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Author Topic: Bitcoin's Dystopian Future  (Read 27729 times)
lunarboy
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April 25, 2015, 04:55:56 AM
 #201

Ironically if you really believe in a bitcoin future, now is the time to run up massive fiat debts, as logically they will be inflated away to mean nothing against any bitcoin holdings.

I do feel the problem of the technology illiterate old folk, with their life savings and pensions in the bank needs to be thought about some more. If things play out as predicted they will be left with nothing. (unless banks and pension fund managers, manage to stay ahead of the curve and divest so of thier portfolios into gold/bitcoin that is)

food for thought.  Huh
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May 01, 2015, 06:26:29 PM
 #202

the Dystopian Future, is ironically not in Bitcoins future, the image projected by the OP is an extreme example of the Fiat world we live in.

On the topic of shorting Fiat and going long Bitcoin in anticipation of inflation, the jury is still out.
There is a lot of talk about removing cash, and having electronic currencies with negative interest rates and deflation. In this scenario a Central Bank can still manage the herd and drive it away from Bitcoin.

Don't think you will be paid to have loan in fiat, you wont, that privilege is for the elites in Fiats Dystopian Future.  

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May 01, 2015, 06:37:30 PM
 #203

Very interesting read - but to be trusthful, while I might agree with you, there is no point in predicting the future and then try and avoid the future you've imagined!

You have no idea what everyone else is planning for the same future! Wink
Agree, but its good for future of things when diffirent people think of many possible outcomes.

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May 01, 2015, 06:54:08 PM
 #204

Bitcoin is not really economically different from gold.
The big difference between gold and Bitcoin is that you can send bitcoin over the Internet.
But your analogy still holds.

Bitcoin is hugely different to Gold and defeats it on every single aspect, except the psychological one since gold is still king of wealth, luxury and all that crap which is deeply ingrained into peoples minds from birth. But eventually the objectively superior pragmatic reasons to use BTC over Gold will dethrone it as the to-go safe haven.
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May 17, 2015, 03:43:58 PM
 #205

the Dystopian Future, is ironically not in Bitcoins future, the image projected by the OP is an extreme example of the Fiat world we live in.

On the topic of shorting Fiat and going long Bitcoin in anticipation of inflation, the jury is still out.
There is a lot of talk about removing cash, and having electronic currencies with negative interest rates and deflation. In this scenario a Central Bank can still manage the herd and drive it away from Bitcoin.

Don't think you will be paid to have loan in fiat, you wont, that privilege is for the elites in Fiats Dystopian Future.  

IF they do remove cash....and I can see them trying, It will make something like BTC defacto cash worldwide which would be a huge boost to BTC as that would be quite large.

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May 17, 2015, 04:18:23 PM
 #206

I don't think the OP of this topic even comes here anymore. I see him in the mastercoin/omni discussions on reddit occasionally. Two years ago he talks about a future for Bitcoin that I don't see materializing. I see governments that have proven to be quite effective at controlling Bitcoin with current legislation. Government fiat that isn't struggling or failing as expected. Tor which, in his example, could be used for awful things like child slavery is being penetrated and the Ross Ulbrichts of the world are being caught and prosecuted. But the most interesting thing that's happened is in the opposite direction of a dystopian future. Main stream business is taking to Bitcoin like a moth to a flame and the price seems to be stabilizing.

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August 15, 2015, 11:45:37 AM
 #207

Bitcoin is fringe stream as we all know it and dont neglect that no matter how powerful the fringe stream gets but it cannot overcome or beat the mainstream ..there is a reason why mainstream is 'MAIN' and as we speak of the difficulty of accepting bitcoin  for the public then we should look at the real literacy rates right now ,people who are not even educated to a level of high school how can they even use bitcoin or even if they,how do u expect them to not get hacked/scammed???.. and plus not everybody is an Anarchist ,most people are just surviving not even 'living' they dont care even if they are ruled by anyone they just let the governments do the power violation thing and just live their way.

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March 15, 2018, 05:40:48 PM
 #208

I just started crypto Jan 2018 this year because of the hype on Dec 2017 where bitcoin reached all time time 10,000. I have asked myself what are the thoughts of those who started early in crypto/blockchain what ever you may want to call it. Then I came across an article and another article that led me here. Wow this dates back 2013. 5 Years ago! I imagine you guys already made your profits and just enjoying life.

