Mordor, affectionately known as Washington D.C., appears to have taken an interest in bitcoin lately. With the price rising rapidly over the past few weeks, sociopaths under the title of “senators” held meetings this week on what to do about this strange, new digital currency. They asked all of the vital questions: How would they tax it? Why would anyone want to use it when there’s the perfectly good dollar still around? Are they tools for terrorists? Can I eat them? Can I buy hookers and blow with them? (Oops, strike that from the record.)
Representatives from the Bitcoin Foundation appeared before the senators to calmly assure them that these new-fangled blowstamps are benign and simply another form of currency. While technically you could buy blow with them (just as with blood dollars), you can also buy a variety of legal, everyday items like suits or jackboots. The curiosity from the lawmakers was bound to come with the rise because everyone who has heard of them is thinking the same thing: “How can I make money off of bitcoin?” The old adage remains true; buy on the dips. But the dips bitcoin has been experiencing have been brief, so pay attention.
Even Ben Bernanke seems to have to have some opinions on the cryptocurrency, and though the Fed chairman is much maligned by the bitcoin community and others who disagree with his “solutions” to the economic instability we are experiencing, he actually appears to have no interest in regulating bitcoin. Admittedly, he writes that the Fed is bound by law from regulating bitcoin:
Although the Federal Reserve generally monitors developments in virtual currencies and other payments system innovations, it does not necessarily have authority to directly supervise or regulate these innovations or the entities that provide them to the market. In general, the Federal Reserve would only have authority to regulate a virtual currency product if it is issued by, or cleared or settled through, a banking organization that we supervise.
While there is always the ability for more laws to be made and senators no doubt still have the power to make them, it must be frustrating for them that the speed at which they can make a law is so far behind the speed at which technology is advancing. And always will be. While many senators seemed genuinely curious and—dare I say—excited at the prospects of cryptocurrency, on some level they must realize that it makes their efforts at regulating commerce futile.
It also makes them irrelevant in the long term because if more people simply opt out of the dollar, their war machine suffers and the profits that go with it go kaput. Also, if doctors, already furious at the impending implementation of the Affordable Care Act, choose to perhaps accept bitcoins or cash only instead of insurance it would strike a major blow to the industry. Of course it is hopeful conjecture that doctors would jump on the bitcoin bandwagon, and the ACA is doing well on its own at proving the inefficacy of centralized control over healthcare.
Politicians are playing nice in regard to this bitcoin phenomenon for now and in all seriousness during the hearing they seemed interested in understanding more. I think that’s great that they as individuals sincerely want to know more about this currency, though some were dismissing it as a passing fad. However, they are fully aware of their role in the greater machine of the state, and make no mistake once they (if they haven’t already) gain a full understanding of just how severe a blow bitcoin and other altcoins could make to their power structure, they will be taking action against it. Thankfully, they will be hindered by the tedious legislative process of their own design while bitcoin users carry on unaffected and technology improves at an awe-inspiring rate. The war makers will have been outpaced by the time they get around to passing a law, and if they think some scribbles on paper can stop the momentum of bitcoin, I suspect they are in for quite the surprise.
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Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome