Nothing New Under The Sun, Bitcoin Edition

Bitcoin concept by Antanacoins. CC-By-SA, Flickr.

I was invited to speak at Texas Bitcoin Conference in Austin this past week. Due to my house arrest, I’ve been largely staying low key but felt I needed to make a statement, a strong one. I asked Rick if I could use his speech from the Stockholm 2006 pro-freedom demonstration and adapt it to Bitcoin, which he agreed to. The speech ended to a standing ovation, and although I was over Skype I could not help but burst into tears. Free knowledge, free the market, free the world!

Below is the text of the speech —

Friends, citizens, Bitcoiners:

There is nothing new under the sun.

My name is Charlie Shrem, and I speak to you from under house arrest.

During the last few weeks, we’ve seen several examples of legal outbursts. We’ve seen the police abusing the measures available to them. We’ve seen the actions of the financial services industry. We’ve seen high-profile politicians mobilizing in order to protect the financial and banking industry.

All of this is scandalous without parallel. That is why I stand here today.

The financial and banking industry wants to convince us, that it’s only about illegal payments, that it’s about protecting the integrity of the status quo. It’s a pretext. We need to look at the big picture, Bitcoin is about something entirely different.

To understand today’s situation in the light of history, we need to go 400 years back, back to when the church had a monopoly on culture and knowledge. What the church said, went. Pyramid communication. There is one person at the top, talking to a number of others down a pyramid. The culture and knowledge had a source, and that source was the church.

And may God have mercy on the one who dared to challenge the church’s monopoly on culture and knowledge! They were subjected to the most horrible legal abuse conceivable, at the time. Under no circumstances did the church allow the citizens to spread information on their own, they governed the whole law enforcement; prevention, punishment and harassment.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Today, we know the only right thing for the evolution of society was to let that knowledge go free. That Galileo Galilei was right. Even if he was infringing on the knowledge monopoly.

We’re talking about a time when the church went out in full force, promoting the idea that citizens didn’t have to, learn to read and write, since the priest would tell them everything they needed to know anyway. The church knew what it would mean if they lost their control.

Along came the printing press.

Suddenly, there was not only one source of knowledge to listen to, but several. The citizens – who had started to learn to read – could take part of unsanctioned knowledge. The church was furious. The royal families were furious. The British royal family even went so far as to forging a law that said only printers specially approved by the royal family were allowed to print books, multiply knowledge and culture for the citizens. Sound familiar?

Then, a couple of hundred years passed by, and the freedom of the press was created. But everywhere, the same old model of communication still existed: one person talking to the many. There were different people to listen to, but everywhere, one person talking to the many. This was used by the state in introducing a system of a “liable publisher”.

The citizens will indeed be able to take part of knowledge, but there will always be someone to answer if they – oh, horrible thought – take part of the wrong knowledge.

And this is what is changing in the Bitcoin culture. today. Because the Internet no longer abides by this model. We no longer simply use old legacy systems given to us from the top down. We upload at the same time too and we want to transact instantly to others. Knowledge and culture have, amazingly, lost its central point of control.

This is the central point of my whole address, so I’m going to go into it, in deeper detail:

Transacting is the old mass medium model where this is a central control point, a control point with a responsible party liable, with the risk of their license being revoked and so on and so forth, where everyone can transact from the central point of control. The license holder can give and take away rights as they see fit. We’ve seen when you have central control, this equals central points of failure. We saw a few months ago, VISA Card’s central data center in Canada go offline. Any Canadian with a VISA debit or credit card was disconnected from their finances. Life virtually screeched to a halt, and this was only for a mere 24 hours. We saw 110 Million customers of Target Stores have their identity and financial information stolen, and now their financial future is at the heals of a bunch of hackers.

Payment and transactional monopoly. Control.

Inherently, Bitcoin transacting constitutes simultaneous up- and downloading from every connected person, and completely lacks central point of failure or control; it’s a situation where all payments and information organically flows between millions of different people at the same time. Fundamentally different. This is something completely new in the history of human communication and Bitcoin is one of the largest socio-economic experiments humankind has ever seen.

And this is exactly why we are going to change the law. We started Bitcoin Foundation for this exact purpose. Mutual dialogue with the government on creating safe regulations around Bitcoin companies, that do not allow for stifling innovation. I applaud those regulators such as Mr. Ben Lawsky of NY who see this vision, and is committed to keeping innovation alive and letting it thrive. Before I stepped down as CEO, my company BitInstant was honored to have worked with his office for over a year. Illegal payments are a real threat, however using it as an excuse to ban or to assert control is merely a distraction. There are those who are set on bringing down our culture.

