Bitcoin - a threat to the government's Authuritah and must be crushed

alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior MemberPosts: 8,947 Senior Member

For those not familiar Bitcoin is a completely digital currency controlled by a decentralized computer program and not a single human. The program is set up to "mine" a certain number of new coins on a periodic basis and the total number of bitcoins that will ever exist is fixed. The currency is not and can not be controlled by any government and transactions cannot be tracked or at least not in any systematic way. There are exchanges where bitcoins can be exchanged for real currencies of many kinds.

The arguments in favor of such a currency are mainly that it is not subject to government money printing or inflation and it's an international currency not subject to the health of any single economy. Basically it has many of the same properties as gold as a medium of exchange but more easily transferred between individuals.

The arguments against it are that it's a completely made up currency (aren't all currencies completely made up?). The value fluctuates quite a bit so it's not a great store of fixed value (although can be an interesting medium for speculation). It makes it easier for criminal enterprises to hide and fund their activities. This last point is no doubt true and probably the primary reason that major governments will seek to destroy it. It will be interesting to see how successful they are in achieving their goal.

Since there is no centralized server or program controlling the currency there is no way to directly attack it. It seems the only way is to go after the exchanges that allow people to trade bitcoins for real money. Most of these exchanges are located overseas though and like file sharing websites there are many of them and new ones pop up all the time. Anyway for the libertarians and techies among us this should be an interesting story to keep an eye on.
Yesterday the Department of Homeland Security served the Dwolla mobile payment service with a court order requiring it to immediately cease all account activities with the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange.
"Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
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