Bitcoin : The Future Of Money Essay

Bitcoin : The Future Of Money Essay

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Michael Rodriguez

James Maughn
English 1A
20 May 2015
bitcoin fantasy

The Nation.
ARE DIGITAL
CURRENCIES
THE FUTURETHE FUTURE
OF MONEY?
BY DOUG
HENWOOD
What’s being touted in some circles as
the future of money looks hardly more peaceful
than its past. Bitcoin, a formerly obscure cybercurrency,
is now all over the headlines with
reports of bankruptcies, thefts and FBI lockdowns.
If our fate is to buy and sell in bitcoins, this instability
is troubling. But despite the headlines, the triumph of
Bitcoin and related cyber-currencies is a lot less likely than
recent commentary would suggest. One cause of all this
May 19, 2014 13 DAN REISMAN
hype? The number of people who understand what
Bitcoin is seems almost immeasurably small—and
that probably includes some of its users.
Money, it should be conceded, is not a simple
topic. Most people understand how gold, which is
something of a primal money, is mined, refi ned and
shaped into coins. It is rare, pure, easily divisible and
has been cherished over the centuries. Paper money
is more complex. From 1900 through 1971 (with the
exception of during World War I), the US dollar was
backed by gold, meaning its value was legally defi ned
by a certain weight of the metal. That ended in 1971,
when Richard Nixon shocked the world by breaking
the link to gold and allowing the dollar’s value to be
determined by trading in the foreign exchange markets.
The dollar is valuable not because it’s as good
as gold, but because you can buy goods and services
produced in the United States with it—and, crucially,
it’s the only form the US government will accept
for tax payments. Among the Federal Reserve’s
many functions is allowing the issuance of just the
right quantity of dollars—enough to keep the wheel...


... middle of paper ...


... libertarians—and there are a lot of them
in tech and fi nance, the two parents of Bitcoin—are
always worrying about infl ation. They worry about it
the same way that hedge fund titans see talk of eliminating
their tax breaks as a rerun of Nazi Germany.
But maybe I’m just bitter. I bought 0.05 bitcoin on
February 5 for $39.72. As of April 24, it was worth
$24.79—down 38 percent. Some bulwark against the
irresponsible state. ■
Libertarians
see cryptocurrencies
as
the gateway to
a new society;
socialists see
them as a way
to operate
furtively under
capitalism.
B I T C O I N
T H E
F A N T A S Y
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