During the last few weeks, we’ve seen how far a player is prepared to go to prevent loss of control. We saw the constitution being violated. We saw young MIT students pressured with government subpoenas merely for creating a proof of concept. I saw my personal freedom lost when I was arrested off the plane, stripped naked, searched and my body violated, handcuffed, and escorted out of JFK airport while returning home from a trip with my girlfriend. We saw how forced measures and restrictions of personal integrity were used by the police, not for fighting crime, but for the obvious purpose of harassing the ones involved and everyone who has been anywhere near them.

There is nothing new under the sun, and history always repeats itself. This isn’t about illegal payments. This is about control over transactional culture and knowledge, because he who controls them, controls the world.

The financial and banking industry has tried to shame us, telling us what we’re doing is illegal, that we’re pirates. They’re trying to push us down under some rock. Look around you today – see how they’ve failed. Yes, we’re pirates. But one who thinks being a pirate is a shame is mistaken. It’s something we’re proud of.

Because we’ve already seen what it means to be without a central point of culture. We’ve already tasted, felt and smelled the freedom of being without a central monopoly of transactional culture and knowledge. We’ve already learnt to read and write.

And we’re not about to forget how to read and write, just because it’s not fit in the eyes of the laws of the yester year.

My name is Charlie and I’m a Bitcoiner. Let’s change the world!

Discussion

  1. USD

    Rick – I’m a bit perplexed that you would lend your excellent writing to Charlie. The bitcoiners claim to want to change the world but actually the only thing they seem to do is open up more venues to sell more bitcoins.

    When Overstock takes in bitcoins they immediately exchange for USD. How is that changing the world? Overstock knows there are millionaires in the bitcoin arena and they are out to get a pie of that but ONLY if they can exchange for USD.

    They (bitcoiner insiders) are just another form of snake oil salesmen (according to Charlie they are the BITCOIN BROTHERHOOD.)

    Show me a real bitcoin economy~~~~it ain’t happening!

    TAK!

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      I would disagree. I see extremely strong parallels with the early days of the file-sharing conflict, where the old centralized world just failed to grasp what was going on, and was basically only capable of resorting to violence and badmouthing.

      This is admittedly a technology in its infancy, and since money is involved, there’s a lot more stakes than in the noncommercial sharing of culture and knowledge. But the power play against the decentralized threat is pretty much identical.

      Cheers,
      Rick

      1. xavier

        >This is admittedly a technology in its infancy, and since money is involved, there’s a lot more stakes than in the noncommercial sharing of culture and knowledge.

        May I disagree with that opinion uniquely in your post ? This completely depends on where you stand. Is transfering money freely much more important than knowledge ? Not sure.

    2. Charlie Shrem

      Tak,

      You are wildly incorrect. I’d love to debate you, but please get your facts right and quit the personal attacks.

      You said:
      “When Overstock takes in bitcoins they immediately exchange for USD. How is that changing the world? Overstock knows there are millionaires in the bitcoin arena and they are out to get a pie of that but ONLY if they can exchange for USD.”

      Why you are wrong:
      Overstock.com has also recently started holding on to the bitcoins that it receives from customers instead of immediately exchanging the virtual currency for dollars, Mr. Byrne said. Many merchants don’t keep their bitcoins because they want to avoid currency risk from bitcoin’s price fluctuations.

      “It is my interest to see a robust parallel monetary institution,” said Mr. Byrne, a supporter of limited government oversight.

      The company will keep 10% of its revenue from bitcoin sales in the virtual currency, with the intent of eventually offering it as payment for vendors and employees. Mr. Byrne said the company now holds bitcoins worth “tens of thousands” of dollars.
      Source: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304815004579418962232488216?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304815004579418962232488216.html

      Find some facts dude, and we can debate.

      Charlie (the guy who wrote the speech)

      1. Peter

        Charlie, best of luck to you man

    3. Datavetaren

      Bitcoin is just the beginning of more things to come. If you study its technology and the things it is capable of it will blow your mind away. Fiat/traditional banking (including electronic banking) are ancient technologies in comparison. Bitcoin is to money what the Internet was to the printing press. You can come up with interesting things that you can build on top of it. As an example: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=426689.0 (Electronic Referendums with Checks and Balances)

      1. Zirgs

        Bad example.
        BTC tech could be used for something like that, but NOT the BTC blockchain itself.
        It’s simply not designed for that.
        And as people mentioned in the comments – vote buying would be rampant.

