The Bitcoin Smear Campaign

March 12th, 2014   Submitted by Seth King

Bitcoin-smearBitcoin’s biggest hurdle is not technological or legal; it’s social. I’ve been very bullish on Bitcoin’s future for over two years. In that time it’s had many ups and downs and many hiccups. None of them have ever fazed me in the slightest or made me afraid. That is until now. Over the last few weeks there has been a relentless smear campaign by the mainstream media that threatens to relegate Bitcoin to the dustbin of history. It matters not that Bitcoin is a superior technology with endless potential. As capitalists we know that value is subjective. And if the vast majority of people hate Bitcoin we’ll spend the rest of our lives living under fiat tyranny. Let me explain.

The Propaganda

Bitcoin has suffered a ton of bad press lately from a number of angles. Whether it’s all coincidence or conspiracy matters not. The establishment is controlling the narrative.

Here is a short list of their favorite talking points:

  • Bitcoin’s price is too unstable and/or just lost half of its value
  • Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme
  • Bitcoin is used for money laundering, child pornography, terrorism, and drugs
  • Bitcoin Foundation member arrested on money laundering charges
  • $400,000,000 lost or stolen from Bitcoin’s largest exchange
  • Alleged creator of Bitcoin denies all involvement

The consequences

I want you to try to imagine two things for me. First, I want you to put yourself into the shoes of an average westerner. You’re not a libertarian. You’re not an activist. You’re just a person trying to get by and feed your family. Next, I want you to imagine what your opinion of Bitcoin would be if your first and only impression(s) of Bitcoin were what you’ve seen by the mainstream media.

If you’re honest with yourself you’d admit that Bitcoin would be viewed very poorly.

The race

The average person falls into one of three categories:

  1. People who understand and appreciate Bitcoin
  2. People who do not understand and dislike Bitcoin
  3. People who have never or barely heard of Bitcoin and have no strong opinions

There are two groups of highly motivated factions:

  1. Libertarian-minded individuals promoting Bitcoin
  2. The establishment denigrating Bitcoin

There is a race between these two factions. The race is this: to convert as many people as possible over to their side. If the establishment can brainwash the masses into distrusting and disliking Bitcoin then the government can ban it. This does not mean that the establishment can kill Bitcoin. What it does mean is that they could force it underground. Imagine no longer being able to purchase goods from legal businesses. Then Bitcoin would be relegated to the drug trade, money laundering, and other activities which would only reinforce the establishment’s line that Bitcoin is for criminals.

However, if the liberty-minded can manage to get the masses to fall in love with Bitcoin, any future attempts to ban Bitcoin by the establishment would be met with as much fury as we can imagine would happen were the government to ban the internet.

Our response

The stakes are high. Time is of the essence. We cannot rest on Satoshi’s laurels and expect Bitcoin to sell itself. We must be better than the establishment. And that’s a tall order. The establishment recognizes the threat of Bitcoin. We may have snuck under the radar for the first four years, but I assure you they are fully aware now. They will pull no punches in attacking Bitcoin. Expect continued escalation from both sides until we have secured victory or suffered defeat.

Our tactics

We cannot simply sit behind our computers and write positive comments about Bitcoin under very negative mainstream media articles. We have to proselytize Bitcoin to our family, friends, and colleagues; focusing our attention not on those who hold a negative view of Bitcoin but on those that are neutral. But more than just talking, we need to give. We need to physically help them set up their first Bitcoin wallets. We need to give them their first bitcoins for free. Give them enough free bitcoins so that they can purchase something meaningful from an online retailer, like Overstock.com. Walk them through the entire process. Bitcoin cannot be fully understood until it is used. Do not stop helping them until you see it click in their heads. Consider it buying them Christmas or birthday presents. Yes, you’ll spend hundreds of dollars. I assure you it’s a very small price to pay to ensure Bitcoin’s success. The alternative is unthinkable.

