Bitcoin Weekly Recap 10-21-2016
Author Claims Bitcoin Contributes to Spread of Right-Wing Ideology
In a recent blog post, author David Golumbia claimed that Bitcoin is helping to spread right-wing economic and political ideas – something that will probably come as news to most people who use the world’s most popular digital currency. In his criticism of the currency, Golumbia decries Bitcoin advocates’ use of words like freedom, democratization, and resistance against interference from centralized authorities, suggesting that those same words are used in similar ways by “extremists like Alex Jones and the John Birch Society.” It’s a fascinating but odd take on Bitcoin and political thought that’s worth a quick read by anyone who’s felt like there just isn’t enough reactionary gibberish on the internet today.
To be fair, he may have the makings of the beginning of a point – if you assume that the right on any left-right ideological axis is represented by greater personal liberty, while the left represents more government control. In that sense, he would be accurate. Bitcoin enthusiasts are looking for more democratization of money and greater control over their own sovereign destinies. Some believe that requires decentralization and a move away from the centralized control of monetary systems that many believe to be responsible for the seemingly endless boom-bust cycles that harm so many ordinary families. Others simply think that individuals should at least have an alternative to the status quo.
WikiLeaks Revelation: Clinton Campaign Team Prefers Green Altcoin – Not Bitcoin
WikiLeaks has released new emails that reveal that staff members for Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton, were apparently uninterested in Bitcoin’s approach to privacy and liberty – something that will probably come as a shock to anyone who has followed news of the former Secretary of State’s apparent commitment to keeping her own emails out of the public eye and away from lawmakers and investigators. The emails reveal that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta – a long-time Clinton surrogate, hanger-on, and all-around-swell-guy – received and passed along a request from “green” altcoin Ven in early 2015 to serve as a fundraising option for the Clinton campaign.
Podesta appears to have passed along the request to a campaign tech aide, with the message “I don’t send all the crazy ideas I hear about at fundraisers your way, but this seems interesting and legit,” and described Ven as “Essentially digital currency with a green angle as opposed to bitcoin’s libertarian Ayn Rand schtick.” For those unfamiliar with Rand, she was an author and Objectivist philosopher who extolled the virtues of individualism while fiercely opposing the centralized control promised by various forms of socialism.
India’s Intelligence Agencies Concerned About Illegal Bitcoin Usage
While India has made some strides toward broader acceptance of Bitcoin in recent months, with the Reserve Bank of India adopting a friendlier tone, there are growing indications that the nation’s intelligence services are less enthused. Those agencies are apparently growing increasingly concerned about the potentially illegal activities for which Bitcoin might be used, and how that usage might negatively impact things like law and order and issues surrounding national security. The government recently announced that the Reserve Bank would work with the intelligence agencies and other officials to develop safeguards that would provide a system of checks and balances to limit illegal activities.
Netflix CFO Endorses Bitcoin as Global Currency
Netflix CFO David Wells apparently gave the thumbs-up to Bitcoin at the Citi Internet, Media &Telecommunications Conference, as one observer reported him suggesting that “It sure would be nice to have Bitcoin in terms of a global currency that you could use globally.” The company is reportedly looking at Bitcoin to help it deal with a rise in fraudulent payments made using gift card and prepaid cards. Netflix accepts such cards as payment options, since they are often more convenient for the company’s unbanked and underage customers around the globe.