For the topic starter hats down to you for your prediction. It really gave me a heads up of what will happen in the future. A noob like me who is not thinking properly starts to brag" hey im starting on crypto so should you, You can be my follower for airdrops/referral/bounties etc. " but I never came across to think what you did! Again Thank you for your precaution. Its better to be anonymous. rather than pull your friend to explore on crypto which is like digging your own grave because they will know what you have accomplished when you suddenly become rich. I just can't thank you enough for your thoughts. Maybe people should be more aware of this.

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March 15, 2018, 08:03:38 PM
 #209

We are still very poor at predicting complex systems future states. Definitely worth thinking these things, and anticipating what we can, but we don't know how this will play out - just face the fact. Probably somewhere between utopian and dystopian - like always.
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May 05, 2018, 11:38:42 AM
 #210

I think bitcoin have a great future if you watch and observe the vaule and demand of bitcoin and especiallly the price of bitcoin when you set your mind that bitcoin is the best and fit to invest rather than any other on investment,

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May 05, 2018, 05:57:10 PM
 #211

Bitcoin's Dystopian Future

 
 yes If you were to peak into my bedroom at night (please don’t), there’s a good chance you would see my wife sleeping soundly while I stare at the ceiling, running thought experiments about where Bitcoin is going. Like many other people, I have come to the conclusion that distributed currencies like Bitcoin are going to eventually be recognized as the most important technological innovation of the decade, if not the century. It seems clear to me that the rise of distributed currencies presents the biggest (and riskiest) investment opportunity I am likely to see in my lifetime; perhaps in a thousand lifetimes. It is critically important to understand where Bitcoin is going, and I am determined to do so.

My hundreds of hours of thought experiments have been productive. I published a whitepaper about the future of Bitcoin, and because of that paper I’ll have the great privilege of sitting on the “Bitcoin in the Future” panel at the 2013 Bitcoin Conference in San Jose. Through these years of deliberation I have satisfied myself that the answer to the “Trillion Dollar Question” of whether any form of distributed currency can ever achieve a stable price, is “yes”. (There are three ways this will happen, as I have written elsewhere).


To many people, this sounds like an implausibly rosy future, and for early adopters that is true — it feels like winning the lottery every day. However, for most other people, the epascendancy of distributed currency systems will feel like a disaster. If you are epascendancy of distributed currency systems will feel like a disaster. If you areinvolved in Bitcoin now, you should prepare to be almost universally hated someday. and Anarchists and hardcore libertarians love Bitcoin, but most people outside those circles are not in favor of completely doing away with their government. If you aren’t part of a fringe political movement, chances are there is something the government does that you like, whether it’s handing out entitlement money, killing enemies, putting people in prison, building dams and roads, funding research, or any number of other things. and I need to read it more thoroughly later, but I just wanted to quickly observe that Bitcoin is not untaxable. There are proposals for building income/sales tax systems that can apply to cryptocurrencies and it's a topic I intend to write more about in future. I have been predicting for years that the world’s first trillionaire by USD valuation will be an early investor in distributed currency — quite possibly Satoshi Nakamoto, whoever he/she/it/they may be. I own a few bitcoins, and I intend to keep them until I find a more attractive investment (that is, I want to invest in whatever replaces bitcoin or builds on top of it).
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May 06, 2018, 05:21:07 AM
 #212

yes you are right bitcoin to give a good future and your words can be made into articles and references for new players who are still confused with bitcoin and what the advantages of having bitcoin.
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May 08, 2018, 04:59:50 PM
 #213

I need to read it more thoroughly later, but I just wanted to quickly observe that Bitcoin is not untaxable. There are proposals for building income/sales tax systems that can apply to cryptocurrencies and it's a topic I intend to write more about in future.
mdripon
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May 08, 2018, 05:25:51 PM
 #214

A government is a company like any other company. Its business model might be challenged by crypto currencies just like Western Union's business model will be challenged but it will have to adapt.

If a government is a company, what is its core service? Security!