        1. Datavetaren

          It’s not a bad example; it’s a perfect example!

          You said that Bitcoin wasn’t designed by that, but that doesn’t matter! The post describes in detail how to technically do it using the Bitcoin blockchain. Furthermore, the example is precisely why Bitcoin is necessary (and not just the BTC tech itself). The reason is that you need great computing/hashing power in order to make the network trustful. There’s no chance that you can get the same network effect if money is not involved and that’s why it is crucial to use Bitcoin as the fundamental base.

          Regarding buying votes this could be a problem, but this is no different than voting today via snail mail (which is possible in many countries of the world). If buying votes becomes a problem you can easily modify the procedure so that the random withdrawal of the ballot and casting the vote happens in the same room at the election day.

    4. Peter

      Posts like this dont make any valid point, they only show your ignorance and the fact that you and millions of others are so brainwashed that your mind cannot even attempt to wrap itself around an idea like bitcoin, so u just bash it.

      Don’t you realize that you are being blatantly scammed and stolen from by the banks every day?

      Unfortunately most people dont, but for those of us who do and want to do something about it, bitcoin holds promise.

      You can continue to be a sheep, but unless you learn about a new idea and can make a valid argument against it, i’d recommend keeping your worthless thoughts to yourself.

      1. Method

        You say “valid argument” and your while post is dedicated to calling someone an idiot. How’s this for an idea – have you seen anyone run a non-profit bitcoin exchange? Nope.
        Most of these people only care about changing the world if that gets them rich in the process. That’s why Wells Fago and Bank of America are suddenly interested in bitcoin – they see potential. Potential to do the thing they have always done, only with less oversight. That’s why the Winklevoss twins own a ridiculous amount of bitcoin.
        I’m not against virtual currencies, but I’ve seen these corporate types with a twinkle in their eye. They know the system is flawed, and they will get rich while someone else is fixing it.

        If there really IS a non-profit exchange, point me in its direction, and I will apologise.

        1. Peter

          Not sure where you got the idea that I believe bitcoin exchanges should be not for profit; they provide a service and should be compensated. Contrary to your beliefs, the end goal of many bitcoin proponents is not purely personal financial gain, it’s good guys vs. bad in a struggle to help make the world a better place. If you don’t understand the potential of the technology or the goals of many bitcoin supporters, I obviously don’t have time to explain them to you here.

          Also, I did not call anyone an idiot, but when someone makes a post bashing bitcoin proponents without making any valid arguments, I will say something every time.

        2. Scary Devil Monastery

          “How’s this for an idea – have you seen anyone run a non-profit bitcoin exchange? Nope.”

          If you ever do you can be assured there’s a scam in it. The very concept of a capitalist currency revolves around the idea that there is profit or efficiency gains in handling it and using it.

          The main difference between bitcoin and a “normal” fiat currency is that the the fiat currency is backed by heavy-handed government manipulation.

    5. HypnoticGuy

      This is a lie. Misinformation. The owner of Overstock.com actually cashed in “several million dollars worth” of the gold he was holding. . . to convert it to Bitcoin”. He isn’t immediately cashing in bitcoin for dollars. He is holding bitcoin.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/02/21/for-overstock-ceo-bitcoin-isnt-just-a-publicity-stunt/

      Stop making up fiction and posting it as fact!

    6. Nhurch

      The electric car is a good example. First came the GM electric car in 1996, no one really knew about it then It got crushed, and GM went back to crude oil (big mistake) – next Toyota came out with the hybrid for convenience who was 10 years ahead of GM- now we have the Nissan leaf.

      Who are the snake oil salesman? the developers of lithium batteries?

      The chance of electronic cash not happening its as likely as going back to wood burning stoves.

    7. panoterm

      My company accept bitcoin, pay employees with bitcoin on request and we are looking for partners that accept bitcoin too, does this satisfy your real economy request?

      Overstock may change to USD now, in order to be compliant with current taxes laws, but once the legal framework is more clear, they might consider keeping a part of their profits in bitcoin.

      1. Rick Falkvinge

        You typically wouldn’t need to convert to USD to be tax code compliant – you’d just need to declare in USD equivalent value. A lot of companies deal with different currencies, after all.

