Bitcoin: Humanitarian view

Started by chirkovmisha, Aug 15, 2022, 04:52 AM

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Every time I see a phrase that starts with "Bitcoin is a currency..." clouds begin to form somewhere in the back of my mind.

If such a phrase came across not in the "yellow press", but in official news or, God forbid, on a serious resource for professionals - and even more so, the blues and uncontrolled bursts of bile begin, with thunder and lightning: not only did the author not do "homemade assignment "before publication, he also dragged his exercise in demagoguery for the review of decent people. And deceived the indecent.

While you take out your torches and pitchforks, I have a few minutes to give you a reason to think about who to use them on.

In the sight - the legends and myths about cryptocurrency spread by sectarians through the eyes of a half-educated seller. Am I your target audience? So listen to why you lost the battle for my wallet...

"Bitcoin is an innovative payment webwork and a new kind of money." - promotional pitch from


"Litecoin is a peer-to-peer internet currency that includes near-zero cost payments to anywhere in the world." - promotional pitch from

Already warmer. But also not without a whistle.

"Ethereum is a community-driven technology that powers the Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency and thousands of decentralized applications." - promotional pitch from

Not bad. But still not good.

Why? Because "half of the truth is the worst of all lies, because it can be defended" (attributed to Solon).

For ease of perception, I will call all cryptocurrencies indiscriminately "Bitcoin". Yes, its varieties are different - but in my humanitarian opinion, their essence does not change, and "false advertising" does not change much depending on the variety either.

You yourself try to listen and understand.

"Bitcoin is an innovative payment network!"

"Innovation is the introduction of a new or significantly improved product (good, service) or process, a new method of sales or a new organizational method in business practice, workplace organization or in external relations" .

Has Bitcoin improved something that already exists in the field of payments? Yes, it doesn't look like: Bitcoin positions itself as an avant-garde tool that is not built on the rigid principles of traditional economics & finance.

The only tangible conceptual difference with respect to, say, PayPal is the ability to replenish the working capital on the account not with real money, but with the expenditure of electricity and equipment resources. It's... not exactly an improvement - but more on that in a bit.

Has Bitcoin Created Something New in Payments? But the idea of creating a value-proportionate replacement for goods "out of nothing" is as many millennia old as commodity exchange itself.
Yes, and the idea that it is possible to put money in one branch of the organization on parole, and in another branch, on the other side of the continent, to take it (on parole), was in draft form back in the days of the Mongol Empire.

It doesn't look like something new.
"Bitcoin is a new kind of money!"

You can't get away with Wikipedia alone. Around the term "money" for centuries there have been debates of economists, philosophers and other stray personalities. And trying to accept the interpretation of one side or another will be ... a little dangerous and not entirely objective, those who remain in flight will peck, sir (and will be RIGHT).

Let's try to "play the other way around" - we list the typical functions of Bitcoin and find their correspondence in the existing tools of near-financial activities.

    Bitcoin can be issued by anyone within the user community (well, in theory...).

    Bitcoin can be transferred to anyone within the user group.

    Bitcoin is controlled only by those users who issued it - and / or received it.

    The transfer of a Bitcoin can be instant or delayed - but the main thing is that the act of transfer is irreversible.

    The very essence of transferring a Bitcoin from one user to another is an obligation: "I can dispose of the funds of the system in the amount of X cc, I refuse them - and in return I give another user the right to withdraw funds in the amount of X cc from the system."

    The total available number of Bitcoins is replenished by the users of the system who are interested in the actual release of new cc.

    The value of 1 unit of Bitcoin is determined solely by its attractiveness for exchange for hard currency in specialized exchangers.

In the comments earlier, I compared Bitcoin to a bill of exchange - but in fact, the concept and concept of Bitcoin is much closer to ... a self-proclaimed joint-stock company. You know, like the "Society of Giant Plants" from "Dunno on the Moon" by N. Nosov. True, Nosov has an open joint-stock company (buy whoever wants!), And Bitcoin has a conditionally closed one (no "wallet" in the system - no rights).

And instead of seeds that need to be mined and planted, and they will sprout and feed everyone, the value of a stock-Bitcoin is provided solely by the importance in it from users who buy for real currency, minus the electricity and wear and tear of equipment that is pumped into its production.

And when the joint-stock company goes bankrupt, it will not work to bring the conditional Dunno and Kozlik to account due to their physical absence on this plane of reality.

However, if you think again and try to draw an analogy not with financial instruments, but with at least some values in general, you can come to an even more fabulous result.

The last time I did the builds, it turned out that Bitcoin is Dadaism, which has reached its digital apogee.

Like the Dadaists, miners create an irrational, quantitatively finite object of art, created according to unpredictable but certain rules, formally valuable only for a narrow circle of connoisseurs.