 

40 Responses to “The Bitcoin Smear Campaign”

  1. Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

    In the mean time I don’t like our chances, I think we should be prepping for defeat. Assuming we lose Bitcoin, what’s our move?

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      I like our chances. I think you misunderstood the intent of this article. It wasn’t meant to be defeatist. It was meant to be motivating. If Bitcoin loses legitimacy in the eyes of the people we’re fucked, plain and simple. There is no backup plan. Precious metals will not save us.

      • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

        I think you misunderstood my comment. I’m not being defeatist, I just don’t want to have all of my hens in a single coup. If the wolf gets into it and kills all the hens we’re fucked but if have our hens spread out in multiple coups then it’s not as devastating when the wolf gets in.

        Bitcoin is the hens.

        • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

          That is to say that Bitcoin is one coup of hens.

          • DiocletianNo Gravatar says:

            Perhaps the hens in the chicken coop will stage a successful Bitcoin coup, with the roosters’ help. If–the horror !–the government prevails, they’ll be clucked !

  2. Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

    We can retry in a few years. I suppose, few cosmetic changes and go for the re-sale.

  3. ErvNo Gravatar says:

    The media campaign isn’t about brainwashing the sheeple (that ship sailed a long time ago), it’s about laying the groundwork for action from the IRS/SEC/FTC and FBI. Bitcoin is going to go the way of the Liberty Dollar when it’s all said and done. Large quantity holders will be incarcerated for money laundering, counterfeiting, and/or securities fraud while retailers will get “investigated” for tax fraud.
    Also, don’t be surprised when the NSA figures out how to infect a BTC wallet…

    Michael has a valid question, what is the fallback plan? My vote would be precious metals.

  4. AnonNo Gravatar says:

    >The establishment denigrating Bitcoin

    N-ah.

    There is just demand for scary stories about new and unfamiliar technology among conservative-minded people, and media-business that just ready to fulfill it.

    I am shure establishment is not afraid of Bitcoin yet, because it still is not banned.

  5. StatelessNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not worried. Banning Bitcoin doesn’t stop Bitcoin. It just slows it down. And it only slows it down in the country that bans it. All Bitcoin needs is one country, just one country to allow it to grow for it to become a dominant power. And even if every country in the world banned Bitcoin, it still would not be stopped, it would just take longer. Also, the IRS does not want Bitcoin banned, because then they know they won’t get their taxes from those that use it illicitly.

  6. VanmindNo Gravatar says:

    Back in the halcyon BBS days, people were far less likely to fall for such scams. Nowadays, when the vast majority of people online are “what does this button do?” types, there is much gullibility about technology.

    Bitcoin is an example of such gullibility. Far better to heap shame upon James Turk until he reaffirms GoldMoney’s inter-account transferability. Then his PM competitors would do likewise (or perhaps one might be first to do so) and sound digital currencies would flourish. Bitcoin is not in any way sound.

    Over twenty years ago I introduced the world’s first gold-backed e-currency as a proof-of-concept for an overarching business model I was developing. I had no desire to flesh out the concept (too much work to be done elsewhere), and was thrilled when GoldMoney came along to offer the same kind of commercial service — a bit after e-gold which was a bit after me (although each of those was a serious business model whereas mine was just a proof-of-concept for a “bigger picture” business model). Then, little by little, Turk volunteered to become the NWO’s b*tch and now GoldMoney is no better than any other storage facility.

    …which nevertheless is still better than bitcoin.

  7. GregNo Gravatar says:

    Banning Bitcoin will be like trying to ban the internet. How does one take out all the nodes? I have more faith in the expertise of Bitcoin coding freelancers than I do in the ability of government agencies to kill it.

    Driving it underground will not make it go away. As more and more retailers start accepting it, it will gain even more legitimacy. Just keep asking, “Do you accept Bitcoin?”

    I just hope it becomes excepted without having to change all the features that make it desirable as a currency.

