The Bitcoin community is cheering the open letter to President Obama by Mark Zuckerberg. He is upset with the overreach of the Government’s internet spying policies. Much of what Zuckerberg said about the Government’s interference in people’s private lives is relevant to its stand on the most popular digital currency, bitcoin.
With governments in ever more debt and the weakening of their national currencies, people are finding it increasingly difficult to have faith in a financial system that has not led to an improvement in the quality of their lives.
The average bitcoiner sees the Bitcoin community as a common ground for a fair and just market for exchange of goods and services. Unhindered by complex contracts and regulations, it has opened up markets in the remotest corners of the earth. Those who could not be identified by their bank account numbers are now being recognized for their valuable contributions to the economy. It has opened up conversation between the buyer and the seller, with no one piping up to interrupt the talk.
Developers, miners and companies have been devoting huge amounts of time and effort to keep this system free, liberal and safe, as it was meant to be. Entrepreneurs and engineers are working together to provide security that does not involve unbuttoning of people’s private information. The focus is on how best the task can be accomplished, not on tracking down who spoke and who listened. The system has worked so far because everyone in the ecosystem wants the same thing – a frictionless, secure and anonymous financial system.
The Government needs to shed its paranoia about bitcoins and demonstrate its willingness to back investors by encouraging mainstream use and acceptance of bitcoins. It should begin to see bitcoin adopters as marching towards a system that provides a level playing field, not as criminals who need to be hounded in the hopes that they will provide intelligence that the Government was elected to provide. Silencing does not amount to convincing.
The bitcoiners in the system are playing a fair game. Will the Government continue to let them?