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The Market is The Mirror

Welcome to The Block. I’m Jeremiah Lewis, a crypto-enthusiast and early adopter. This is a weekly ema

The Block

January 24 · Issue #11 · View online
Weekly curated #cryptocurrency news and commentary.

Welcome to The Block. I’m Jeremiah Lewis, a crypto-enthusiast and early adopter. This is a weekly email digest comprising one or two short topical essays followed by a manageable collection of curated links.
If you know anyone who’d be interested in this kind of content, forward this email, or they can subscribe here. I love feedback, so don’t hesitate to email me.

The Two Sides of Crypto
Bitcoin is a tool for freeing humanity from oligarchs and tyrants, dressed up as a get-rich-quick scheme.
The original vision of Bitcoin was clear from the beginning. Its anonymous creator argued that the current financial structures were broken and corrupt, subject to the vices and tyrannies of corrupt nations and organizations–most especially, the global banking cartel. Bitcoin was intended to be a panacea to the existing power and financial systems, a means of correction.
Over the next nine years it proved Hemingway-esque in how it emerged into global consciousness: Gradually and then suddenly. Now that the spotlight is on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in large, the original question of its purpose and the means by which it would achieve that purpose remain unanswered. For a while it seemed poised to achieve its goal: democratization and decentralization of a purely anonymous financial system.
And then somehow, or perhaps inevitably, it lost its way.
Brandon Coche
@naval Bitcoin is a get-rich-quick scheme, dressed up as a tool for freeing humanity from oligarchs and tyrants.
Cryptocurrency is a system, and systems are subject to the whims, desires, hopes, strategems and vices of their users and architects.
If you’re anything like billions of other people on the planet, having a million dollars sounds like a dream come true. For most people, it’s always seemed like an unlikely dream.
While the dream itself remains elusive, cryptocurrency offers people a slightly greater chance to achieve it. And that is both a strength and weakness. The fact that cryptocurrency is a totally new and relatively small market means that its depths have yet to be plumbed. Its foundation, scarcity, fungibility, trust, and transmission, lends itself extremely well to financial opportunity. 
That it is open-source gives it further strength as an open, democratic model, increasing trust among its users that it was not secretly a device of some single, secret entity.
The cryptocurrency marketplace is a natural outgrowth of all of these qualities, because it is not merely a financial instrument. It is a mirror reflecting human psychology. All of business and capitalism is nothing more than innate human desire manifested in a direct, transactional capacity. Greed, fear, hope, desire, power, independence, trust, and secrecy are all bound up in it.
And what happened? In a word: Consolidation. The mirror rewarded those who looked into it first. Now, 95% of all Bitcoins are owned by 4% of its users.
Bitcoin wealth distribution statistics - YouTube
And so we’re left to wonder–what is Bitcoin really? Is it a libertarian dream currency, or is it simply more of the same? What does its future look like?
@naval Wrong. Bitcoin, if successful, will simply have been a tool for creating new oligarchs and tyrants.
What is cryptocurrency to you? Is it a means of getting rich? Is it a way to subvert existing (corrupt) power structures? Is it a cool technology, innovation for innovation’s sake? Does it pose an answer to the questions and problems plaguing humanity? Or is it yet another system of control?
Or is it all of these things at once?
If you have any insights, I’d love to hear from you.

Weekly Reading List
Want to stay informed, ahead of the curve, and amused, all at once? I’ve handpicked these links to give you some additional insights into what’s happening. Don’t forget, you can also go back and read prior issues to catch up.
State of Global Cryptocurrency Regulation (January 2018)
On Value, Velocity, and Monetary Theory
Resistance to Cryptocurrency as Explained by Behavioral Economics
Canada trialing use of Ethereum blockchain to enhance transparency in govt funding
Study: 6 in 10 Americans have heard about Bitcoin
Facebook and Crypto: what you need to know for 2018
Op-Ed: Bitcoin’s High Fees are Forcing Companies to Optimize Their Interactions with the Blockchain, And That’s a Good Thing
CryptoCelebrities: Collectible one of a kind celebrity smart contracts
Nasdaq CEO: ‘We Are Investigating the Idea of Bitcoin Futures
A few weeks ago I posted a link about how criminals are abandoning Bitcoin for more anonymous cryptocurrencies. This latest report reinforces that finding.
Bitcoin Laundering Less Than One Percent of All Transactions
Conspiracy Group Claims Bitcoin Created by Rogue Artificial Intelligence
Then there’s the competing theory, that it was created by aliens.
Was Bitcoin created by aliens? Obvi...
Wrap Up
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