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Here's How My Conspiracy Will Destroy Bitcoin's Potential To Change The World

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Avatar for dave_gutteridge
Written by   169
4 months ago

After my last article about how conspiracy theories undermine the potentially good reputation of crypto, I got this comment on Reddit:

Let's say you work at a high level in the $1 trillion per day global finance system and I build a system which competes with it. What do you do?

The comment implies that it's obvious that a person who benefits in the current economic system would obviously fight any competing system that undermines their power. And that's true... so far as you assume that the new competing system is mutually exclusive to your current status. But is that the case?

I responded:

I would use my current wealth to buy a significant amount within the system you've created in order to protect my position no matter which way the wind ended up blowing. It's so much easier than trying to manipulate secret plans.

I felt there was so much more to explore with this concept. I kept thinking about the question of what would I do if I were part of this supposed global elite trying to suppress Bitcoin. I mean really, really think about exactly how I would deal with a potential threat from Bitcoin.

Let's say I'm some kind of billionaire type, the kind who golfs with politicians, I can buy media companies, maybe I build space ships for kicks. What gives me all my power is wealth. I want to keep my position so that I can act on all the things I think is good about having power. Maybe I want to make my mark on history like some kind of modern day pharaoh, maybe I just want cruise around on a huge yacht with a bunch of scantily clad models, maybe I just like having everything go my way.

They key point here is it actually doesn't matter to me how I have wealth in order to support my power, just that whatever society considers valuable, I have it. Whether it's cash, stocks, gold, celebrity status, information, Pokemon cards, chickens... could be anything. All I need to do to preserve my position is to make sure a lot of whatever it is we're all using to measure wealth is in my control. I probably have my wealth diversified across different forms already, and I probably already have some contingency plans in case of problems. If the economy of one country collapses, I'll just go to one of my other houses in a better country.

So along comes Bitcoin and it's going to shake things up. Does that mean I'm going to stop it? Why would I? Why not just buy it like I do everything else that supports my wealth and power? It's just another part of my diversified portfolio. If fiat starts having problems, I have gold. If gold has problems, I have real estate. Or whatever. If any of the other things have problems, I now have Bitcoin too.

That's something I already casually mentioned in my Reddit response, but let's think about it a little more deeply.

Let's say I think Bitcoin is in some way mutually exclusive to some of my other assets, mainly the ones more closely tied to fiat cash. As Bitcoin goes up, those other assets go down. That's a problem. But still, it's not only easy enough to buy some of it to make sure my wealth in Bitcoin climbs as my wealth in other assets depreciate, it's practically a steal.

Bitcoin right now is light years from having the scale of acceptance of anything like an actual global currency. Which means it has a long way to go before it's actually any kind of threat to any economic system. And that also means that if you believe that it really could become that threat, then it's currently extremely cheap. One Bitcoin now could be a fortune in the future. As a billionaire trying to protect my position, I could buy enough Bitcoin now with an insignificant fraction of my portfolio that would ensure that by the time Bitcoin was actually upsetting the fractional reserve system or whatever, I would have plenty of it to continue being rich and powerful in the new paradigm.

And this is true for governments as it is for individuals or companies. As I've talked about before, the US government didn't invent gold, it just bought up enough of it to have control over the world supply of gold and it's impact on the global economy. It could just as easily do the same thing with Bitcoin. Much easier and cheaper with Bitcoin, in fact.

Compare that with me trying to come up with some kind of plot to suppress Bitcoin in some way. Get my political friends and other rich dudes together and pool our resources to get the CIA and Academi to run psy-ops campaigns. Maybe also get our buddies in Goldman Sachs and the Fed to start doing funky things with banking services.

All of which costs money, because no one is acting for free. And comes with a lot of risk. A leaked email could blow the whole thing up. And even if we do everything right, those dastardly Bitcoin enthusiasts might still pull it off and all my efforts will have been for nothing. And then I'm stuck without any wealth in a new Bitcoin future.

That seems like a really, really dumb investment compared to just buying some Bitcoin. Not only is it less risky than covert operations, I could openly Tweet about it, and if I'm rich enough, my Tweet will cause the price of Bitcoin to go up, which, you know, is nice, because that recoups some of my investment already.

But there's even a further problem that makes any kind of covert operation less appealing than just buying a bunch of Bitcoin to make sure I'm still rich if it takes off.

I've been told that the word "conspiracy" is maybe too volatile, and that really when Bitcoin people talk about conspiracies, they're really talking about an "alignment of interests" of certain groups. Groups like the rich and powerful who benefit from the current system.

While the people who benefit from the global financial hierarchy are definitely an identifiable group, who probably all show up to each others's parties on the French Riviera or wherever rich people hang out, where do their loyalties to each other lie?

If I'm super rich, do I care if the super rich guy beside me also stays rich? As long as I continue to reap the benefit of whatever it is I get out of power, whether it's hedonistic excess or trying to make my mark on history, I can't see why I care who else is getting their fix of the benefits of wealth.

Put another way, why would Mark Zuckerberg need Jeff Bezos or Warren Buffet to stay rich in order for him to have his own wealth? He doesn't. None of them need each other, they just leverage each other so long as it's beneficial. People move in and out of the rich elite for all sorts of reasons all the time. In some ways, it's less desirable for me to have other people in the world as rich as me, because those are the people I can't easily compel to do my bidding.

Which means that maybe if I'm out to destroy Bitcoin, others may have done their own math and come to the conclusion that if Bitcoin succeeds, and they get in on it early, then I'm going to be left in the dust while they have a good laugh. After all, the Bitcoin I don't buy is the Bitcoin they can hoard to their benefit.