  2. Charlie Shrem

    *Correction.

    I wrote “write and quick the personal attacks.”

    I meant to say “right and quit the personal attacks”

    My apologies, was typing fast

    Charlie

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      (Edited as requested. -Rick)

  3. Zirgs

    We saw 110 Million customers of Target Stores have their identity and financial information stolen, and now their financial future is at the heals of a bunch of hackers.
    —————————
    Shermhead forgot to mention that hackers stole database and passport scans from Gox.

    Most BTC businesses are founded with one aim in mind.
    To steal your money. Because it’s easy and legal.

    BTC protocol is defective by design and must be changed to be usable by normal people.
    6% of TOTAL BTC supply are gone god-knows-where and nobody knows what the hell happened.
    No other currency allows shit like that to happen.

    1. Anonymous

      Zirgs, stop spreading unverified information as if it were fact.

      You wrote – “Shermhead forgot to mention that hackers stole database and passport scans from Gox”.

      Can you please provide proof of this actually happened? A claim by some supposed hacker in IRC chat is NOT proof. If a claim in IRC chat was all that was required to verify facts this world would be a very different place!

      Stop hollering WOLF when the only proof you have of the existence of a wolf is that you read on the internet somewhere that somebody’s uncle’s friend’s wife saw a wolf!

    2. HypnoticGuy

      Zirgs, could you please point out specifically how “BTC protocol is defective by design”, as you have said?

      Or is that just something you heard on Fox News?

    3. Scary Devil Monastery

      Why am I not surprised to see one of the copyright cultists spouting nonsense without factual backing again?

      In the real world in 2009, scammers managed to steal most of the private pension funds of the average US citizen and got away with it due to being “too big to fail”. MtGox is literally nothing compared to the massive swindle and subsequent extortion arranged and completed by Lehman, AIG and Fannie Mae. The bail packages thrown into the market in order to save the economy came at a taxpayer cost which would cover MtGox a hundred times over.

      After which the chief instigators, being the only ones able to “fix” the situation were paid staggering sums in bonuses rather than being – as you would have expected – prosecuted six ways from sunday.

      What we’ve seen is ONE major player turning out to be unreliable. I assume after Maddox you similarly advised people not to deal in USD?

      “BTC protocol is defective by design and must be changed to be usable by normal people.”

      Ah, so everyone who designs in the protocol, analyzes the protocol, reviews the protocol and deals in the protocol is wrong. You, being a complete and utter layman, however, can claim it’s defective by design?

      “No other currency allows shit like that to happen.”

      Except every real-world currency around, for the last few thousand years. Where were you during the last decade? Under a rock trying very hard not to read any news?

      Money vanishes in staggering amounts every day. In the EU recently it was determined that almost 5% of the EU budget could not be accounted for. If you want missing money, right there you have one MtGox per year.

      The aforementioned bailout packages? a thousand MtGox’es. In USD. Because that’s the amount of “real” money which evaporated in the toxic assets handled by the major banks.

  4. […] his speech, which he says he adapted from a 2006 address by Pirate Party leader Rick Falvinge, was published in full on Falkvinge’s website. “This is something completely new in the history of human communication and Bitcoin is one of […]

  5. […] his speech, which he says he adapted from a 2006 address by Pirate Party leader Rick Falvinge, was published in full on Falkvinge’s website. “This is something completely new in the history of human communication and Bitcoin is one of […]

  6. […] his speech, which he says he adapted from a 2006 address by Pirate Party leader Rick Falvinge, was published in full on Falkvinge’s website. “This is something completely new in the history of human communication and Bitcoin is one of […]

  7. […] his speech, which he says he adapted from a 2006 address by Pirate Party leader Rick Falvinge, was published in full on Falkvinge’s website. “This is something completely new in the history of human communication and Bitcoin is one of […]

  8. Aris Katsaris

    Rick, I also disapprove of you supporting Charlie Schrem in any way, whether by giving him space here or lending your writing to him.

    He and the whole top level of the “Bitcoin Foundation” are grossly responsible for the MtGox disasters and the thousands of lives they’ve ruined. The Bitcoin Foundation as a whole has seemingly acted as nothing but a gang where shady people gave them money, and the Bitcoin Foundation gave them legitimacy and support, no matter how much they hurt the average bitcoin user.

