The Upside of the Internet: Defending Bitcoin’s ‘Downside’

By September 17, 2016Bitcoin Business

Josh Cincinnati is an entrepreneur with experience in creating and funding early stage startups. He is currently also BlockCypher’s developer advocate and editor of the firm’s blog. In this opinion piece, Cincinnati critiques a recent NYTimes article that suggested bitcoin’s immutable ledger of transactions is its weakness. Like any good cryptocurrency adherent, in my romping around social media I was unsurprised to find yet-another-grossly-misrepresented-hit-piece on bitcoin. But this one sure was fancy. Op-ed in the NYTimes, you say? Group chief executive (?) for financial services from a major consulting firm? Wow. Must be a hard-hitting, well-researched, incisive look at the downsides of cryptocurrency. I clicked the link. And then I read the goddamn title. Downside of Bitcoin: A Ledger That Can’t Be Corrected Sigh. You’d think the author would have relented after writing The Downside of Transistors: Miniaturization or The Downside of the Internet: Worldwide Two-Way Connectivity, but I guess you can’t fault the symmetry. (Note: he didn’t actually write those, but is it really such a stretch?) Because guess what the upsides of bitcoin are? The fact that it can’t be corrected; that it’s immutable. And that you don’t need anyone’s permission to use it. For posterity’s sake – and because I haven’t written anything quite this biting in a while and I miss it – I’ve cherry-picked a few passages where I felt a deep need to Accensure. The elephant in the room Let’s start with the first paragraph: "We have heard waves of inspired commentary on how the technology, with its ability to share information and record transactions, will be as revolutionary as the internet itself. … [W]e agree about these huge possibilities, but there is an elephant in the room that will need to be confronted." Nothing to really argue about here, but spoiler alert […]

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