| Bitcoin |
(technology, cryptocurrency, p2p, Money)
|Interest of||• Tyler Lindholm|
• Mircea Popescu
• Kenneth Rogoff
Bitcoin was the most popular cryptocurrency in corporate media and under crypto investors in the 2010s, It was suggested by Benjamin Wallace in Wired that founder Satoshi Nakamoto wasn't one man but working with or being connected to the CIA or National Security Agency. CIA controlled global encryption companies for decades, and CIA ‘Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ It Has Documents on “Satoshi Nakamoto,” the founder of Bitcoin.   (The color of the CIA Crypto AG company logo is strikingly similar to that of bitcoin symbol as well.) 
|What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin Explained Simply for Dummies - 99Bitcoins. 4 April 2018.|
Columns on sites like The Guardian and forums like Reddit point investing in a stake of bitcoin as the way for young people to still get (un)affordable housing, not become a victim of wage slavery and a pension, seemingly valid goals to aim for in people's lives.
Investopedia, a respected outlet in financial markets paints bitcoin as a box of pandora; "The market price of Bitcoin is highly volatile and subject to large price swings. As a result, the market price at any given time may vary wildly from its fair or intrinsic value. Still, over time, oversold markets tend to rebound and overbought markets cool off. Thus, it is impossible to say at any given moment whether Bitcoins are fairly valued without the benefit of hindsight. One of the biggest issues is Bitcoin's status as a store of value. Bitcoin's utility as a store of value depends on how well it works as a medium of exchange. If Bitcoin does not achieve success as a medium of exchange, it will not be useful as a store of value.
Throughout much of its history, speculative interest has been the primary driver of Bitcoin's value. Bitcoin has exhibited the characteristics of a bubble with drastic price run-ups and a craze of media attention. This is likely to decline as Bitcoin continues to see greater mainstream adoption, but the future is uncertain. Difficulties surrounding cryptocurrency storage and exchange spaces also challenge Bitcoin's utility and transferability. In recent years, hacks, thefts, and fraud have plagued digital currency."
The timing of Bitcoin's development oddly coincides with the Great Recession during which the value of U.S. dollar was greatly weakened. Most of Bitcoin is traded in USD. 
Bitcoin traps leftover dollars and helps dollar retain its reserve currency status. In 2020, Dollar lost to Euro as Payment Currency-SWIFT, according to Kitko. 
It seems doubtful that the alleged founder of Bitcoin is even Japanese. His English had the flawless, idiomatic ring of a native speaker."
Does it scale?
- Full article: Lightening network
- Full article: Lightening network
Bitcoin grew slower with raising numbers of users. A p2p payment took several days to complete in 2020 (when no transaction fees are selected), the initial download of the whole blockchain required ~1500 GB of free disk space in 2022 and the time to integrate well into the network was definitely end-user unfriendly. To increase usability the Lightening network was introduced 2014 for instant (micro) payments. Exchanges (super nodes not run by users) took the place of central banks to increase usability, make a profit and enable speculation with Bitcoins.
Due to its fully transparent ledger, transactions can be linked to IP addresses. The Bitcoin address (wallet) is therefore pseudonymous - if no additional encryption is used such as Tor and the same wallet is used for more than one transaction.
In cooperation with Visa or Mastercard Bitcoin smartcards (Creditcards) are in use  which can be used to pay at hotels and gas stations, for example, in Italy and Austria. However, not Bitcoins are transferred. Traditional banks operating as super nodes convert BTC to EUR or USD and then this monopolized fiat currency is used for the actual payment.
Bitcoin is illegal in some countries. WP reports on changing legal status.
In December 2017, Australian banks froze the accounts of bitcoin users. Computers (with wallets) have been seized by US law enforcement. It is rumored that wealthy Chinese buyers used Bitcoin to circumvent capital restrictions by the Chinese government to buy i.e. real estate in the US.
The following countries have (partially or inconsistently) outlawed the use of Bitcoin:
Bitcoin is legal tender in El Salvador from September 2021.
In 2018, Israel announced an intention to tax Bitcoin. Capital gains from cryptocurrency speculation are taxable in the EU (and probably elsewhere).
Speculation and Deep state reactions
- Full article: Pump and dump
- Full article: Pump and dump
BTC is traded at FOREX and can be hedged in futures contracts. The commercially-controlled media encouraged the general public to invest in BTC ETFs and ETCs before the second BTC bubble burst in January 2022. As BTC is convertable to fiat currency, unsurprisingly the distribution of wealth resembles that of fiat currency, i.e. less than 1% of the population holds or controls 99% of the units. 
Peter A. Thiel (Paypal, intelligence contractor Palantir) accused cryptocurrencies to be a Chinese "weapon of mass destruction" (sic?) (although China banned Bitcoin) aimed at destabilizing the US in 2021. After the collapse (see speculation above) Bitcoin rose 15% when Russian Billionaires tried to evade US lead sanctions in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The "climate change" argument
The energy consumption (aka. climate change) argument continues to be used against all Proof-of-Work consensus algorithms. However, expensive crypto mining is finite and 99% of Bitcoins have already been mined. "Miners" now consume energy for keeping the network alive, i.e. confirming transactions. The energy consumption of the fiat money system with its banking houses is probably higher than that of all crypto currencies combined making the argument a hypocricy.
The code to Bitcoin core is subject to change. Over a dozen different companies and industry groups fund the development of Bitcoin. 
Increasingly, those who wish to keep their transactions private are turning to privacy coins such as Monero. A market has emerged where companies advertise their law enforcement capabilities.  Proof-of-work consensus is getting replaced by proof-of-stake algorithms (for other cryptocurrencies). Work on the central part of consensus algorithms is in progress.
Carnegie Mellon University researchers estimated that in 2012, 4.5% to 9% of all transactions on all exchanges in the world were for drug trades on a single dark web drugs market, Silk Road. Child pornography, murder-for-hire, and weapons are also allegedly available on black market sites that sell in bitcoin. Due to the anonymous nature and the lack of central control on these markets, it is hard to know whether the services are real or just trying to take the bitcoins.
Unlike other activities - such as the CIA/Drug trafficking - the FBI actively hunts for people thoroughly using bitcoin on market websites on the internet, even seizing and re-routing TOR servers, up to 21% of all nodes.
|Declaration of Currency Independence||declaration||May 2021||John McAfee||The main author, John McAfee, died mysteriously in jail the next month.|
|Declaration of Monetary Independence||declaration||2021||Mark Maraia|
|File:Bitcoin-FBI.pdf||report||24 April 2012||FBI/Directorate of Intelligence|
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