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Governments. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them, right? From first world countries to war-torn hellholes, bemoaning politicians is de rigueur. Yet for all their flaws, we tend to view our elected officials as a necessary evil, for if they weren’t in office, the country would descend into anarchy. At least that’s what we’ve always been told. The history books, however, would demur.
Less Laws, More Living
589 days. That’s how long Belgian residents were forced to live without an elected government between 2010 and 2011. Due to disagreements between the Flemish and Walloons, a coalition could not be formed. While the two parties fought out their many differences, a former prime minister oversaw a bare bones government that handled the basic day-to-day operations.
Apocalyptic predictions abounded of what would happen to the rudderless country. A debt crisis would be inevitable, doom-mongers asserted. The fallout would affect Europe, they foretold. There would be anarchy. Chaos. Blood in the streets. In the event, the reality proved to be more banal. Nothing happened. Life went on as normal. And, by the time Belgium had entered the record books for its 589-day governmentless stint (a feat recently surpassed by Northern Ireland) its people had learned a lesson: the solution to better government might actually be less government.
The Creeping Hand of Big Government
Government can be likened to the bezel surrounding your smartphone screen: you want it to be as small as possible – ideally invisible. The invisible hand of government, with its system of checks and balances, is meant to serve the people through providing justice for all and supporting the most disadvantaged members of society. So how did we reach a state of affairs where the people are instead serving their government? Bloated civil service, ballooning government expenditure and a creeping barrage of laws have resulted in a top-heavy, tax-heavy behemoth that takes from the lowest rungs of society to prop up the top.
Libertarians catch a lot of flak for their idealistic dream of small government that largely leaves the populace alone. The idea isn’t that radical though; all its advocates are rooting for really is a return to the low taxation, low governance model that was the norm until the mid 20th century. Following decades of intrusion into every last facet of our lives, however, rolling back the clock, repealing the laws, and downsizing the number of elected officials is untenable to those who’ve come to rely on government handouts, from the feckless claiming lifelong benefits to the fat cats, bloated off government contracts awarded by their cronies. Government is the world’s biggest ponzi scheme.
People Are Fragile. Bitcoin Is Antifragile
We think of them as sprawling, soulless entities, but what is a government but a collection of people armed with a mandate to make themselves known? And that’s where the problem begins. Every newly elected government believes its first role, upon entering office, is to stamp its authority. This means rushing through a slew of laws within the magical First 100 Days. Like a newly appointed middle manager compelled to stamp their authority, governments just can’t resist governing. They are whores for laws, enacting legislation with wild abandon, and all the while seeking ways to further entrench their power.
Bitcoin is, in many ways, the antithesis of statism. It is a form of money that removes power from governments and distributes it far and wide. Without the ability to print, debase, and devalue national currency, governments would be stripped of the means by which to implement their spurious laws and senseless schemes. For all its promise, however, Bitcoin is not about to take over the world any more than libertarianism is about to become the dominant political ideology. But what Bitcoin does is introduce a check against the worst excesses of government.
Less government. More Bitcoin.
When your government inflates the national currency so much it causes hyperinflation. When it spies so much it starts trying to backdoor encryption. When it meddles so much it demands full KYC for the most mundane transactions. When it taxes so hard even law-abiding citizens start seeking ways to hide their wealth. When government exceeds, Bitcoin is there. Not as a panacea or a cure-all, but as a protection against the most egregious fiscal policies and privacy invasions.
And unlike government, Bitcoin is optional. It’s sound money for those smart enough to appreciate it. To its proponents, the solution is simple: Less government. More Bitcoin.
Do you think government overreach has gone too far? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.
The post The Secret to Better Government Is Less Government appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Sen. Lindsey Graham can’t hide his pain over losing John McCain, but says there can be a silver lining … if politicians, including himself, lead more like his friend did. Senator Graham was clearly emotional about Sen. McCain’s death when we…
This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.
