EDIT: Summary. Lets address the long term prospect for Bitcoin. If we let Bitcoin degenerate into a speculative/saving medium only, and do not promote its use as a popular medium of exchange for good and services, the price of Bitcoin will be mainly determined in a few concentrated market places called Currency Exchanges (like MtGox) which could easily be co-opted by powerful elite crooks to manipulate the price of Bitcoin and control its fate (i.e. kill its potential, and kill the whole project). Remember that decentralized currencies are a threat to the powerful economic elites of the world (i.e. central banks, banks, military industrial complex, etc), so they will have interest in controlling/destroying them. This has happened already with gold and silver, the only decentralized sound money so far. By setting the price of such a currency in only a few places we are inviting disaster. Instead, if we manage to get Bitcoin to be a massive medium of exchange globaly for goods and services, the economic power will return to people in a decentralized manner, and the manipulations in Currency Exchanges will have no impact to the price of Bitcoin. The real purchasing-power of Bitcoin will be determined democratically worldwide by millions of transactions of real goods and services daily, and not by a few crooks behind the scenes in a manipulated marketplace. The only reason gold and silver went out of circulation was because the elites confiscated them in some period of history, and later managed to manipulate its price behind the scenes in order to make them unattractive to investors. The only protection against this fate is buying and selling with bitcoins, and not letting Bitcoins rest in a savings account only. Confiscation of Bitcoins would be next to impossible. Making Bitcoins illegal will be for sure a very big temptation for the elites, but it would be very difficult to explain why, plus it would give Bitcoins lots of free publicity. The only option remaining for them is covert action, and we can prevent this by not letting the price of Bitcoin be set in a few places that can be easily controlled, but be distributed among the masses.
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Guys, I am a huge fan of bitcoin, I am investing some of my money in it. If all the technical aspects of the system pass the test of time, it could really be something phenomenal for the world.
Said that, I like to play the devils advocate and discuss ways in which bitcoin could be damaged from the outside. If bitcoin works as planned from the technical point, it’s an obvious threat for all the people who benefit greatly from fiat currency creation and manipulation as a way to transfer wealth from a big part of the productive population to a small part of the parasite population.
Obvious beneficiaries of the fiat system are: Central banks owners, commercial banks, and polititians. But also the rest of the industries controlled by the same financial elite, that where co-opted to keep the social order compatible with all this stealing: military industrial complex, mass media, oil and energy generation and distribution, many government agencies, and so on.
As said, decentralized and democratic money like bitcoin is a threat for the power of this elites, but so is gold and silver. What this people have done to counteract this threat is to bring gold, silver, and other sound money out of the system of trade by using different techniques. Also, lets be fair, sound money like gold and silver is not very useful for day to day transaction in a digital economy.
I am sure if successful, bitcoin will be subjected to the same threats of silver and gold as sound money. For example if bitcoin don’t take off as a common medium of exchange for day to day products and services transactions, and is only used for preserving wealth (hoarding), like gold is, then the financial elite will try to co-opt exchanges like MTGox and the like, to take control of them and use the high frequency trading scam to bring the price of bitcoin to whatever price they like, as they have successfully done with gold and silver for decades. And by doing so, discouraging people to save their hard earned money in gold and silver, and instead put all that value in the fiat scam controlled by them. So bitcoin would be threatened sooner or later if used primarily as gold.
On the other hand, if bitcoin takes off as a day to day exchange mechanism, it would be the best possible scenario, because the manipulation would be so much more difficult. There would be no centralized place to do the price manipulation, as the real purchasing price of bitcoins would be in effect distributed democratically in the millions of daily transactions using bitcoin as a medium of exchange for real products and services.
The conclusion is that making bitcoin a popular transaction mechanism for the world economy must be a priority for all of us who want to see bitcoin succeed in the long run. I see it doomed if otherwise. Using bitcoin just for saving money has no long term future. Of course bitcoin is so much better for day to day transactions than gold or silver in our digital world, that it runs with enormous advantages in this area.
Please comment on these ideas.