From Editor in Chief P.J. O’Rourke
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
A Blockhead Confronts the Blockchain
THE HISTORY OF MONEY IS INCREASING CONFUSION... BITCOIN IS NO EXCEPTION
P eople have all sorts of feelings about All I feel is ignorance and guilt... First, let me explain the guilt. I’m a libertarian, and I want a medium of exchange – a kind of money – that adheres to libertarian principles. Money that adheres to just one libertarian principle will suffice. This is the privacy principle: “ What I do that doesn’t physically harm you is none of your damn business. ” Business is conducted with money. Cryptocurrency would seem to be the private kind of money libertarians want. It’s private in the two most important senses of privacy. cryptocurrency – wild enthusiasm, cool skepticism, greedy desire, utopian hope...
First, cryptocurrency isn’t subject to government public policy. Government public policy, of course, is to issue as much money as it feels like issuing. Government treats money like a stalker treats posting things on your Facebook page. A couple of clicks of a Federal Reserve keyboard, and there’s another creepy rant. The original rant didn’t have much value, and subsequent rantings are increasingly worthless and worrying. But “unfriending” the government is hard. Second, cryptocurrency encrypts transactions. What you’re buying or selling isn’t revealed to a nosy snoop. That nosy snoop being, once again, government. I’m a law-abiding guy. I’ll wait for the “walk”
6 | July 2017
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