Many people involved in Bitcoin would describe themselves as libertarians. They like their money hard and their government minimal. Some would go even further and ascribe to anarcho-capitalist thought. Through this the government is removed fully and capitalism can run freely. Don’t expect any public services or taxes though.
Bitcoin has reinvigorated this Randian train of thought. This is thanks to the elements that it contains within itself. Not only is it out of reach of governments but it is also global and controlled by no one entity. Whether this is the same for BCHABC or BCHSV is a debate for another time.
The reason I discuss this is because I believe Bitcoin has somewhat of an issue attracting the general public onto its side in many an argument. Bitcoin maximalists, generally, are probably not worried by this. They believe that the idea of Bitcoin is so great that sooner or later people will come to see it for its greatness.
Post World War Two politics
The issue can possibly be linked to the different paths taken by the US and Europe post World War Two. The majority of Europe set about building democratic societies accompanied with a welfare state, i.e. the NHS and social housing. The US, however, has been more resistant to such government intervention. The Cold War with Russia made any socialist thought difficult to promote.
Therefore, the US has been lurching towards right-wing economic policies ever since. Even the Democrats, those supposedly on the left of American politics, are extremely popular with the very wealthy. Such reasons explain why there is a much larger libertarian base in the US instead of Europe. For those of us in Europe who have experienced the benefits of free healthcare, political ideologies that suggest its removal never do well. For this reason the main political parties in the UK will always prioritise boosting the N.H.S in the run up to a general election.
With this being said, Bitcoin does remain popular in Europe. The popularity lies within the move from the social democratic left of the 1970’s and the move towards neoliberalism in the 1980’s. Since the removal of the gold standard and the formation of fiat currencies the gap between rich and poor has grown ever wider in developed nations. When citizens begin to question why many stumble upon the concept of sound money (money backed by gold or another asset).
Since the 2008 financial crisis, European governments have printed vast sums of money to keep banks afloat through central banks. At the same time they have imposed austerity measures on some of the poorest in society. This has created a severe sense of dissatisfaction amongst citizens. Brexit being a prime example. As people continue to stumble upon Bitcoin they realise that here is a currency that doesn’t suffer from government interference.
Yet once they do and see the community that surrounds it, problems arise. For many social democrats the consistent anarcho-capitalist narratives and even the new fad of a the Bitcoin carnivorism instantly becomes unappetising. The further complication is the question marks arising over the environmental concerns. Often derided as FUD, those involved in Bitcoin need to produce more coherent and suitable arguments. Simply labelling criticism as FUD is counterproductive. This can be seen throughout cryptocurrency. If I choose to criticise outright Ponzi schemes to “bagholders” of that coin, they reply that I am merely promoting FUD. FUD is everywhere because people within this space are too emotional and not self critical enough.
Those within the crypto space need to do more to convince the unconvinced. Rather than being antagonistic towards criticism, we need an open and honest dialogue. Rather than pushing a libertarian and anarcho-capitalist narrative new ideas need to be incorporated to make Bitcoin more palatable to those in the centre or on the left.
Where do you sit on the left/right spectrum and what is your view of not just Bitcoin but the community that surrounds it?
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.