Location: Washington D.C.
Date: Saturday 4th December
Project: American Economic Liberties Project & Coin Center
Role: Director of Research & Research Director
2021 has been a monumental year for Bitcoin for many reasons. As a result, Bitcoin has matured in the minds of casual observers: it is now seriously viewed as a viable alternative to other forms of money. Whilst this is a validation for proponents, such a situation is like a fever dream for those who believe in the primacy of the state.
China has banned private digital assets. The IMF is concerned about the impact of digital assets on financial stability. On Wednesday, the lead economist at the IMF stated that urgent international coordination is required to implement regulation. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has echoed these comments.
There are also concerns from more vocal advocates for democracy. Such people argue there is no such thing as deregulation: someone is always making the rules. The decision is whether such rules are made within the purview of collective agreement, or by unelected and unaccountable powers. This community thinks Bitcoin undermines the state and thereby democracy.
Bitcoin is rightly or wrongly associated with an anarcho capitalist ideology. Yet, the Bitcoin community is a broad church. There is a growing sense that a silent majority who still believe in government, but also see Bitcoin as a powerful check on centralised control. They view Bitcoin as second amendment rights for money.
In this interview, I talk to Matt Stoller: author of ‘Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy’, about his recent newsletter post ‘Cryptocurrencies: A Necessary Scam?’. To make the case for Bitcoin I am joined by Coin Center’s Peter Van Valkenburgh. We discuss the issue of power consolidation, the current crisis with democracy, and the monopoly of money.