, users of the network are at the mercy of large and powerful miners, whales and others. In many ways the users of the Bitcoin network have fewer freedoms and less control than users of US cash. More broadly, in the US at least, the legal system is organized in part to protect the individual from the consensus of the many. We see the role of a central authority providing protections to the weak and vulnerable as a virtue. Who is there to protect the weak in Bitcoinland, consensus of the many?

Bitcoin is a useful technology but should not be seen as a general model for how society should be organized. 

Edited by cmbartley
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4 hours ago, cmbartley said:

Who is there to protect the weak in Bitcoinland, consensus of the many?

Bitcoin is a useful technology but should not be seen as a general model for how society should be organized. 

I think we agree very much. Thank you for the insight.

Overall, I think that it is quite vain if not selfish, for the (true) Bitcoinistas, to actually take the higher ground. Did they ask everyone else, if we want the traditional model broken? Maybe I don't agree. Maybe I'd much rather someone went after content and advertising. Or maybe all that technical know how and capacity, should be redirected to other low hanging fruit, like supply chains or intra-organizational structures and communication. Or maybe the electricity be given to the destitute. Whatever - the world has a lot of needs right now and I think that more crypto millionaires and pseudo philosophers and bitcoin forks, are definitely not one of them - especially when they come at such a high cost to the planet. If there's one thing I do particularly like and highlight for Ripple, is the Ripple/XRP 2.0. Once adoption gains traction, it is very likely that businesses and business models not possible today (or extremely difficult), will actually open up. Like the internet did (however imperfectly) for information. The world can and must change.

I feel there is generally a lot of vanity, greed and selfishness shrouding much of the Bitcoin decisions making (alt-coins aside). To the extent that they are inflicting self-harm (personally not concerned with that), but also potentially impacting negatively, the short term potential of blockchain. 

My opinion is not restricted to the above. But for the sake of ease of readership, I'll leave it at that for now. Thanks again !

Edited by kuyu
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