Is Bitcoin Racist?
He is absolutely correct in diagnosing this phenomenon. In particular, Golumbia’s “Politics of Bitcoin” has said absolutely nothing about Bitcoin itself, merely throwing fallacious strands of “racism”, “conspiracy theory” and “extremism” at the proverbial wall and hoping that something will stick.
A recurring theme throughout Golumbia’s book is around the accumulation of excessive power in private hands, something he sees the State as the counter-balance and his concern is that crypto-currency, given its general refutation of the orthodox monetary regime, is aligned to upset that dynamic; pushing more power unchecked into private corporations.
We might say that right-wing politics sides emotionally and practically with power—it identifies with power, and via this identification works to ensure that nobody interferes with the concentration and exercise of power. On this view, left-wing politics is specifically focused on the limitation of power, on mechanisms for distributing power equitably, and on the excesses that almost inevitably emerge when power is allowed to grow unchecked.
This is an old debate, which concentration of power is unchecked and out of control? Private companies, no matter how large they get will still always be subject to the vagaries of competition. The bureaucratic monolith of the State, not so much.
I too worry about the influence of Google, Facebook, Amazon (that was the impetus behind Guerrilla-Capitalism in the first place), but I don’t see the government acting to limit the reach of these behemoths as much as allowing them to operate quasi-monopolies in exchange for their capability to assist the state in their quest for wholesale surveillance of the citizenry and the obliteration of privacy.
There are legitimate criticisms of the Bitcoin / crypto spaces. Even Brandon Smith, whom I just quoted above, is somewhat skeptical.
As I’ve written before about easyDNS’ involvement in Ethereum Name Service development, “there will be governance”. The grand experiment of the crypto space will succeed or fail to the degree that it can create governance structures, perhaps competitive decentralized ones, that can function effectively before the world governments do it for us.
We’ve been here before. In the early 2000’s there were Digital Gold Currencies (DGCs) like E-gold, pecunix and goldmoney. I went on record that e-gold’s lack of governance would be its downfall and I was right. E-gold was soon gone, while Goldmoney – under the stewardship of James Turk and his brother, operated with an even handed, rigorous governance structure. Surprise: Goldmoney still exists to this day and has merged with Bitgold, actually fusing DGCs with Bitcoin, while e-gold is dust in the wind.