Again, this is as true for countries and corporations as it is for individuals. If the US tries to suppress Bitcoin, then other countries might find it beneficial to support it, openly or covertly. And within that, national interests are rarely so unified. Does the entire US government have just one position on, well, anything? There are competing factions within competing factions.

If I were rich enough, influential enough, powerful enough, I wouldn't want to have to rely on anyone else to preserve that position. Given a choice between starting some nebulous conspiracy that could go wrong in so many ways and buying my own personal pile of Bitcoin, the choice is pretty obvious.

So that's my conspiracy, or at least the conspiracy of the me that is hypothetically super rich. For a tiny fraction of my current wealth, I'll buy more Bitcoin than you can ever afford to buy or lose. If Bitcoin succeeds, I'll be wealthier than you in Bitcoin. If Bitcoin fails, I just laugh it off and keep being richer than you anyway.

That's the real conspiracy of the rich.

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Avatar for dave_gutteridge
Written by   169
4 months ago
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Comments

I assume rich people are looking at it that way. The governments, however, get to print as much money as they want and get to spend what they print. The value of that power is unimaginable in the long run. I do not expect fiat to be replaced, but the value of that power getting diminished is enough to warrant a "conspiracy". The US can also have the Navy or whatever department do the social engineering work, the Russians could use prison labor, ...

$ 0.00
4 months ago

Why would the government engage in complicated conspiracies when they can easily dominate the world supply of Bitcoin the same way they do with gold?

$ 0.00
4 months ago

No reason to assume they are not helping all the world's oligarchs do that also. Delaying crypto may be about bigger bags for their friends? That said, owning the thing that took away their power to print more is not a long-term win for their institutions. They do need to stop the idea if they can.

$ 0.00
4 months ago

There's nothing about Bitcoin that stops any government's ability to print money and control interest rates. No matter what, the law will be that prices have to be posted in local fiat currency, and taxes paid in local fiat currency. No matter how big or popular Bitcoin gets, government hegemony over economies is not going to be supplanted.

$ 0.00
4 months ago

I did not say fiat would be replaced. I believe it's more about market dominance and real competition forcing fiats to adapt in ways they do not want to. The Gov's interest-rate controls will not affect most cryptocurrencies. When people have a choice that does not intentionally lose value month over month, they may hold a significant amount of that one. Also, as you wrote about recently, things like e-cards will pay fiat-denominated purchases regardless of how you fund those cards.

$ 0.00
4 months ago

I agree that if it gets big enough, crypto will force governments to evolve and adjust their practices. And that could mean reducing at least some of their leverage on the economy.

My intuition on the matter is that things will evolve in ways we simply don't expect, but within certain parameters. One of those parameters is that I don't think Bitcoin will ever become enough of a threat that the government tries to censor it, as opposed to merely regulating it.

$ 100.00
4 months ago

😅😅 whether Bitcoin fails or succeed, its a win-win for you.

$ 0.00
4 months ago

If I were actually as rich the hypothetical person I am in the article, that would be true. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere near that rich in real life, so I'll just have to hope my plans for success work out, like anyone else.

$ 0.00
4 months ago

That is why BTC will never become what it was designed to be.

$ 0.00
4 months ago

I don't think that conclusion can be drawn from anything I've written. Bitcoin was originally designed to be peer-to-peer cash. It can be that regardless of who owns it, or if the distribution is fair or not.

$ 0.00
4 months ago

The issue for me is not fair distribution. The problem is that if BTC will be owned by a few rich people, they will be able to manipulate the supply and thus the price (they probably already do). It is then not much different from fiat currencies, which are also controlled.

$ 0.00
4 months ago

Fair enough. I think if Bitcoin reaches the level of de facto currency that some people believe it will, then it won't be manipulated by a few rich people, it will be bought up and the supply controlled by the US government, or possibly some kind of international consortium of nations. Pretty much the same way gold is hoarded and regulated.

Which I'm sure to most crypto enthusiasts, that's a nightmare scenario, but for me it just means that Bitcoin won't be as volatile.

$ 0.00
4 months ago

I don't think BTC will have anything like the significance of gold (let alone a currency). I suspect that at some point its price will gradually (and then sharply) fall and no one will spend any more money on it. It will eventually be replaced by other cryptos and forgotten. There are technically much better and more useful cryptos. Adaptable cryptos will prevail (as is the case in evolution) and not a technically obsolete BTC. It will eventually die out like a dinosaur.

$ 30.00
4 months ago

I agree that BTC in particular does not look like a strong contender for a future currency, or even some kind of asset equivalent to gold. When I talk about Bitcoin in articles like this, it's often a shorthand for talking about the concepts that Bitcoin pioneered.

I think BCH has all the technical features to succeed as a world currency, and would like to see it go that way. However, markets are irrational, so who knows.

$ 100.00
4 months ago

I think BCH has all the technical features to succeed as a world currency, and would like to see it go that way. However, markets are irrational, so who knows.

BCH has the features, but it still has a very, very long way to go. The so-called markets only have to do with this to the extent that they currently offer the possibility of converting BCH into fiat. The goal, however, is that it will not be necessary in the future. In my view, the adoption and widespread distribution of BCH is crucial here. The heavily manipulated so-called markets are a gambling casino. When the spread and use of BCH will be significant, things will look very different than they do now. At the moment, BCH, like any other crypto, is a manipulated speculative coin.

$ 0.00
4 months ago