In an anarcho capitalistic world (no govenments), there would still exist a demand for security as you point out. This demand will be filled by some entity and the best way to provide security is to control a geographical area, like in a gate community - and what, if any, are the fundamental differences between a gated community and a government? None! We are already living in a world of "privately" owned security companies competing with each other. We just happen to call these kind of companies "governments". We are living in an anarcho capitalistic world already. We who call ourselves libertarians are just not too happy with the quality and price that these companies provide.

Governments will not die since there is a huge demand for their service - security. Governments will adapt and figure out new ways to get a revenue either through property taxes or through head taxes but many people will be hurt in this process as you correctly point out.

Bitcoin is a coin. bitcoin's future is certainly good. bitcoin will unveil new roles for future generations. I never agree with your negative perspective of the future on bitcoin. but the government's role needs to be in this regard. because the government determines the tax.

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May 21, 2018, 02:58:02 PM
 #215

I have seen the future of Bitcoin, and it is bleak.

The Promise of Bitcoin

If you were to peak into my bedroom at night (please don’t), there’s a good chance you would see my wife sleeping soundly while I stare at the ceiling, running thought experiments about where Bitcoin is going. Like many other people, I have come to the conclusion that distributed currencies like Bitcoin are going to eventually be recognized as the most important technological innovation of the decade, if not the century. It seems clear to me that the rise of distributed currencies presents the biggest (and riskiest) investment opportunity I am likely to see in my lifetime; perhaps in a thousand lifetimes. It is critically important to understand where Bitcoin is going, and I am determined to do so.

My hundreds of hours of thought experiments have been productive. I published a whitepaper about the future of Bitcoin, and because of that paper I’ll have the great privilege of sitting on the “Bitcoin in the Future” panel at the 2013 Bitcoin Conference in San Jose. Through these years of deliberation I have satisfied myself that the answer to the “Trillion Dollar Question” of whether any form of distributed currency can ever achieve a stable price, is “yes”. (There are three ways this will happen, as I have written elsewhere).

I have been predicting for years that the world’s first trillionaire by USD valuation will be an early investor in distributed currency — quite possibly Satoshi Nakamoto, whoever he/she/it/they may be. I own a few bitcoins, and I intend to keep them until I find a more attractive investment (that is, I want to invest in whatever replaces bitcoin or builds on top of it).

To many people, this sounds like an implausibly rosy future, and for early adopters that is true — it feels like winning the lottery every day. However, for most other people, the ascendancy of distributed currency systems will feel like a disaster. If you are involved in Bitcoin now, you should prepare to be almost universally hated someday.

In this article, we will examine a few simple thought experiments to show how the rise of distributed currencies such as bitcoin could create massive social upheaval due to governments’ rapidly degrading capability to fulfill their core functions of taxation and regulation of commerce. We’ll see how the end result could be extremely painful for common citizens due to previously unimaginable wealth disparities, hyperinflation of previously stable government-backed fiat currencies, and a greatly empowered criminal class.

The Bleak Future of Fiat Currencies

Anarchists and hardcore libertarians love Bitcoin, but most people outside those circles are not in favor of completely doing away with their government. If you aren’t part of a fringe political movement, chances are there is something the government does that you like, whether it’s handing out entitlement money, killing enemies, putting people in prison, building dams and roads, funding research, or any number of other things. The government can do these things because the government can collect taxes, which in turn they can do because the flows of money are highly regulated and tracked at every level. Whether you are collecting a paycheck, buying furniture, cashing out investments, or simply dying and leaving an inheritance, the government knows about it and takes a cut.

For our first thought experiment, let’s imagine a world where distributed currencies like bitcoin have become wildly successful due to technological advances which make them easy to use and completely stable. In this world government-issued money is as good as dead. It may take a few years for everyone to realize it, but there will come a point when the ever-increasing outflows of money from fiat money into untaxable, unseizable decentralized currency will reach a tipping point, and we’ll have a financial panic like the world has never seen. Frightened lawmakers and banks will try to stop people from cashing out, but that will just increase the panic. Those who don’t get out before the door closes will be in dire straits indeed. This is the ultimate bank run — the run on the world’s central banks, and who could possibly step in and restore order?

When people think of hyperinflation, they usually envision a Zimbabwean printing press running around the clock in the dark corner of a mud hut, putting ever more zeroes on cheap paper. Has it ever occurred to you that hyperinflation can happen while the printing presses are off? The value of the money in your pocket is not ultimately guaranteed by your government, but by simple supply and demand. The government controls the supply, and we control the demand. If demand falls precipitously, we have hyperinflation without ever needing to print another dollar or euro. If people start fleeing government currencies en masse, hyperinflation is the inevitable result.

