Cryptocurrencies have teased and threatened to free our world from the bonds of regulation for the last couple of years. These claims have been made by those who tend to romanticize revolution: hopes that spout from mouths almost always well-fed, and never biting the hand that feeds.
It’s funny how revolutionary ideas can in effect morph into dystopian tools used by the rich to progress their own agenda. Let us not forget that communism worked in theory. Is cryptocurrency doomed to the same fate? On some level, it seems so. We’re all so star struck that our little bounty of coins is increasing value by ridiculous gains that we may be blind to the room for exploitation by this new thirsty industry propping the whole thing up.
The reality is that the tool we use to transact with online—the lifeblood of the dark web—merely obfuscates the source of our funds for the majority of users. True users. Not miners, or “investors,” but users. Those of us who convert fiat currency to cryptocurrency tumble it and throw it at a marketplace. Those of us who haven’t bothered to build GPU mining rigs, or haven’t thrown an API micro-trader across a few exchanges.
The current price and consistent increases may be due to cryptocurrency’s viability and its treatment as a commodity. Robot investors in the massive FinTech industry tap their APIs in across multiple exchanges—exploiting marginal micro differences in buy and sell prices, trading massive amounts for percentages of percentages. We’re all just along for the ride. Our hopes and dreams are equivalent to the greedy middle class exploited prior to the 1987 tech boom. Is this what we all dreamed of when we dreamed of shedding the oppression of banks? Of governments? Of red tape regulation?
Crypto technology is the wild west for financial companies. It’s Wall Street in the 1980s all over again. This time, though, they’re not degrading a system created and exploited by the rich (and the world’s financial institutions), but a system dreamt up by a brilliant mathematician.
Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin and mastermind of the first-ever Blockchain database, couldn’t comprehend the waves of sub-industries built beyond GPU mining. Mine farms are the tip of the iceberg. We’re at a point where even cryptocurrency hedge funds are starting to pop up. This is a bridge between the old and new—selling a share in the market gains to an old class of rich like a carrot dangled in front of their wallets.
Victims of addiction must be careful to not ‘swap out’ their evil for a replacement. The financial industry appears to be swapping their addiction from derivatives to ICOs.
And it really is the wild west: ICOs likened to money laundering. It’s easy to see why, but we all still hope, dream and reflect on Satoshi’s paper, a seminal beam of light for a world choking on its own vomit.
A global currency for the people. That is the goal. That was the goal. That is what we all want and hoped for. Yet, I’m acutely aware—like the sound of a mouse in the walls of an old house while trying to sleep—that all of our crypto-hording might be simply inflating the price and harming our dream.
We need to be actively using cryptocurrencies, not just for buying and holding. Of course we’d be soft in the head if we didn’t plug some cryptocurrency away: indications are that it is becoming more and more mainstream.
But we need to be actively spending, too. The question quickly becomes: do we actually want to stop or hinder the FinTech industry? Perhaps not. They are the entities that provide this level of value to Bitcoin, et al., but equally important to remember is that an inflated price may be unsustainable.
Deregulation brought the world economy to its knees, twice now, in the last 40 odd years. The same people who set these market crashes up—and were there to profit in the wake—have turned their attention to the world of cryptocurrency. Imagine the damage they can inflict in an unregulated, unrestrained, no nation, no law, no holds world.
It’s possible they are polluting the dream. They are applying the poison we all wanted to escape. Dialling into exchanges with powerful connections and computers, beyond what a normal user has access to, profiting from micro changes and buying power.
We’re all along for the ride. We sit back and think we’re brilliant for gaining a few hundred percent from market gains, yet the FinTech industry is actively manipulating the market and playing us all.
I’ve begun to have people who can’t set up their own router ask me how to get “into Bitcoin.” This drives the price up. This is what helps the entire community. More humans getting their hands on the system, not companies. Decentralizing the system naturally. A problem is these people getting “into Bitcoin” just have dollar signs in their eyes. Nothing but pre-1987 greed. They may not even know that some businesses are accepting cryptocurrency. They certainly have no interest in using cryptocurrency. In fact, their only interest is hording cryptocurrency and watching an imaginary number get bigger, all the while holding nothing but a cryptographic key.
But what can we do, as those within this sort of educated cryptocurrency bubble? What should we do? In theory, we should keep doing what we’re doing. We’re the ones actually using cryptocurrency, but we should try to spend crypto anywhere we can. The more we transact in crypto, the stronger the community comes, and the closer we are to realizing Satoshi’s dream. Every opportunity presented where cryptocurrency is accepted, we should go out of our way to use it. Money talks and bullshit walks, and we should vote with our money: we need to tell businesses with our payments that we want to pay in cryptocurrencies.
Is regulation of these financial giants with their fingers in crypto able to take some of the wind out of the sails? Impossible. They’ll try, but it’s going to be next to impossible without a presently undiscovered technology or methodology. Time and time again, governments and world organizations preach about regulation of cryptocurrency, yet it technically it is not possible without a form of a roundabout third-party reporting system.
I wish it was simple, but my cynical half yells at me with daggers in the eyes.
Unfortunately, I think cryptocurrency has morphed into the perfect outlet for the psychopathic financial industry that’s hell bent on nothing other than profit at the cost of everything else. They’ve been forever lobbying to remove shackles placed on them by a worried society left to stand back and watch the industry create nothing physical, but become rich by digitally moving numbers from the left to right while collecting a commission. Stock prices become irrelevant when your business is to sell stock. Your business only becomes being good at selling stock.
It troubles me. In a world where only 43 percent of citizens trust their government, how can the powers be trusted to protect the citizenry from the shifting storms? Their attempts to regulate the financial industry post the 2010 trillion-dollar market crash were hindered by multiple stakeholder interests.
I can imagine the smiles that grew over the faces of financial industry executives as they asked questions about Bitcoin to the kid telling them that they need to focus some energy on the asset.
“So, what determines the price, what is the underlying value?”
“Market value only, it’s a made up unique internet code.”
“Who is the central regulating authority?”
“Are there exchanges”
“Yes, and they can have different prices.”
It’s a financial executive’s wet dream.
Big money has sniffed the value and power of cryptocurrency, and they’ve seen the value it can provide them: A market uninhibited from any regulatory authority in any capacity. This is different to what Satoshi saw in it: a boundless tradable global currency without central authority.
Cryptocurrency is out of our control. It’s a game for huge financials now. It’s E-coin. The very organizations we’re all trying to escape from are the organizations building the technology to allow businesses to accept cryptocurrency. I struggle coming to terms with believing cryptocurrency is now anything more than the next generation of financial products.
But then I remember the key to it all: peer-to-peer use.
I don’t think I’ve ever paid anyone I know for something by crypto. That’s my 2018 goal. I’m going to do more normal transacting in cryptocurrency.
Be conscious that the current price is propped up like crazy by an industry with decades of experience simply applying their principles and lack of moral compass. FinTech may not be such a good thing, and it seems to me to be just Goldman Sachs wearing a Star Wars costume telling everyone at the convention how much they love Star Trek.
Regardless, with FinTech’s backing, where really is the roof?