What Happened To Bitcoin?

Those who involved themselves in Bitcoin markets after 2017 encountered a different operation and ideal than those who came before. Today, no one much cares about what came before, speaking of 2010-2016. They are only watching the upward price momentum and are thrilled for the increase in the asset valuation of their portfolio.

Gone is the talk of separating money and state, of a market-based means of exchange, of genuine revolution that would extend from money to the whole of politics the world over. And gone is the talk of changing the operation of money as a means of changing the prospects for freedom itself. The enthusiasts around Bitcoin have different goals in mind.

And during this entire period, the exact time when this digital asset might have protected multitudes of users and businesses from rapacious inflation growing out of the worst and most globalized experience of corporatist statism in modern history, made possible due to the money monopoly of central banks that funded the operation, the original asset that carries the symbol BTC was systematically diverted from its original purpose.

The ideal was nicely articulated by F.A. Hayek in 1974. Much of his career as an economist was spent arguing for sound monetary policies. At every important turning point, he faced the same problem: governments and the institutions they serve did not want sound money. They wanted to manipulate the currency system to benefit elites, not the public. Finally, he refined his argument. He concluded that the only real answer was a complete divorce of money and power.

“Nothing can be more welcome than depriving government of its power over money and so stopping the apparently irresistible trend towards an accelerating increase of the share of the national income it is able to claim,” he wrote in 1976 (two years after his Nobel Prize). “If allowed to continue, this trend would in a few years bring us to a state in which governments would claim 100 per cent of all resources—and would in consequence become literally ‘totalitarian’.”

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