The good news is that you don’t need to worry about current government debt in this scenario. If government currencies lose their value rapidly, debts which previously seemed overwhelming suddenly become much more manageable. Perhaps your debt-laden government will someday completely pay off it’s national debt by simply selling a few gold bars and a couple national parks.

The Bleak Future of Retirement

For our next thought experiment, let’s consider what will happen to Grandma. For her whole life, she has carefully saved her money, and now she is living in reasonable comfort. She gets money and health care from the government, and she has her own savings to fall back on. Grandma has done everything right, including taking her savings out of the stock market; most of her savings are now invested in the safest asset known to man: U.S. Treasury Bonds.

Rather suddenly, things start to go wrong. At the same time all her expenses start skyrocketing, the government has a liquidity crisis; they are having trouble collecting taxes and can no longer pay for her health care. Her savings are still “safe” in the sense that she will get U.S. Dollars out of them, but that is little comfort when those dollars which should have lasted years can barely pay her weekly grocery bill.

Grandma’s retirement has been sabotaged by the rise of a new kind of money that she can’t even begin to understand. All she knows is that she did everything right, and now she has nothing.

The Bleak Future Wealth Disparities

All the world’s wealth has essentially been stolen, but by whom? By you, dear reader.

We’ll be very lucky if we aren’t all rounded up and summarily executed. Thankfully, you’ll be able to use some of that money to purchase protection, but I’m not at all convinced that it will be enough. A wrathful government backed by an enraged population is a fearful enemy. Satoshi foresaw this long ago, and I doubt he/she/it/they will ever voluntarily come into the light.

If there are enough of us, and we are very careful and charming, we may be physically safe. However, the massive displacement of wealth will still have some awful consequences. People argue all the time about the societal benefits and drawbacks of wealth disparities, and the rise of distributed currencies will create disparities that previously did not seem possible. It seems clear that there will be a lot of jobs created by the new wealthy, but whether the average person is better off or not, one thing is sure to rise: resentment. What right do we have to take all the wealth of the world and put it in our pockets? Sure, a nifty new idea should pay off for early visionaries, but nobody ever expected a new idea to suck all the wealth out of the world like a financial black hole!

The Bleak Future of Law Enforcement

This is where things get really bleak. Currently distributed currencies facilitate money laundering, black market commerce (the Silk Road), and insider trading (TorBroker). These applications in their current form are just a snowflake on the tip of the iceberg. Not only will they get MUCH bigger, but we will see applications which are much less savory. Historically, the “Dark Net” accessible by Tor and private networks has been nothing more than a hidey-hole for illegal files and a hangout for paranoid schizophrenics, but it is quickly becoming the platform of choice for large-scale illegal commerce.

For this thought experiment, we will imagine that your child has been kidnapped and put up for sale on “TorSlaver”. Their business plan is to kidnap children and sell them to the highest bidder, whether parent or pedophile. The winning bidder is sent the location of the child, probably bound and gagged and dumped somewhere. As long as they don’t get caught doing the kidnapping, the kidnappers can do this again and again with complete impunity. Once someone proves it can be done, copycats will come out of the woodwork, and it won’t matter if the first mover gets caught.

As a parent of three small children, I cannot describe to you how awful this makes me feel. I have always been a very reluctant bitcoin investor, for this very reason. I don’t invest in bitcoin because I think it will bring about a happy utopian world. Quite the opposite. I invest in bitcoin because the rise of distributed currency is inevitable, and owning some bitcoins seems to be the best way to prepare for the chaos ahead. And just maybe, if I position myself correctly, I can make things a little less awful.

