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Coffee House

Bitcoin vs Big Brother: why cryptocurrencies make sense

3 January 2014

5:29 PM

3 January 2014

5:29 PM

You don’t need to be a particularly virulent pessimist to notice something phoney about this glorious economic recovery we’re supposedly experiencing. All you need to understand is that since the 2008 crash, nothing has been done to address the terrifying underlying problem that got us there: governments — our government especially, since we are one of the most indebted in the western world — are spending far too much money we haven’t got on crap (from overgenerous welfare to HS2) we can’t afford. This can only end very, very nastily.

So what possible recourse do we free (ish) individuals have against the bullying might of this vast, increasingly confiscatory system stacked against us? Well this is where bitcoins, Litecoins and Quarks et al come in. They’re the monetary equivalent of that scene in Atlas Shrugged where the productive, hardworking creators revolt against the corrupt, hyper-regulated, sclerotic, wasteful, doomed system and retreat beyond the mountains to Colorado.

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Cryptocurrencies were created by and for people who have simply had enough. They’ve seen the way the world is going and rather than grumble or pretend it’s not happening, they’ve decided instead to make a new one, in their own liberty-loving image. It’s a world where, by and large, Big Brother has no place — which is why, for example, it’s so popular on the black market.

But you don’t need to be a crim to see why cryptocurrencies make sense. Have you noticed how increasingly difficult it is, for example, to conduct the most basic transactions from your bank account? You want to pay for some item, perhaps by bank transfer, and the security’s so tight (thanks to onion layers of EU regulation, probably) you sometimes find yourself being shut out of your own account. Well, with bitcoin you’re your own bank: you transfer your money electronically from your wallet to the payee’s wallet, and that’s it.

This is an extract from James Delingpole’s column in this week’s Spectator. Click here to read the full piece.

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