- Published: Saturday, 01 February 2014 11:48
- Written by Editor
There has been much activity around the world this week regarding how Bitcoin should be regulated.
Regulation is the first step down a very slippery and terminal road towards banks, governments and others taking control of Bitcoin for their own agendas, and the opportunity and benefits of decentralised money will be lost. Bitcoin is not "evil" or "dangerous", it is what it is, passive, inert. Any regulation that takes place should be targeting those who seek to abuse Bitcoin, not Bitcoin itself.
Before Bitcoin has even had an opportunity to mature and become widely adopted, governments and other agencies are clamouring to regulate or control Bitcoin in some way. This is every bit as detrimental to Bitcoin as it would be to the Internet itself or any other free resource enjoyed by the masses. All arguments for regulation being out forward are completely erroneous, treating Bitcoin as a living, breathing, thinking entity, capable of wrong-doing, which is absolutely untrue of course. Bitcoin is electronic bits of information and is by nature passively inert and completely safe as well as innocent of any malpractice.
There is a saying - "guns do not kill people, people kill people". The same principle applies. Bitcoin does not launder money, people launder money. Bitcoin does not deal in drugs, people deal in drugs - and so on. Money launderers wear clothes and drive cars, so should clothes and cars be regulated because they are used by money launderers? How about regulating cars because they can kill and injure people or be used to transport drugs?
It was extremely disappointing to see a respected technology figure not only accepting regulation, but apparently believing it necessary:
" Today in the global financial system there are common regulations around things like 'knowing your customer' and anti-money laundering, and I think those are going to get applied in this (Bitcoin) as well" ~ Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Bitcoin start-up "Circle".
It is understandable that Allaire wishes to appease the "powers that be" for the benefit of his new company and himself, but the last thing Bitcoin users want or need is recognised industry figures supporting the same entities that control the financial system, banking, pharmaceuticals, agricultural, energy, military and other major sectors - this is a clear betrayal. And the very last thing Bitcoin needs is interference from out of control entities such as the NSA or GCHQ which have zero regard for human rights, privacy or freedoms.
"knowing your customer" is by definition - knowing your customer and has nothing inherently to do with Bitcoin itself - it is just sound business sense.
Regulation may be applied to Bitcoin Exchanges, because there are other currencies involved which are in themselves regulated, but the end-game for Bitcoin is to become the new de-facto global currency in its own right, which can purchase all goods and services, thereby rendering conversion to fiat currencies irrelevant.
The future for Bitcoin, if it is to have be, is to keep it totally free of regulation and thereby totally free of control or interference by governments and other entities, and for Bitcoin security and anonymity be constantly developed and enhanced to keep it firmly where it belongs - in the hands of the people, for the people.
Vote Below On Bitcoin Regulation