AN OPEN LETTER TO THE US GOVERNMENT, THE FEDERAL RESERVE AND, IF HE CAN READ, SENATOR SCHUMER
Before we start, ask someone to go get you a geek. You'll probably have to look deep, past the regular suits. Your geek is likely between 25 and 35, longish hair and glasses. Could be male or female, but for the purposes of this letter, he's called Bobbi. A distinct glaze crosses his eyes whenever he talks about the Internet, cryptography, nodes, software and networks... That's your geek.
Now, there is something called Bitcoin happening, and there are those who want to shut it down. Some are calling bitcoin a currency, or a crypto-currency. Some call it a commodity. The thing to remember here is that it exists, it is more secure than money in the bank, less counrfeitable than any currency or commodity available today, deflationary by its very nature and remarkably easy to move around. It is also already being transacted, and increasingly so with each passing day.
Tell Bobbi you are going to ask him some questions, and that you want short answers. I'm doing this for your benefit, otherwise it will take all day.
Ask Bobbi: is it possible to shut down a p2p network? If Bobbi says yes, fire him... He doesn't know what he's talking about. But he won't, because you wouldn't have hired a complete incompetent fool, would you? He'll say either "no", or "not without shutting down the internet".
Senator Schumer and some others are trying to push the government to shut down Bitcoin, without realizing how fruitless and expensive it will turn out to be. Ostensibly, they fear that a digital currency like bitcoin can be used to buy drugs and launder money... In reality, though, they probably realize how dangerous such a currency or commodity can be for the US. And they're right.
But there is an alternative to engaging a new war on bitcoin, which you stand no more chancenof winning than the war on drugs, or porn, or music downloads: you don't want to shut down bitcoin, you want to control it.
Here's what I propose,go out and buy bitcoin, lots of them. There are only 6.5 million or so in existence, try and get around a million. Today, you could do that for just under 30 million dollars. Yes, prices will shoot up, and yes, you'll make a few millionaires along the way, but think: you would control one sixth of this new, safe, uncounterfeitable, deflationary and scalable commodity.
Then, enourage a free, open and healthy trade in bitcoins. Let the banks offer their customers bitcoin accounts, allow bitcoin exchanges to flourish. Let people of all stripes own theirs. You will be able to control and regulate the market. Want to take US dollars out of the economy? Sell some BTC. Want to counter the onslaught of depreciated goods from China, pump BTC into their economy (they won't be any more successful at shutting it down than you will). Make sure you keep buying, and even start your own mining operations, so that you always control a large enough chunk of the BTC economy to ensure it's value... That will keep the money in your pockets, and will prevent the rise of competing crypto-currencies.
Give Bobbi a raise and put him in charge of the crypto-currency department, so that if anyone comes up with a bitcoin clone, he'll be the first to know and you'll control that one as well, for mere pennies in that case.
Or... Try and shut down the internet... But I think my idea is cheaper.