The Government Strikes Back

Does anyone really expect the government to sit back quietly and watch while their currency is debased, terrorism is funded, and children are kidnapped? The only question is when and how they will strike back against these forces. While the government does have a lot of options, ultimately those options only slow things down. At some point, we collectively with our governments face a difficult choice between trying to survive this deadly storm or attempting to destroy all decentralized computer networks (including the internet). The former seems unthinkable, the latter, impossible.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this chaos gives rise to a strong, centralized, one-world government which gets its revenues by tightly reigning in freedom of commerce in order to collect taxes. For instance, I will not be surprised to see a requirement someday that every person buying or selling have an implant which tightly binds their identity to the sale. Perhaps the implant will even be located on the back of the right hand or the forehead! This may seem repugnant to you now, but wait until you have lived in the storm for a while before you call it impossible. The natural reaction to the deadly chaos of decentralized currency is for the populace to embrace increasingly centralized controls on commerce. The battle lines are only just starting to be drawn, and your guess is as good as mine for how it will play out.

What Should We Do?

We need people thinking about this. I’ll admit that many of the things I wrote about may not happen at all, or may happen very differently than I imagine. However, there are lots of people touting the fantastic benefits that bitcoin and its children can give us, and I don’t see anybody talking about how bad things could potentially get.

We need solutions. When the government finally starts taking decentralized currency seriously, it will probably be doing so in a state of panic. We need to be advising governments now about how they can survive the storm and protect their populace. We need to think of ways the government can pay for its most critical operations, and what legislation makes sense to mitigate these new risks while preserving as much freedom as we can.

The Lifeboat Foundation is attempting to provide this thinking, advice, and solutions. They are already getting ready for a new advisory board, culled from computer scientists, economists, and bitcoin experts. If you make a fortune from your investments in decentralized currency, I urge you to consider how you can help all the people harmed by these rapid changes. Many bitcoin enthusiasts seem to think they will get to retire on a private island with a harem and a stable of Italian sports cars. This is wrong. Bitcoin investors need to someday become bitcoin philanthropists, and our giving needs to be targeted at helping all the people we have harmed. The Lifeboat Foundation is one option, but I’m sure there will be others.

I first published this article on the blog of the Lifeboat Foundation: http://lifeboat.com/blog/2013/04/bitcoins-dystopian-future
Reddit version is here: http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1cos8x/bitcoins_dystopian_future/

tl;dr: Wildly successful distributed currencies could hurt a lot of people.

Using the after effects of a massive credit bubble to argue that deflation is harmful is as rational as using the existence of hangovers to argue that one should never stop drinking.

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May 21, 2018, 05:14:22 PM
 #216


Using the after effects of a massive credit bubble to argue that deflation is harmful is as rational as using the existence of hangovers to argue that one should never stop drinking.

Actually, I LOVE deflation. It's hyperinflation of fiat (accelerated by a flight to crypto) that worries me.

This is a very old post, from back in 2013. I've done a lot since then (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jrwillett/) and a lot of things have changed, but I still stand by it completely.

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May 30, 2018, 06:18:07 PM
 #217

Nice write up, but i think the whole "if you can't beat em, join em" mentality will overtake the general population at the tipping point, and political associations to money will dissolve.
[/quote

I kind of agree with this mentality, but there is more involved than disagreeing with quality & price. As advances in technology and technology advances, old ways of doing things are useless and getting left behind. In our case, decentralized money keeps the government's money out of date. Now we can save money, without losing profits from a stable and non-liquid currency.
  Like many respondents here and I have greater confidence in human nature to give a good and correct response to what might happen. But if the European experiment we just saw revealed telling us anything, you can not have a single monetary system without a single government. I see the transition as a monumental challenge, and will require visionary leaders to take a counter-intuitive leap of faith in the future.
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May 30, 2018, 06:19:25 PM
 #218

 Cool Okay then
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June 10, 2018, 08:44:29 AM
 #219

Most of OP's predictions will happen regardless, with or without Bitcoin. This just speeds up the process a little bit.

dystopia (greek word) bad place. A society which is undesirable or frightening. With this situation of the place,do you think bitcoin has a future?
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June 10, 2018, 12:26:50 PM
 #220

Most of OP's predictions will happen regardless, with or without Bitcoin. This just speeds up the process a little bit.

dystopia (greek word) bad place. A society which is undesirable or frightening. With this situation of the place,do you think bitcoin has a future?

I've been following bitcoin a couple of years ago, I have witnessed its performance in the market. Im very satisfied and entertain by its movement last year but now it seems BTC stuggle to recover since it fell down in the market. This past few weeks BTC face a significant low value and still falling. In future, bitcoin seems be dystopian or frightening but I still hoping it could climb up again and make noise in the market.
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