Bitcoin has become too big to fail.
I’ve got to admit, when I first heard about Bitcoin and what the crypto mission was, I was sceptical.
I now think I was wrong.
Remember, Bitcoin (like most of the alt-coins in the crypto universe) is an alternative currency. That’s what it seeks to be. An alternative to the dollars and coins in your pocket.
(Lol. Who even uses hard currency these days? Who even has pockets? Am I right, ladies?)
So when I first heard about a bunch of tech-heads trying to disrupt the concept of money itself, I just laughed.
Governments derive a lot of power from the money they print. The money itself is backed up by the government’s monopoly on violence.
Disrupting money isn’t like Airbnb coming along and disrupting the accommodation business. This was different. It was an attack on governments themselves.
And so this is how I thought it would play out.
Governments, once Bitcoin got big enough, would see the threat for what it is, and squash it.
They would decide that they like have exclusive control over the money system, and just legislate it all away.
I now realise that this is naïve.
Or more to say, if the US government had rallied up the axis of evil … no wait. What were we? The coalition of the willing? That’s it. Anyway, if the US had rallied the troops and decided to kill it, I think they probably could have… if they had decided to do it six years ago.
Now, I think it’s probably too late.
The crypto world is just too big and too global now.
If you really wanted to kill crypto now, it would really be a global project. It would really need most nations on earth going hard in a coordinated and systematic way.
I have no idea what that might look like technically, and it might not even be possible without unplugging the internet, but it doesn’t matter. Coordinated and systematic action is not something world governments are famous for.
Imagine trying to get the US, China, Russia and Iran all on the same page with something like this. Forget about it.
And in that way, Bitcoin is out of the box.
All that governments can really do now is throw sand in the gears – make the on-ramps and off-ramps – the places where the crypto universes interfaces with legacy money – slow and glitchy.
But, that’s not a killer.
In fact, the crypto space has a mythology built around preserving the freedom of transactions from government attack.
So now, I reckon that if the US government announced that they were going to fight crypto – I don’t even know how – but even if they just announced that they were going to set up a committee to look at killing crypto – I think that would play so well to the crypto-mythology, that I actually think we’d see the price of Bitcoin spike!
6 years ago it would have knocked the wind right out of Bitcoin’s sails. Today, I reckon it would cause the price to launch.
Bitcoin is just too big and too global now.
Time to get used to that.