Does Bitcoin defy the Zeitgeist?

Posted by: Paul Donovan

30 Apr 2021

Weekly Updates

  • There is something weird about Bitcoin. Bitcoin seems to specifically defy the spirit of the age, in a way other cryptos do not.
  • Some suggest Bitcoin is a safe haven from runaway inflation. But controlling supply does not guarantee value (as Beanie Baby ‘hodlers’ know). Bitcoin has a history of extreme price fluctuation.  On the other hand, major economies’ inflation has been low and stable for two decades. The fourth industrial revolution should increase efficiency, which is disinflationary. Hyperinflation concerns for developed economy fiat currency seem to belong in a different era.
  • Sustainability is crucial for consumers, investors and governments. We cannot keep living on environmental credit and must become increasingly sustainable. Bitcoin is increasingly destructive to the environment – the more that is created and used, the worse the environmental damage.
  • There is a global focus on reducing inequality. Bitcoin has extraordinarily unequal ownership. Holdings are concentrated amongst a tiny number of people, and its governance is more plutocratic than democratic. Politicians and economists increasingly value inclusion, yet Bitcoin is denied to those minority groups who have reduced online access. Entry costs mean that realistically Bitcoin miners need to be rich.
  • The modern trend that Bitcoin embraces is the power of narrative. Story telling matters hugely to Bitcoin’s evolution. Otherwise, Bitcoin seems opposed to the modern Zeitgeist.

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