  8. Martin BrockNo Gravatar says:

    Seth seems to worry less about a Bitcoin ban than about a Bitcoin yawn. The vast majority of people have never used it and don’t see the point, and all the negative publicity about large price swings and huge losses in failed exchanges does little to encourage them. The one thing people want in their money is stability.

    As capitalists, we know that destruction is creative. The failure of Bitcoin is not the end of digital money or the end of stateless money, much less the end of the world. Expecting Bitcoin to be the last word in cryptocurrency is like expecting the Wright Flyer to be the last word in aviation.

    Bitcoin’s technical weaknesses are real, but technical weaknesses are opportunities to innovate. Treating a new technology like a holy crusade is senseless.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      The problems we’re experiencing have nothing to do with Bitcoin’s protocol and everything to do with human stupidity.

      Not even a perfect protocol would be unsusceptible to human error.

      • Martin BrockNo Gravatar says:

        A protocol can be more or less susceptible to human error, so major failures, like the failure of Mt Gox, is a weakness of the protocol. The sort of anonymity that Bitcoin provides is also a weakness. Maybe you want completely anonymous transactions, but most people in most transactions value security and stability over anonymity. Most buyers online don’t want an irreversible payment, much less an anonymous payment, before they receive a product for example.

        That the Bitcoin protocol doesn’t incorporate elements of a trust network is a weakness of the protocol. Ripple is an improvement in this regard, and it stands to gain by Bitcoin’s failure. The extremely inelastic supply of Bitcoins is also a weakness. Peercoin is an improvement in this regard. Even on the anonymity front, which is valuable in niche markets, Zerocoin is an improvement. If Zerocoin emerges later this year, I expect it to replace Bitcoin in the black market online.

        Everyone with an objection to Bitcoin is not a simple rube who doesn’t understand the technology. This assumption blinds to you to the countless improvements in digital currency that inevitably will occur. Advocates of freedom should celebrate these improvements, not try to organize a monopoly of the one, ideal solution. Monopolies always fail eventually, and this failure is the best thing about freedom.

  9. Seth,

    » Bitcoin is used for money laundering, child pornography, terrorism, and drugs

    – I have one question, do you know where I can still spend my stolen bitcoin on drugs please? I would be willing to cut you in – Thanks!

  10. rob frostNo Gravatar says:

    The people who are buying bitcoin in droves do not think the mainstream media is relevant anymore, so the MSM can smear all they want.

  11. JdLNo Gravatar says:

    I think Mr. King is getting a bit hysterical with this column. Bitcoin flourished before anybody in the MSM noticed it, and it can continue to flourish despite whatever publicity, good, bad, lies,or truth, the MSM spits out today.

    The stakes are high. Time is of the essence.

    Nonsense.

    We have to proselytize Bitcoin to our family, friends, and colleagues;

    You just go right ahead and do that, Mr. King; I’ll pass.

  12. Trost OslerNo Gravatar says:

    There is some concern, but it is important to remember that bitcoin is possibly even more valuable to non-Western cultures than it is to us. Our currency is fairly stable, and our banking system — corrupt as it is — at least pretends to serve us.

    In much of the rest of the world, banks are simple inaccessible or hopelessly corrupt. Furthermore, some currencies are even more volatile than bitcoin. If bitcoin becomes shunned in the West, that just means development will continue (albeit at a slower pace) elsewhere.

  13. Sam SpadeNo Gravatar says:

    At least Seth provided a link to Overstock.com, which is more than most of the “yay-nay” debates concerning the digital currency phenomenon accomplish. For many of us, eager to “…do our part…” in the quest for liberty, it’s not “anti-bitcoin” at all. It’s plain ignorance.

    I have no idea how an electronic “currency” is supposed to serve as a media for exchange out on the street — away from the compooter. In my zeal to proselytize free marketing I try to avoid a Jehovah’s Witness approach that merely causes hands to default to protect the wallet.