    Charlie Schrem in particular was tweeting in support of his friends at MtGox, ensuring that the deposit flows to MtGox kept flowing, up to the very last day.

    The one and ONLY thing Charlie Schrem and his fellow Foundationist should be saying right now is an answer to “What were you doing at the Foundation to prevent catastrophes like MtGox? Why weren’t said attempts successful?”

    Until we have a satisfying response to this, I suggest you don’t lend your support to these scam-artists and other such scoundrels. The reputation of the Bitcoin Foundation is mud and justifiably so.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Rick, I also disapprove of you supporting Charlie Schrem in any way, whether by giving him space here or lending your writing to him.

      You are of course free to approve or disapprove of anything you like, just as I am free to observe that I got to where I am today by not fearing what people would think about my actions.

      I have stood up for due process of law and will continue to do so without exception.

      That said, I do agree that Charlies’s support for Empty Gox was bad judgment – as was mine. However, Charlie has publicly apologized for this and explained how and where he was misled. That closes that chapter for me:

      If this whole thing is true, I stand corrected and have been lied to all along. We’ve all been lied too all along. I’m really sorry if I brought too much hope […] My coins in Gox are lost too. Long live Bitcoin!

      Cheers,
      Rick

    2. Charlie Shrem

      Hey,

      While I agree with you here, should be noticed I resigned way before this happened and I have been critical and outspoken to the board about the way this has been handled.

  9. Bananmannen

    The speech made sense after TPB. That was a clear cut case of an old industry not wanting to give up its privileges, and the court case against them was probably without legs, but at best very fishy.

    Charlie Shrem, however, may not yet be convicted but he is clearly not someone we want associated with bitcoins. Please read at least what has been leaked from the police investigation. Charlie boasts over (unencrypted) chat what a great scheme it is to sell bitcoins at a markup to SIlk Road traders. That’s some troubling evidence.

    Money laundering for druggies is money laundering, no matter how many times you call it free market. It is criminal and that’s why he’s in house arrest, not because some greater power feels threatened by him.

    In fact, Bitcoin is on a much quicker road to adoption than I would have expected. Investment firms are investing, I would not be surprised if banks join them soon. But in order to do that, there needs to be more serious companies involved and less money launderers and scammers. The fact that Shrem and MtGox, resepectively, is gone means we can take a huge leap forward. So please be careful who you lend out your words and your reputation to.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Charlie boasts over (unencrypted) chat what a great scheme it is to sell bitcoins at a markup to SIlk Road traders. That’s some troubling evidence.

      The only troubling thing I see there is the “unencrypted” part, which is bad opsec judgment in general. It is not illegal to trade on a particular marketplace, nor is it illegal to sell things at a markup, nor is it illegal to sell bitcoins to people who intend to buy contraband with them, regardless of where that would take place. That’s the exact opposite of money laundering, as I have explained before.

      Cheers,
      Rick

    2. Charlie Shrem

      >Charlie boasts over (unencrypted) chat what a great scheme it is to sell bitcoins at a markup to SIlk Road traders. That’s some troubling evidence.

      Actually, no.

      The chat in question merely says:
      me: wow, Silk Road actually works
      Just got my batch of Brownies
      reporter: haha
      they’re hiring a customer service rep
      me: haha I wanna apply
      The email’s I’d get would be holarious

  10. […] his speech, which he says he adapted from a 2006 address by Pirate Party leader Rick Falvinge, was published in full on Falkvinge’s website. “This is something completely new in the history of human communication and Bitcoin is one of […]

  11. Zirgs

    Welcome to the glorious future where you’ll be a slave of just 1000 people.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/927-people-own-half-of-the-bitcoins-2013-12?1
    Bitcoin has serious wealth distribution problems.
    I want this tech to succeed.
    I just don’t want to be a slave of this existing blockchain – we should kill it with fire.
    I don’t want to live in a future where most of the money is owned by scammers, thieves and drug dealers and transactions are controlled by small minority like ghash.io who has like 40% mining market share.

    After all BTC technology allows us to create infinite number of blockchains so there is no reason to keep the current one.

    1. Scary Devil Monastery

      “Welcome to the glorious future where you’ll be a slave of just 1000 people.”

      Looking at any “normal” wealth distribution gives us the statistic that 90-95% of the wealth is still held by less than 10% of the citizenry.

      Let me reiterate what I asked before: Did you spend the last decades under a rock, strenuously avoiding news? Here, let me introduce you to the meme known as “The 1%”.