It is all the more amusing that the phenomenon of NFT "grew" out of Bitcoins - especially its procedurally generated part, which is closest to traditional art.

And the funnier that the further the construction is carried out, the farther from the financial instrument and closer to the art of Bitcoin is located in its essence...

"Bitcoin  is a group driven technology!"

Managed? I don't think...

Holders of a Bitcoin, as a rule, cannot get together (even if virtually) and make any significant decision on the actual management of their small imaginary joint-stock company.

Because decentralization and the illusion of anonymity (which will also be discussed later).
Blockchain apostles at every crossroads talk about how good and wonderful it is, but at the same time they tactfully keep silent about the fact: every time the system is overtaken by a global failure or the need to change something, without the ability to make a single decision for the entire organization, it becomes extremely difficult .

And there have been a number of such incidents. Some splits will be typed into a whole brochure.
"Bitcoin - includes almost zero cost payments to anywhere in the world!"

Only now the "cost of payment" consists not only of the cost of transferring from account to account.

Problem: since the Bitcoin itself has no value, in order to make a full-fledged "payment" for some daily necessary service (or product), you need to convert cc into hard currency.

It's not free.

And as government control over Bitcoin circulation grows, the situation will only get worse. After all, sellers of goods and services are not fools - they do not want to lose money on an increased tax burden, the risk of being accused of money laundering and even worse. Which brings us to the next point, absent from the quoted advertising pitches, but rushing from every iron by the efforts of sectarians.
"But Bitcoin is anonymous!"


But the points through which cc is converted into a product/service/currency are not.
Do you really think that the tax inspectorate (and even more serious institutions), which has been tracking down and stopping much more elaborate schemes for the illegal use of money for decades, will not be able to "detect" your spending just because "I have a Bitcoin "?

"But Bitcoin can be mined by anyone!"

Also, anyone can dig a mine to the center of the Earth, detonate a homemade atomic bomb and swim in the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

In theory.

Somewhere only once, somewhere with inadequate costs, somewhere both.

The notorious "mining" and previously required completely unhealthy spending, luck and creativity. The average citizen, as a rule, does not have (and will not have) at least one of these components, without which the whole adventure loses almost all chances of success.

Now, even more so, any opportunity to "cut the corner" somewhere and still get their cherished two virtual chats is either banned or occupied by the same sectarians who - imagine - are interested in neophytes to fit in, but are not interested in for the neophyte to "rise".
"But they paint everything so well and logically!"

Yes Yes. Jim Jones also painted everything very well - and there it is, how everything turned out with him ... And if only he was alone ...

All these apostles and soothsayers of the holy blockchain are silent about the real goals of attracting newcomers.

The trouble is that no matter how "decentralized", "self-regulating" and "public" the payment system surrogate may be, it needs regular injections of "fresh blood":

    Without neophytes running their GTX 960 "miners" for 37 cents a month, there will be no service network that fixes transactions. And without a sufficient number of active neophytes, there will be no protection from the state (or other really "large" financial tycoons, in principle capable of enslaving the Bitcoin infrastructure).

    Without neophytes making noise with their small, one-time payments, there will be no way to sneak larger (or more dubious) payments. The system will become much more vulnerable to tracking money flows through it.

    Without neophytes frantically pulling exchangers (and dubious fоrex exchanges) in pursuit of dubious profit from the difference in rates, there will be no acceleration in demand growth, entailing a strengthening in the value of Bitcoin . As long as the system has a large volume of at least some users, it functions and seems stable.

And this is only if you sit down and think: "Who benefits from randomly converting random people into Bitcoin users."

Everything rests on the neophyte.

At the same time, the neophyte receives practically nothing for his labors.

In addition to the traditional encouragement for lotteries: "It didn't work out this time, the system didn't choose you, but don't give up. Try again."

And, sometimes, a through hole in the wallet.

But lately the sectarians have become quite insolent.

Okay, articles on specialized resources, compiled mediocre and compromising not only Bitcoin , but also the very principles of agitation of potential customers en masse.
Marketing Moloch is clearly indignant at such blasphemy - but he thrives well in other areas, where not everything is going smoothly either, but the "enticers" at least do their "homework" a little.

Okay, "another-fintech-startup-recruiting-only-ambitious-work-for-results-salary-Bitcoin ".

If there is an area in which there is a chance to hit the jackpot in the form of 300% profit, obviously, players who want to hit this jackpot will also appear there, nothing new.

But lately, even on job search resources, some muddy cedars have begun to hang around, bursting into a personal to job seekers and offering strange things.

They even started to attack me.

Gentlemen of the holy blockchain, has the shortage of neophytes become so great that you have begun to consider even people like me as valid promising candidates?

After all, not only do I not see the merits of your beloved bubble, but I am also determined to actively resist attempts to drag me into it.

Madness Network

However, there is an explanation for this phenomenon - which can be understood by drawing a parallel, say, with organizations like Oriflame.