    I’m a trucker. I’ve yet to see a lunch counter or truck stop offering to accept bitcoin. And if one did, I don’t know how I would “pay for lunch” with with digital currency.

    Call me stupid if you like, but please avoid the Obamer tactic of accusing me of smearing something I do not understand. Sam

    • Ben JonesNo Gravatar says:

      It will still take quite awhile for Bitcoin to be commonly accepted on the street. However, its an acceptance problem rather than a technological one. In short, you just need an internet connection to do the exchange. I’m assuming truck stops have internet, and cell phone data plans are pretty common now. And while I have to admit my own ignorance when it comes to trucking, you can get internet service in your cabin if I’m not mistaken?

  14. You Missed SomethingNo Gravatar says:

    There was one key point overlooked in the article and commentary. The “Block-Chain” of every transaction of BC. That’s one hell of a thing to overlook. When BC started it was a minor issue, last time I checked it was a multiple gigabyte issue, it will continue to grow exponentially. That’s a serious concern for those without a good amount of money and interest in BC.

    Nobody is going to want to keep downloading the ever growing block-chain with every transaction. Seems the only solution would be a central repository for the block-chain, if and when that happens it opens the potential for serious manipulation and corruption.

    Further, BC has already been played like the stock market, people have bought in early, forced the price up, sold at the peak, and then bought them all up again after the collapse, this has happened more than once, and can be confirmed by close examination of the block-chain. The whole system is highly susceptible to hype and other bullshit.

    And I’m typing this as a person with experience with it, the fact is as an ethical person I can no more play around with BC than I can buy another product from some sadistic corporation that maintains slave camps in China or wherever.

    Not that those who love scamming people, and singing the praises of “Anarcho-Capitalism” care, but as a former BC convert, it has too many flaws, and draws to many ethical questions, without the MSM telling me a damn thing. And trust, when something reasonable get’s done with that block-chain, it’s liable to become so controlled, and imposed upon by the agencies someone else was mentioning that it will be little more than a gimmick, and no I don’t like the notion either.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      I hate to break it to you, but the size of hard disks for PC’s is also growing exponentially.

      Seeing as how you put “Anarcho-Capitalism” in quotes and denigrated the market, it’s safe to say your understanding of economics and liberty sucks. You’re not ready for Bitcoin. You should definitely stick to government money.

  15. Sam SpadeNo Gravatar says:

    “…You’re not ready for Bitcoin. You should definitely stick to government money…”

    Weak and frustrated attempt at intellectual blackmail.

    I fully understand the desire to huckster this seeming passageway to economic liberty and freedom. As much as you, I would dearly love to put the screws to “…government money…” (as the psychopaths who claim jurisdiction under the guise “U.S.Gov’t” have and will continue to screw “citizens”). But I’m nearly 80, electronically challenged and of limited resources — albeit an iron-fisted and crusty anarchist.

    I’ve been around too long to go out on blind dates, even when you younger guys and gals who’ve grown up around the digital world will attempt to infer that I “should” get into Bitcoin “…for the cause”. If I don’t, I’m a “bitcoin denier” (another in-vogue blackmail phrase).

    If I don’t understand it, it amounts to a pig-in-a-poke. For me. That’s not a “smear”. It’s a fact.

    And that’s my point. A good educator can bring clarity to even the most murky of subjects if the pupil is willing and the premise is sound. You in your essay presented a link to a place where one could, should s/he close her eyes and buy a wallet full of bitcoins, use them in the marketplace. I salute you for that. That’s a beginning.

    Most of those proselytizing bitcoin don’t have the “hands-on” approach to us nincompoops who would eagerly “support” digital currency if they could grasp it mentally.

    I submit bitcoin needs some good educators. Sam.

    .

  16. Ben JonesNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting timing on this article. I just helped out my brother with a deposit that he desperately needed, and took the opportunity to introduce him to Bitcoin. Got him signed up with Coinbase in a matter of minutes, and he was amazed at how much money I could sent almost instantly, practically for free.

