The big online retailer Overstock.com now accepts payment in Bitcoin. That’s good news for lovers of liberty because Bitcoins give us an alternative to government-controlled money. Bitcoins are a currency created by anonymous, private tech nerds, not by government.
Governments don’t like competition, and our government sometimes bans competing currencies. But as more of us use Bitcoins, and more businesses accept payment in Bitcoin, it becomes harder for government to dismiss the currency as illegitimate, or ban it.
There are two advantages to Bitcoin.
First, it’s harder to trace transactions back to people who make trades. I don’t particularly care about that, because at the moment, I don’t hide anything from my government. But I do fear government destroying the value of my dollars by printing more of them, the way governments in Germany before World War II and in Zimbabwe in recent decades did, forcing people to make trades using wheelbarrows of nearly worthless bills.
Bitcoins have become a concern for central banks and governments around the world. They are beginning to fear it and with that will come efforts to control it. Bitcoins, much like the TEA Party movement, are hard to control. But that does not mean the powers to be won’t try.
Stossel notes, “The biggest risk to private currencies may be that governments will become jealous of how well these upstart forms of money work. If people all over the world decide to trade in digital currencies, it will become more obvious than ever that government isn’t what makes economic activity happen. It will also be harder to trace — and tax — people’s economic activity. Government doesn’t like to get sidelined. To its credit, the German government announced that it recognizes Bitcoin as a legal alternate currency.” Read more.
Bitcoins will truly breakout when businesses small and large not only accept them but can use them to pay their utility bill, purchase raw materials and pay their employees. If you want to see the future of Bitcoins then watch the new FOX TV series “Almost Human“.
Fasten your seat belts this will be a wild ride.