Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Sunday, October 20, 2019 10:25:06 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Bitcoin must be self-regulated

By
12th-Mar-2014       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Christiaan Elderhorst :
In the wake of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox's bankruptcy filing, more than four hundred of its customers have expressed interest in filing a class action lawsuit against the parent company and its chief, Mark Karpeles. Mt. Gox was the cryptocurrency's largest marketplace. Although Bitcoin's functioning is still incomprehensible to many its value is real. Mt.Gox's losses are estimated at $480 million.
The accusations of fraud and negligence are certainly justified, but a lawsuit might not be the best way to seek justice in the unregulated Internet economy. It's odd that members of the Bitcoin community, many of whose members oppose government intervention in the money supply, are so easily persuaded to appeal to government legal systems once the situation goes awry.
A lawsuit will undoubtedly open up avenues for lawmakers to further complicate use of Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies.
American political activist Samuel Edward Konkin III popularized the term "counter-economics" to describe all voluntary transactions that occur outside of the realm of the government-regulated marketplace. Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, fulfill an important role in this counter-economy by taking fiat money out of the equation entirely. However, to fully sustain the power of the counter-economy we must integrate non-state legal systems into its overarching framework. Instead of running back to the state when things take a wrong turn the opportunity must be used to discuss and develop systems by which businesses in the counter-economy can be held accountable for their actions.
An example of counter-economic regulation comes from the community around the Silk Road, a Bitcoin-based online marketplace for the buying and selling of illegal drugs. A group of its users calling themselves the LSD Avengers ran chemical analysis on acid they bought to test whether they were in fact in possession of genuine LSD, providing other users with a safety standard by which drugs could be ordered and consumed safely.
This illustrates how a black market can self-regulate without resorting to the imposition of bureaucratic agencies like the Food and Drug Administration.
Bitcoin itself plays a liberating role in places like Ukraine and Iran, providing a system of payment independent of governments meddling and directives set forth by central banks. It is plausible that if the fate of Mt.Gox is placed at the hand of judges then regulation will follow. Regulation might satisfy our western need for guaranteed illusory feelings of safety. But it will hurt economic freedom in countries with people less fortunate than in the West. This will detract from the revolutionary potential of digital currency.
Currently there is no system by which Bitcoin marketplaces can be held accountable. Resorting to government legal systems might indeed be the only way by which Mt.Gox customers can receive the restitution they deserve. What does have to be kept in mind is that this option is far from optimal. Further talk of government regulation of crytocurrencies will not be a surprising result.
In fact it seems inevitable. In the future the digital counter-economy will have to find ways to regulate itself. The ingenious online methods that are bound to come up might lead to insights by which we can regulate our own "analog" communities as well. One day government regulation of the marketplace will be a thing of the past as the self-regulating counter-economy replaces it entirely.
(Christiaan Elderhorst is a columnist writes mostly on economics)

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Default loans pose risk, economic sector needs overhauling


THE International Monetary Fund on Friday said the rising defaults on loans poses the biggest risk for the Bangladesh economy that stands to grow at a remarkable pace. As of June, the total defaulted loan in the banking sector was Tk 1,12,425 crore, up 19.71 percent from December last year, ...

Football »

Bulgaria coach quits after racism row at England match


Bulgaria's coach quit Friday over the 6-0 loss to England in a Euro 2020 qualifier which was overshadowed by racist abuse that sparked a storm of protest.Monkey chants and apparent Nazi salutes during Monday's match in Sofia caused indignation in the football world and led to the resignation of Bulgaria's ...

City »

Emeritus Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury along with other distinguished persons at a memorial meeting on Dr Mizanur Rahman Shelley organised by Academic Press and Publishers Library at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday.


International »

Some worries about nuclear weapons at Turkey base


AP, Washington  :Frayed U.S. relations with Turkey over its incursion in Syria raise a sensitive question rarely discussed in public: Should the United States remove the nuclear bombs it has long stored at a Turkish air base?It's a tricky matter for several reasons, including the fact that by longstanding policy, ...

International »

Last Soviet leader Gorbachev urges Russia, US to hold nuclear talks


Reuters, Moscow :Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, warned on Friday that the world was drifting into a dangerous era of militarised politics and appealed to Moscow and Washington to sit down for urgent nuclear arms control talks.Gorbachev, whose 1980s arms control push and democracy-oriented reforms helped end the Cold ...

Entertainment »

Sara Ali Khan has sweetest wish for her first friend


Sara Ali Khan might be just two films old in the industry but her popularity is great among the youth. Thanks to the success of her second film, Simmba, and her upcoming film #Aajkal. But apart from that she's popular for her chic style too. While we all know about ...

Editorial »

Monitoring must to prevent fatal gas cylinder blasts


THREE of a family died and three others were injured on their way home from hospital as the gas cylinder of an ambulance exploded in Chattogram's Anwara upazila on Thursday. The deceased were identified as Mafij Uddin, 65, his daughter-in-laws Babul Akter, 33, and Jainab Begum, 38, police said. Mafij's ...

Sports »

Chinese gymnast Chen Yile poses for photos after getting the ANOC award for Best Female Athlete of Asian Games 2018 during awarding ceremony of the ANOC Awards 2019 at the XXIV ANOC General Assembly Qatar 2019 in Doha, capital of Qatar on Thursday.


.

Entertainment »

Vidya honoured in London


Vidya Balan, who is currently stationed in London shooting for her highly-anticipated movie Shakuntala Devi - Human Computer, was recently invited by Imperial College to address the students who idolises the powerhouse performer for her exemplary body of work and for being one of the finest actors of Hindi film ...

Editorial »

Tackle urban poverty with well-designed safety nets


A WORLD Bank report stated that most of the urban poor are deprived of the government's social protection benefits. There is a large gap in allocation under social safety net, though the pace of poverty reduction has slowed and the ratio of extreme poverty edged up in urban areas after ...

Cricket »

Tamim Iqbal unlikely in T20 series in India


Bangladesh Opener Tamim Iqbal's return to International cricket is likely to be delayed as he suffered a muscle strain on the right side of the rib.The injury also forced him to sit out from the second round of the National Cricket League (NCL) in which his side Chattogram Division is ...

Entertainment »

Bindu Kona’s Krishna Leela


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Among the present generation’s singers, Bindu Kona has been entertaining the hearts of many music-lovers by virtue of her melodious voice and stage performances. It is said that when Bindu Kona gets microphone on her hand on the stage, she becomes a different ‘Bindu Kona.’ While performing ...

International »

HK lawmakers dragged from chamber as leader heckled for second day


AFP, Hong Kong :Pro-democracy lawmakers were dragged out of Hong Kong's legislature by security guards on Thursday after they heckled the city's pro-Beijing leader for a second day running, the latest outburst of political rancour in the strife-torn city.Chief Executive Carrie Lam has faced an outpouring of anger from her ...

International »

Diplomatic stalemate fuels dangerous Saudi-Iran standoff


AFP, Abu Dhabi :The dangerous rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, played out in proxy wars and mystery strikes, is destined to fester as long as neither reaches across the gulf that divides them, observers say.At the Beirut Institute Summit in the United Arab Emirates this week, heated sessions dominated ...

City »

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal brought out a silent procession on Dhaka University campus on Thursday demanding trial of killers of Abrar Fahad and release of BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news