    I think a good way of spreading the word is to exclusively use Bitcoin when engaging in charity(which you should be if you’re a good free market voluntarist).

    • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

      That’s funny, and timely, because I just helped out my sister by handing her a stack of fifties, which are of course backed by exactly the same commodity as every bitcoin in existence — the two are equally sound. What’s more, she encrypted those fifties immediately by placing them inside her wallet where no one else can see them. Like an equivalent bitcoin holder, I guess she’d better not leave that wallet just lying around any old place.

      Wait a sec, though, as it turns out the two are not the same. One considers its backing to be the very other one that itself has no backing. The “innovation” has turned out to be a one-off derivative of even worse worthlessness.

      Oh, but focus your minds instead, everyone, on the magic spell of digital encryption … ha. Keep your eyes on the bitcoin, you’re getting sleeeeeeeeepy.

      • Sam SpadeNo Gravatar says:

        Ah, but Vanmind, you’ve just targeted yourself as being among those who are “…in the smear campaign…” (as, I suppose, have I — without intent).

        Just because one dreams a thing to be true — and sound — does not make it so. And I perceive a lot of wishing and longing and dreaming among “libertarians” (yes, I used quotes for a purpose) for this phenomenon to materialize into something flawless and unblemished. Sam

      • Ben JonesNo Gravatar says:

        Handing him a stack of fifties would be rather difficult given that I’m in South America, and he’s in Illinois. So no, they’re not the same, and Bitcoin has a massive advantage in that regard.

        And now I’m curious about the implication you’re making about the nature of money here. If money must be backed by something, and gold is money, what is gold backed by?

        • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

          Wow, I never realized that wire services are no longer operational. Holy moly, though, it sure will be no time at all before the majority of transactions need to traverse entire continents. Cashless society, where have you been? There is such a huge demand for yet another unsound digital currency like bitc — ha, I couldn’t get that out without laughing.

          And when did I suggest, Mr. Dishonest, that non-backed money is not money? I merely reminded everyone that non-backed money is unsound money. Hell, if you consider MHighEnough, the money supply includes things like government bonds — and they sure ain’t sound instruments.

          As for money that circulates as day-to-day currency, any of the M0/M1 examples is precisely as sound as its backing is respected (that’s why fiat currencies collapse after a given population clues in that no government will ever do anything but lie and why bitcoin-backed-by-pseudonakamoto never had a chance in the first place). After trading in currency for the commodity that backs that currency, the commodity itself does not need to be backed by anything … Mr. Dishonest … because direct barter is literally at hand (as opposed to indirect barter by way of currency-as-middleman).

          All things are potential money — including pieces of paper backed by nothing but government promises as well as electronic digits backed by nothing but promises from spook-hackers that you can exchange those digits for some of the paper that is backed by nothing but government promises. During every direct barter exchange, there is a moment when both things being traded are acting as money. After the exchange, the things go back to being potential money that also can be used as whatever they happen to be (eggs, booze, a piano, etc.).

          Your curiosities appear to be either those of a kindergartner or those of someone deliberately trying to mislead others. Are you sure your name isn’t Ben Svengali? Perhaps something more en vogue, like Satoshi Svengali?

          • Ben JonesNo Gravatar says:

            You do understand that wire transfers have significant fees, and I was able to send the bitcoin for free, right? Or is your emotional bias so strong that you can’t acknowledge that advantage?

            ‘I merely reminded everyone that non-backed money is unsound money’

            So gold is unsound money? Before devolving into nonsensical personal attacks, you made some progress in acknowledging that anything can be used as money. Whether or not it is ‘backed’ by something does not determine its soundness or value, nor its function as money. ‘Backing’ only gives value or legitimacy to non-scarce tokens or receipts for sound/actual money.

            • Michael HendricksNo Gravatar says:

              What is “backed” money?

              Seems similar to reductio ad infinitum.

            • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

              Try again, kindergartner. Or should I instead call the “Ben Jones” avatar a deliberate misleader?

              Gold coins can be money/currency. Gold certificates can be money/currency. Gold itself is a commodity, and as such any talk of “backing” is nonsensical to the point of being suspiciously misleading. Gold is not “unsound money” precisely because gold qua commodity is not money at all, save those potential fleeting moments during a direct barter exchange when each thing being exchanged acts as money until the exchange is complete. A gold certificate, for example, has gold as backing, gold which needs no backing because gold itself is a commodity and not a form of money/currency.

              If one uses a certain weight of gold commodity (e.g. gold dust) during a direct barter exchange, then for a brief moment that commodity acts as money/currency in the same way that the other thing being exchanged acts, for a fleeting moment, as money/currency. After the exchange the gold goes back to being a simple commodity with a potential for being used again as a brief one-off money/currency during a direct barter exchange, or for being used as sound backing for a potential type of coin/certificate to be circulated as a new money/currency product. The “sound” part of gold’s asserted potential as backing for money is a grammarian interpretation based on thousands of parables & allegories featuring thousands of years of men & women claiming to respect gold above all other commodities as something easy and practical to use for wide ranges of trade (which makes any money/currency that gold backs almost as easy to use for trade).

              Now, suddenly, this avatar’s dishonesty veers toward “value” territory to try confounding people even more. I suppose some things, somehow, have intrinsic value? Backing “only gives value” to something else? How so, pretend smart-guy avatar? Would it be the same way that Social Contract “gives value” to government which “gives value” to fiat currencies which “give value” to bitcoin? Regress that back to where, exactly? To The Word itself as ultimate value-giver? By what mechanism does such an insanguination of value take place? Go on, use either a grammarian or dialectical interpretation to explain, either will suffice — or a combination of both if you’re up to it. For that matter, go ahead and use rhetoric, weak as yours appears to be.

              Seriously, just what other kinds of Randian nonsense are important parts of your laughable Svengali hypnosis show? Cue the theremin music and the ritualized mantra-chanting of “bit-coin … bit-coin … bit-coin …” Meanwhile, not even the products that get cleared through market processes bring any kind of objective “value” to the money that might be used for grease-the-skids facilitation. Goods and services can be paid for only with other goods and services, yet nothing could ever possibly have an objective value, whether that thing is token or substantial, facilitator or end-use retail bauble. Why all the dishonesty?

              Current fiat currencies might fail at everything except the “accepted far & wide” social programming spell, but bitcoin fails all around, fails every single economic or financial litmus test including a failure by spooks to enchant the massive masses into accepting yet another self-bankrupting swindle. Oh, wait, fails that is except for the conjuring of low bitcoin transaction fees, such a comfort … not.

              Why not? Because even drug dealers give out free samples, which — like the “low transaction fees” of bitcoin — are mere attempts at social programming, at “hooking” people. Established businesses such as wire transfer services have competed long enough that a certain ballpark figure is close at any given time to being the market-clearing transaction fee for each operation. Now, somehow, a brand new pricing paradigm has emerged based on virtual reality? Ridiculous, the drug dealers are setting a cashless trap, programming future-serf society with free samples of the drug known as unsound digital currency — unsound meaning “still can be thought of as money, but money backed by something even less respectable than a government promise: a promise to broker the respectability of a government promise.”

              So, who out there is dumb enough to fall for it?

              • Ben JonesNo Gravatar says:

                Have your ever heard of the term ‘projection’? I’m going to have to suggest you look it up. Every post you have made accuses me of of dishonesty (I don’t recall lying about anything) and being a ‘kindergartner’, when in fact you are the one clearly acting within that emotional age.

                Of course your verbal skills are quite advanced, but you’re exhibiting all the signs of an emotionally scarred child overcompensating with hyper intellectualism. For the sake of your emotional health, I think I’m going to disengage from this little chat.

                • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

                  Ha. Nice Soviet tactic, comrade.

                  Thank you, at any rate, for conceding defeat. Now back to kindergarten with you.

  17. Sam SpadeNo Gravatar says:

    Ben:

    “…Or is your emotional bias so strong that you can’t acknowledge that advantage?…

    Interesting educational element of libertarian wisdom concerning this “bitcoin” phenomenon. It emulates the “creationism/evolutionism” paradox: one will believe what s/he WANTS to believe. And if s/he is not careful s/he will deteriorate into personalities over the matter when the topic at hand makes no difference whatsoever. I was not there when biogenesis, spontaneous generation — or creation — took place. But I am here today. I think. And when you get to be my age that’s important.

    If I wire you a bitcoin for a cigar, and you mail me the cigar; I possess the cigar and you possess the bitcoin (I’m genuinely curious: can one possess a bitcoin???). Fair or not fair the exchange has been made and both parties might as well be satisfied. I can smoke the cigar or give it away, you can save or spend the bitcoin.

    I pronounce the debate to be a tie. Sam

  18. ReverendDracoNo Gravatar says:

    I admit I’m a complete tyro regarding Bitcoin. What I know about it could be legibly printed on a postage stamp.
    I am not, however, lacking experience in turning fake outrage against itself.

    I see 4 ways, using the list of examples presented in this article, of turning the anti-Bitcoin argument against the antis. I’m sure that others, with more knowledge, could figure out counters for the remaining 2.

    1. Bitcoin’s price is too unstable and/or just lost half of its value.
    A reminder that the fiat dollar has a value of between $0.018 & $0.023 of it’s last Constitutionally-regulated value.
    If that’s “stable,” then BTC is sitting on bedrock.

    2. Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme.
    A reminder that every time there is an influx of “new” fiat dollars, those who are the first receivers are the only ones to actually benefit. After that, prices rise to take the influx of “new” fiat dollars into account; leaving one with no more (and in many cases less) purchasing power than they had prior. Also: Bernie Madoff.

    3. Bitcoin is used for money laundering, child pornography, terrorism, and drugs.
    A reminder that fiat dollars are also used for the same purposes (and much worse), in much greater volume & over a much longer period of time.

    4. Bitcoin Foundation member arrested on money laundering charges.
    A reminder that HSBC recently paid 5 weeks worth of money laundering profits as a fine for *years* of money laundering. Oh, and that HSBC and other banks – including but not limited to ING, Lloyd’s, Barclays, and the Royal Bank of Scotland – are *still* laundering money. Also, that money laundering profits are the only reason those banks didn’t collapse *entirely* during the initial financial meltdown.

    If those 6 points are the best arguments the antis can come up with, that a truck driver can counter 4 of them off the top of his head. . . well, I think that Bitcoin is in pretty good shape.

  19. Sam SpadeNo Gravatar says:

    Draco:

    “…turning fake outrage against itself…”

    Important points are being sidestepped here. There are sincere “libertarians” who are NOT engaging in “smear campaigns” AGAINST bitcoin. That’s not the point at all. Many of us (me included) WANT an avenue of attack against compulsory fiat “money” (which are merely notes of indebtedness — counterfeit at that). If we can be shown in a convincing manner that the bitcoin phenomenon is that avenue, so much the better.

    Michael Hendricks did provide a positive incentive for those of us too dumb to grasp the concept and too diffident (or destitute) to just plunge into the bitcoin circle “…for the cause…”:

    https://www.khanacademy.org/search?page_search_query=bitcoin

    It takes some time and commitment to go through all the links he posted, and I’ve just begun. Khan still hasn’t shown me the WHY of the thing or the advantage (other than beating the drum for liberty); but I haven’t taken the time or effort as of yet.

    But that’s the missing element: showing the unschooled the way if they want to SEE the way.

    Personality conflicts over the “unorthodoxy” ain’t cuttin’ it.

    Sam