Facebook’s foray into the radical new world of decentralized ledges has aroused numerous legislative and regulatory pushback efforts.
Legislators Talking Bitcoin Maximalism? Run.
Democrats in Congress have repeatedly called for a “moratorium” on Facebook’s payments project and are drafting a bill to ban companies like Facebook from engaging in finance at all.
Nevertheless, at least two representatives took a moment to sing the praises of Bitcoin, blockchain, and decentralization yesterday.
Most notably was perhaps Representative Warren Davidson from Ohio, who introduced the word “shitcoin” to the congressional record.
Separately, Congressman Tom Emmer, who says he’s part of the “blockchain caucus,” mentioned that while he has concerns about Facebook’s project due to privacy issues, he wondered if David Marcus would help him “educate” other members of Congress about the power of crypto.
The unexpected maximalism may come as a joyful surprise to people who share the same views. It’s perhaps also unsurprising in reality – if blockchain is a problem, why not minimize its proliferation?
Centralization is more than just a single entity in control of something – it can also mean only one option.
The centralization of Bitcoin is under-discussed.
It has two points of potential control: its network of a dozen mining pools and its code development.
Either of these could potentially be compromised.
The commitment to a single global blockchain brings with it other existential risks, such as reliance on a single algorithm.
We can avert such potential problems by promoting a vibrant, diverse blockchain world. Or we can exacerbate them by playing tribal games and denigrating anything that’s not Bitcoin.
The fact that certain people, who will only wield more power as their careers in government mature, seem to support the vision of a single blockchain should be enough to make people with these views question themselves.
After all, Craig Wright, who claims to have invented Bitcoin, says that he wants cryptocurrency to be an aid to government intrusion, not a barrier. Whatever you call it, unwarranted and unlimited surveillance is not an effective way to advance an economy.
A Call To Reason
To remain nimble, cryptocurrency must remain diverse. A lack of context taints the “market dominance” and virtually any other metric about Bitcoin. For example, how many coins trade to make that volume, and what amount of them are genuinely liquid at whatever advertised price? Could the market sustain a mass exit of long-term holders?
These aren’t questions that are easy to answer.
While you can criticize chains that let most of their coin supply go into trading from the outset, the fact is whatever their “value” – a simple math equation of coins multiplied by price – it’s more accurate than the value on something like Bitcoin.
If that weren’t bad enough, the Bitcoin market as a whole suffers from a falsified volume problem so extreme that applications have been filed based on just 5% of said trading data.
The point is, it’s early to be an extremist, but if you’re going to be extreme, perhaps you should consider the full implications of an exclusionary ideology. Would it be better for people like Maxine Waters to have but one target, Bitcoin, to focus on, rather than a thriving industry?