[This article originally appeared in The Daily Reckoning on March 4, 2013]
Well, Fellow Reckoner, it’s been something of a sad week for proponents of Bitcoin…
Would-be buyers of the fringy cyber experiment have had to watch as the price of their beloved currency shot to within (as of this writing) a few cents shy of $35 per coin. No buyer wants to see that kind of action…unless they are also an “already boughter.”
In other words, current owners and maybe-one-day sellers are sitting fairly pretty. Since the beginning of January, the bitcoin price in dollars has rocketed roughly 270%. Not a bad move for those who spent the past couple of months “hoarding.” (The correct word, let it be on the record, is “saving.”) And not bad for a currency that suffers the ignominy of existing without the indispensable aid of a central bank.
To be sure, true believers will still be scooping the controversial coins up for what they surely see today as a bargain. As we remarked in this space earlier in the week…
“Speculation about the potential value of a single coin varies widely [in the bitcoin community]. We’ve heard wide-eyed forecasts running into the many thousands of dollars. That’s why enthusiasts are scrambling to build their stash now, before the price rockets….Get rich or die mining, as they say.”
Of course, as we all know, the Bitcoin crowd is really just a of cabal of dissidents, brimming with lunatics who would trust the free market to its own devices, without the tireless vigilance and service of the government. (“But who would build the…?”) What might happen if these malcontents were to gain traction, with their silly little ideas about “liberty this” and “freedom that”?
Imagine for a moment, Fellow Reckoner, a scenario in which the value of a currency was determined by the people who actually use it, and not by some all-knowing, all-powerful demigod on a Federal Reserve board. What might happen to central banks as they exist today?
Imagine that fees and charges more or less disappeared, so that opening a digital wallet was as easy as setting up an email account, and sending and receiving payments as simple as firing off a text message. What might happen to banks and financial institutions that today shower their loyal customers in myriad penalties and fees?
Imagine that bureaucratic red tape vanished into the ether, so that anyone with a sound idea and the gumption to see it through could enter the self-regulating ecosystem of service providers without need of state license or permit? What would happen to that friendly monopoly of mega banks steadfastly committed to fragilizing the global financial system…not to mention the chubby-mitted congress of politicians diligently taking bribes from them on our behalf?
Imagine that transactions of the currency were virtually anonymous, so that individuals could conduct their daily business, buying and selling goods and services, in cryptographically-ensured security and privacy. What might happen to the lifeblood of The State when it is unable to easily invade the privacy of its citizens in order to track and steal their money for them?
No! Let us imagine no more! We must put a stop to this. We must rage against these margin-traipsing ne’er-do-wells. And we must sully the name of their wretched cyber currency initiative.
And finally, we must hope the bitcoin price falls back through the floor…so a better buyer again we can be.
Ed. Note: For more on the “fringy cyber-crypto currency” as Joel calls it, sign up for the Laissez Faire Today email edition. It provides readers with regular updates on the likely future of Bitcoin and how you can take full advantage of it. Sign up for FREE, right here.