Reputation, again, and the "underlying" obstacle

First Published: e-Forex Magazine 63 / CryptoCurrencies / January, 2016

Bitcoin has a bad reputation. In its early days, it proved to be a useful facilitator for drug smuggling and other illicit trade. The points have been made before (and will no doubt be made again) that, first, the US dollar has facilitated (and been the cause of) far more crime than Bitcoin, and secondly, more importantly, that an unequivocal proof of utility will tend to be negative but carry a positive implication. Criminals only care about what works. If they use an instrument – it works. The early internet – but we all know how that example goes. With Bitcoin, the quirky part has been the distinction between the thing itself and the underlying technology. Banks can’t readily jump into something that’s most closely associated with the so-called Dark Web, but they can – completely separately – build blockchains. Not to overstate this, but the whole “We can build a blockchain and we don’t need Bitcoin” thing is a side-issue, as is “We’re...continued

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