      “I don’t want to live in a future where most of the money is owned by scammers, thieves and drug dealers and transactions are controlled by small minority like ghash.io who has like 40% mining market share.”

      In short, you don’t want to live in a capitalistic market society like the one we have now? I can understand your emotions quite well, but your reasoning is unsound in the extreme. Bitcoins carries none of the drawbacks which aren’t already ubiquitous in accepted fiat currencies.

      The real thing you seem to be complaining about seems to be that because BTC happens to be simpler and less amenable to intransparent manipulation, you’d prefer the titanic con games perpetrated by the US and EU financial communities where you only see the fallout when the scam goes so pot-shaped your pension funds risk going with it unless your tax money goes into a massive whopper of a bailout?

      Not very bright.

      1. Bitdoge

        SDM: You’re in denial. The wealth distribution of bitcoin is far, far, far more poor than any first world country’s currency. The fact that so many thieves like Karpeles are the owners of so much of bitcoin is the biggest unspoken problem of Bitcoin.

        Let’s assume Karpeles stole 500,000 BTC. That makes him a holder of 4% of the total bitcoin wealth.

        If he were to own 4% of US Wealth, he would have 2 TRILLION dollars. 2,000 BILLION DOLLARS!

        Critical features for cryptocurrency that will succeed:
        – much wider distribution of wealth to create more interest, decreased volatility
        – better security features to decrease the influence of mining pools, decrease the need for centralization, and decrease the amount owned through theft

        Bitcoin is version 0.01. The future is bright for cryptocurrency, but it won’t be with Bitcoin.

        1. Scary Devil Monastery

          “SDM: You’re in denial. The wealth distribution of bitcoin is far, far, far more poor than any first world country’s currency. The fact that so many thieves like Karpeles are the owners of so much of bitcoin is the biggest unspoken problem of Bitcoin.”

          For a currency less than 10 years old that’s actually a pretty decent distribution. Will this distribution hold in twenty years time?

          “Let’s assume Karpeles stole 500,000 BTC. That makes him a holder of 4% of the total bitcoin wealth.”

          I refer to you the crash of 2009. As it turns out the majority fiscal players hold on to far more than a mere 4% of the western world’s currency.

          Karpeles is a result of being the sole player. Naturally, setting up one bank and exchange means that one bank holds most of the money.

          And means when the manager absconds with the keys to the vault, most of the money goes with him. Are you seriously trying to undermine the idea of bitcoin because a shortsighted market placed all their eggs in one single basket?

          “If he were to own 4% of US Wealth, he would have 2 TRILLION dollars. 2,000 BILLION DOLLARS!”

          And? all of the eggs, meet your basket. again. This is not the failure of bitcoin. It’s the lunacy of trusting one major player to retain ALL THE MONEY.

          “SDM: You’re in denial.”

          I’m in denial because I make the claim that bitcoin is not to blame over human problems? I’ll give you the courtesy of letting you ponder the likely outcome of, say, running EVERY USD transaction through one and the same fiscal player and see how the comparison plays out. Rest assured, a senior CEO will be making off with far more than a mere 2 trillion USD.

          “Bitcoin is version 0.01. The future is bright for cryptocurrency, but it won’t be with Bitcoin.”

          So taking, essentially, the same protocol and renaming it “Bitcoin 3.0” will mitigate the number of ways in which market actors can act like clueless sheep? Who’s in denial now?

          Does BTC have issues? Absolutely. Can they be solved? Absolutely.

          Will any solution, anywhere, resolve the fact that the markets consist of clueless sheep 99% of the time, eager and ready to be fleeced? Nope.

          MtGox was the result of one main reason and one alone – that it was the only player on the market. Without competition, there was no pressure at all to conform to a high standard. In that it very closely resembled the banks from the US vintage 1920.

  12. […] Read Shrem’s remarks in their entirety on Falkvinge’s website. […]

  13. […] his speech, which he says he adapted from a 2006 address by Pirate Party leader Rick Falvinge, was published in full on Falkvinge’s website. “This is something completely new in the history of human communication and Bitcoin is one of […]

  14. […] Nothing New Under the Sun, Bitcoin Edition […]

  15. […] over to my mainstream Twitter feed and almost feel bad for everyone missing out on this fascinating socio-economic experiment, as Bitcoin pioneer, Charlie Shrem, puts it. How can this momentum all be so isolated? A friend […]

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