You know, such webwork marketing, the development of which goes according to the following scheme.

There is a product.

There is a fairly large unorganized network that ensures the movement of the merchandise from the producer to the consumer.

At the same time, the consumer himself can integrate into the webwork.

The network organizer has to profit from the turnover of goods. Network-forming elements have their pennies due to their own ingenuity.

But at one fine moment, network holders begin to wonder: How to Increase Profits. Through an increase in income or a decrease in expenses - in fact, it does not matter. At least somehow.

It is impossible to optimize the network and reduce costs through this: it is decentralized (and not always legally arranged).

I also somehow don't want to reduce the price of goods: there is a lot of fuss, there is little use, they have forgotten how to work with their hands and head. Yes, and the merchandise itself is often reduced in price to the limit of minimal utility.

It is impossible to stupidly throw more goods into the webwork: the "throughput" of the network is limited and the demand from the consumer is also limited.

So what is left?

Grow your network even further! Attract new consumers and new webwork elements! At any cost, because otherwise there will be no profit growth at all! And no business likes this!

Yes, technically Bitcoin is not a commodity.

Yes, whoever has a non-zero sum cс on the account is the one who is the element of the webwork.

And the user can completely arbitrarily act as both a distributor and a buyer.

And even as a manufacturer a little.

But both the problems and the methods for solving them are common to them. By virtue of the general principle of construction (and general problems with legality - promiscuity in the methods of attracting new users very often leads to sect-like behavior and sect-like problems).


It so happens that I am very curious.

It's not enough for me just to love or not love, to recognize or not to recognize - sooner or later I will be interested in details. After all, my judgment could be based on incorrect info - and the object of bias may turn out to be very even nothing ...

But what about traditional sects, what about marketing people, what about Bitcoin, some kind of blackest bad luck haunts me in this regard.

One has only to start a conversation with a neophyte trying to convert me on the topic "how do you deal with certain shortcomings of the system?" - how a neophyte either disappears or slips into an irrational hysteria (I remember that this is how I had to part with the second ex - she nailed to the marketers and I could not "pull" her out due to my irresistible stupidity ...).

However, I'm lying. Literally twice I came across sectarians who had not yet completely fooled themselves.

With them it was really nice to discuss sectarian topics that are sensitive to them - in a reasoned, mutually trusting manner, with a helpful result for both participants.

I wish they are all right now..


Bitcoin really doesn't fit well in the minds of some humanists, and you're right about this. I'll throw in the differences, if you're interested. Please note that these are not advantages, but differences:

    All transactions are visible. Who transferred which to whom (you can't see other people's transactions in PayPal)

    However, wallets are not tied to a passport and it can be extremely difficult to find out who owns a wallet, even if there is a court decision (PayPal, on the contrary, will no doubt give everything by court order)

    The money cannot be frozen (but you can interfere with the exchange for fiat), they cannot be written off in favor of the state without knowing the key. PayPal can do this with the click of a button.

    There is no need to justify the payment to another country, there is no restriction on the export of money abroad (and there is no "export" as such).


Bitcoin is a highly liquid digital product that has the property of uniqueness, which is why it has gained such popularity. How money once replaced barter. Digital money has carved a niche as a convenient medium of exchange. It is because of their versatility that they have become in demand.
These are not skins in any game, they do not have such a link to the platform. And it is unique in the sense that the manufacturer can multiply the skin in the game and you cannot distinguish between two copies. Coins cannot be multiplied. Every unit is unique.

The economic nature of digital money must be clearly separated from the emotions associated with speculation around it. And then all will be OK.


if you take a gift card as a means of payment, then you need more costs (in the economic sense) to make an exchange (in the market sense) by means of a gift card.
With securities, it is even more difficult, there is also a commission, and access. I.e., the costs are even greater. If this is a digital asset like skins in the game, then again you need access to one of the exchange platforms. There is also the value of each asset fluctuates depending on its perceived value by the community. All these are examples of insufficiently liquid means of exchange and storage.
And the coin is quite liquid in comparison with these funds. There are even automatic exchange points. Without any brokers, sellers. That is, they are almost close to classic money in terms of convenience.

Again, there are hardware wallets for cryptocurrencies. And wallets in the form of mobile applications, there are two buttons "receive" and "send". Much easier. No one asks you for an address or a credit card number, just take it and use it.
So, the desire to keep part of the funds in this form is quite understandable. It's just convenient. And convenience, accessibility is the liquidity in this case.

Just don't think that I'm some kind of Bitcoin fanboy, or geek. I have an economic education, so the phenomenon of cryptocurrencies is interesting to me from this side.
For me, the fundamental thing in thinking is the definition of money according to Marx: "A commodity that functions as a measure of value, and therefore also, directly or through its substitutes, and as a means of circulation, is money."