How to Keep Bitcoins Safe What is an Altcoin? How vinay gupta bitcoin wallet Get Bitcoins Is Bitcoin Legal?
As an old-school cypherpunk in the 1990s and one of the most active members of the E-gold community before this centralized precursor of Bitcoin got shot down, futurologist Vinay Gupta has been involved with digital currency for over fifteen years. Well, if the Internet goes away, Bitcoin goes away, right? So it’s vulnerable in the same way that civilization itself is vulnerable. But if civilization breaks down, almost any store of value becomes useless very quickly. It’s not really clear that large piles of wealth sitting there actually exist without the state to protect them. That’s easy to see for copyright and patent, but the same is true for most other passive types of ownership, such as stocks, bonds or futures. I own the house I live in, but that house next door that I’m renting to you?
Some people prefer gold over Bitcoin, but even if you own a lot of gold, and civilization breaks down, you’ll need people to guard your gold. And in all probability the people guarding your gold will end up owning your gold. Either a little bit at the time by guarding it, or all at once by dis-intermediating you from the gold shed. So because of the need of physical force to protect it, you could argue that gold is actually more vulnerable than Bitcoin. What about Bitcoin’s resilience in regard to the state itself? I sort of need to see extraordinary evidence for things like that, because bluntly, the security state invented this stuff.
Most of the mathematics, most of the algorithms, most of the hardware, the internet itself, all these things are spin-outs of defence projects. And remember, we really tangled with these guys in the 90’s. Public key cryptography was regarded a weapon of war back then. The American government was really friggin’ pissed off at us, and did as much damage as they could within the law. Are you suggesting the cryptography underlying Bitcoin is compromised? Making the jump to saying Bitcoin is compromised is too far.
But if you don’t think of this within the very narrow parameters of cypherpunk history, if you put it in the larger scale of political struggle, then what did the US government do to every substantial opposition group? The American Indian movement: smashed with a hammer, you’ve probably never even heard of it. Black Panthers: smashed with a hammer, all that’s left are the Crips and the Bloods. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the government has the vast majority of the cards on the table when it comes to force, and they’re choosing to lay absolutely none of them on the crypto-community right now.