How Bitcoin's narrative machine pulls you in
Medium writer @Gigi explains how Bitcoin's "idea-value feedback loops" are formed when thoughtful people encounter Bitcoin's design principles. Belief in the ideas encourages the individual's perception of value in the coin, and visa versa. "The direct link between holding beliefs (ideas) and holding assets (value) is a multiplying factor which can result in ever deeper entrenchment," he writes.
"Bitcoin’s dominance is no accident. Its set of ideas managed to convince the largest group of people, generating the most value in turn. However, exploring other ideas can be a good and healthy thing, if pursued genuinely. Time and the free market will decide which ideas align with reality. Bad ideas will vanish, and good ideas will be absorbed. In a world where people hold a combination of ideas and valuable assets, a feedback loop which links and reinforces both is a powerful force of attraction. Whether you just started to feel Bitcoin’s gentle pull or you’ve been a hodlonaut in close orbit, Bitcoin’s gravity will continue to increase. I am convinced of that idea, and I hope to have planted a seed of conviction in you as well."
"The problem is, staking payments are not stock dividends, either in law or in practice. In fact, they are fundamentally different from dividends, because you actually have to do something to receive them. Namely, you have to engage in the business of staking your coins, in the hopes of making a profit at the expense of non-stakers, or at minimum, for the purpose of avoiding a loss. While the Congress (with sufficient lobbying) might well get around to making PoS rewards free of tax… I wouldn’t hold my breath."
"President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed into law a 'sovereign internet' bill which will allow Russian authorities to isolate the country's internet, a move decried by rights groups. Russian lawmakers insist the new law is necessary to ensure the security of Russia's online networks but critics say the vaguely worded bill gives new censorship powers to government monitors. The text of the law was published Wednesday but it will not come into effect until November. The measures include creating technology to monitor internet routing and to steer Russian internet traffic away from foreign servers, ostensibly to prevent a foreign country from shutting it down. The authors of the initiative say Russia must ensure the security of its networks after US President Donald Trump unveiled a new American cybersecurity strategy last year that said Russia had carried out cyber attacks with impunity."
"The West’s increasing technological and economic exposure to China may have unintended consequences. Over a decade ago, the singer Björk was banned from China, and muzzled within the Great Firewall, for advocating Tibetan independence during a concert in Shanghai. If, tomorrow, Björk followed up with a TikTok video pleading for Uighur rights, and the clip went viral globally, would the party be able to resist the temptation to lean on ByteDance to slow or stop it? If your face appears in the background of another person’s TikTok video shot in Berlin, will it be logged using facial recognition software running in Shanghai? Those who complain that American firms like Facebook are invasive and unaccountable are unlikely to prefer China’s tech giants, which are often cowed by, and collaborating with, the Party-State’s opaque and irascible censorship and surveillance apparatus."
"I do believe that bitcoin has the capacity to influence Venezuela’s financial landscape in a positive way. As cash loses its value, citizens are pushed toward digital money and eventually, that money could include cryptocurrencies. While we are in this process, Venezuelans must stop being seen as a punchline for misleading arguments about the benefits of bitcoin. The country situation has shown the many phases of an economic crisis, and there are invaluable lessons that we have learned that give a whole new twist to our view on financial solutions. That said, the crypto industry needs to stop viewing Venezuela as a testing ground for wild ideas and start viewing us as what we really are: irreplaceable partners in the financial revolution."
"In my opinion, a very underscored theme being covered in wake of Cash App's successful foray into Bitcoin is that they highlight an advantage already established companies may have over hopeful 'crypto-native' upstarts looking to grab market share. Large, successful companies with established revenue streams are able to leverage BTC as another consistent revenue stream without having to chase revenue via the even riskier altcoin markets as companies like Coinbase have been forced to do. Couple this ability to focus with ample capital and a preexisting user base, and we may find that patient incumbents who have simply been waiting for confirmation that Bitcoin is here to stay (maybe being around for a decade will be big for some of these companies) jump into the fray and eat up significant market share."
"Part of Bitfinex’s 'missing' $850 million is now in the hands of the U.S. Department of Justice. Meanwhile, a controversial businessman was arrested for falsely setting up accounts that let exchanges—including Bitfinex, based on claims in the indictment—skirt bank rules and the law. Funds seized by the feds from an HSBC Bank account were allegedly used to commit bank fraud by secretly transferring U.S. dollars to and from customers of cryptocurrency exchanges, according to an indictment announced by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman Tuesday."
"Two people, allegedly related to Crypto Capital, were charged with money laundering on Tuesday. The feds claim that the pair ran a banking scheme for crypto companies, which involved Global Trading Solutions LLC—a company that has been identified as one of the shell companies owned by Crypto Capital, and used by Bitfinex. The scheme allegedly involved running a 'shadow bank that processed hundreds of millions of dollars of unregulated transactions on behalf of numerous cryptocurrency exchanges.' This unregulated Panamanian company has been providing banking services without a licence to crypto businesses around the world for years, the indictment said. But where did Crypto Capital come from? And who’s really behind it?"