As Bitcoin is adopted by increasingly conventional monetary establishments, and turns into regulated by governments worldwide, the query of its survival as a really disruptive various to legacy monetary techniques is raised. After all, if governments like Qatar’s can ban it, and worldwide banking legal guidelines like AMLD5 can push bitcoin-friendly firms out of enterprise, how is Satoshi’s revolutionary P2P money to survive with out a counter economic system of keen customers who transact freely and autonomously?
Counter-Economics and SEK III
Short for “counter-establishment economics,” counter-economics is any and all non-violent financial exercise which takes place exterior the purview of, or just disregarding, the state.
The idea was popularized in libertarian circles largely by agorist Samuel Edward Konkin III, or “SEK III,” and includes any non-violent act of the free market which runs counter to statist legal guidelines and norms. For instance, one thing as small as promoting odds and ends at a flea market is counter-economics. Not reporting earnings to a war-fueling and privacy-invasive tax company, or operating a darkish internet market like the Silk Road. Painting a fence for a neighbor and being paid below the desk. Setting up a roadside fruits stand or carpooling service with out a license. These are all examples of counter-economic exercise.
Konkin himself outlined counter-economics as follows:
“The Counter-Economy is the sum of all non-aggressive Human Action which is forbidden by the State. Counter-economics is the study of the Counter-Economy and its practices. The Counter-Economy includes the free market, the Black Market, the ‘underground economy,’ all acts of civil and social disobedience, all acts of forbidden association (sexual, racial, cross-religious), and anything else the State, at any place or time, chooses to prohibit, control, regulate, tax, or tariff. The Counter-Economy excludes all State-approved action (the ‘White Market’) and the Red Market (violence and theft not approved by the State).”
Qatar Bans Bitcoin, Who’s Next?
As information.Bitcoin.com has not too long ago reported, Qatar Financial Center (QFC) Regulatory Authority has positioned a blanket ban on QFC companies transacting in cryptocurrencies. The EU’s AMLD5 rules are equally forcing crypto firms out of business. Top crypto exchanges are giving up delicate consumer information to tax businesses like the IRS, and nations worldwide are in improvement of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to probably change paper and coin fiat cash. In this context, it’s necessary to ask what units bitcoin aside. After all, in a single sense, it’s simply one other digital foreign money on a blockchain, surveillance-ready extra so than even paper money, and extremely traceable.
Should bitcoin be used solely in accordance with this or that state mandate or regulation, it stands to ask why everybody shouldn’t merely swap to state or corporate-backed digital belongings. Proponents of bitcoin will seemingly reply “Bitcoin is decentralized and the state ultimately cannot control it. Corporations and governments are centralized.”
The observe up to this comment needs to be to affirm whether or not or not the individual thinks the potential of bitcoin to render legal guidelines irrelevant is a energy. If it’s not perceived as such, and counter-economics is to be averted, it’s laborious to see the foreign money’s distinctive worth proposition. All that wants to occur is for a state to “ban” bitcoin, and impact the elimination of viable channels for trade, and these people who strictly abide by established legal guidelines will likely be left with nothing however a now neutered, and virtually centralized asset.
The Roots of Bitcoin
Whether or not one views Satoshi as a sort of cypherpunk himself, the incontrovertible fact that the roots of bitcoin come largely from cypherpunk and anarchist/libertarian circles is simple. A fast perusal of early discussions relating to digital monetary transactions with out third events on the cypherpunk mailing list bears this out. As do examinations of ideas for digital currencies which have been direct forerunners to bitcoin, and which have been even referenced by Nakamoto himself in the whitepaper.
What drove bitcoin to the success and valuation it experiences as we speak has every little thing to do with the capabilities it offered for permissionless transaction, and little or no — if something — to do with mimicking present techniques of foreign money.
As with most cool ideas, one individual thinks of one thing fascinating and a few individuals get into it at first, just for the motion to develop and ultimately grow to be inundated with posers wishing solely to reap straightforward social (and on this case monetary) advantages of adoption, with out supporting what really gave the idea worth in the first place. This units any motion up for an impending implosion.
No Free Trade, No Meaning
Suffice it to say that with out its primary utility exercised, bitcoin is little greater than a shell of its former notion. On the different hand, ought to people proceed utilizing bitcoin as they please, insofar as they please, with or with out permission (dangers understood and punctiliously thought of), there’s a good likelihood very actual disruption for the advantage of human financial freedom may be had. In reality, it’s already occurring.
Privacy enhancing protocols such as Cashshuffle and the upcoming Cash Fusion, plus non-KYC, P2P buying and selling platforms like local.Bitcoin.com are making the pursuit of financial freedom by way of crypto extra viable than ever. Privacy cash such as monero — although typically delisted by giant, centralized exchanges — are additionally a a part of this combat. The important factor, nevertheless, is the particular person. The particular person who trades freely in non-violence is the key actor; with out this particular person, Bitcoin is basically meaningless.
What are your ideas on counter-economics? Let us know in the feedback part beneath.
Op-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed on this article are the writer’s personal. Bitcoin.com isn’t answerable for or answerable for any content material, accuracy or high quality inside the Op-ed article. Readers ought to do their very own due diligence earlier than taking any actions associated to the content material. Bitcoin.com isn’t accountable, straight or not directly, for any harm or loss prompted or alleged to be attributable to or in reference to the use of or reliance on any data on this Op-ed article.
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