World Blockchain Forum has been instrumental in the raising of over $ 6.3 Billion dollars this year through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and Security Token Offerings (STOs). Keynote provided the platform for Ethereum to launch in 2014, and continues to be the platform where the strongest and most lucrative companies in the world go to launch their projects. As security tokens begin to unlock a further trillion dollars in capital markets, the World Blockchain Forum returns to London, bigger and better than ever.
This industry is changing. Prices continue to fluctuate wildly, and cryptocurrency is feeling the effects of being in the global limelight. Massive raises, coupled with increasing regulation, is turning the industry on its head. This is no longer an industry for the few early adopters, it is a place for everyone, and it’s therefore becoming competitive.
As the longest running cryptocurrency and blockchain event in the industry, we are acutely aware of this monumental shift in in thinking, from global industries and companies who want to be part of this future changing technology
In the words of Moe Levin, Founder and CEO of Keynote, “if you are not participating now you will be left behind.”
It’s no longer a conversation about the potential of the technology; that is certain. The conversation is now about the magnitude of impact the technology will have on the evolution of humanity. This is becoming a scalable, viable, non-negotiable technology.
The promise of blockchain technology is expanding at breakneck speed and is set to shape the future economy. In every boardroom in every Fortune 500 company in the world, in big red letters, underlined, is the word Blockchain. Not having a blockchain strategy in 2018 is like not having an internet strategy in 1999. The world is being disrupted fast.
Our speaker list includes the inventor of digital cash, the founder of Salesforce, visionaries and entrepreneurs alike, sharing the stage with government officials and global investors.
World Class Speaker Lineup
Eran Eyal | CEO & Co-founder, Shopin
Jack Gavigan | COO, ZCash
David Chaum | Inventor of Digital Cash
Marjan Delatinne | Global Head of Banking, Ripple
Bill Barhydt | CEO & Founder, Abra
Moe Levin | Founder, Keynote
Martins Liberts | Co-founder and Visioneer, Debitum Network
Jo-Jo Hubbard | COO & Co-founder, Electron
David Chaum | Inventor of Digital Cash
Marjan Delattine | Global Head of Banking, Ripple
Halsey Minor | Founder of Salesforce
Vanessa Grellet | Executive Director, ConsenSys
Jason King | Co-Founder, Kingsland University
Sang Lee | President and CEO, Darcmatter
Jeff Berwick | Editor-In-Chief, The Dollar Vigilante
Marieke Flament | Global CMO and EMEA Managing Director, Circle
A full list of confirmed speakers and the agenda can be found here
Premium Venue in the Heart of London
The most incredible venue in the heart of London, the recently transformed Old Billingsgate is spectacular and regal 30,000 square foot building overlooking the River Thames.
The Grand Hall is Old Billingsgate’s largest space, boasting a stunning triple-height ceiling and a feature mezzanine providing the perfect home for WBF London 2018. The ornate sky-lit ceiling together with The Grand Hall’s magnificent proportions guarantees an inspiring space to listen, learn, and collaborate.
Global Networking Opportunities
World Blockchain Forum networking events are the lynchpin between industry and enterprise in the blockchain space; a moment in time where you can take part in leading-edge discussions shaping the future.
A focus of WBF London is to allow attendees to forge deep connections and cut quickly to the chase with the experts, the investors and the innovators. Attendees will join the speaker line-up and expert panellists for lively debate, informed conversation and top-notch hospitality while taking in the stunning views of the River Thames.
Monday 3 September 2018
7pm-11pm | Old Billingsgate
Tuesday 4 September 2018
6pm-9pm | Old Billingsgate
Keynote was launched in 2012 by blockchain strategist Moe Levin. Further information and details about Keynote and the event can be found at: london.keynote.ae
The World Blockchain Forum is the world’s largest and longest running two-day blockchain conference and will feature a star-studded lineup of over 100 world class presenters including a special fireside chat with influencers who have been part of some of the largest ICOs to date. The focus is on blockchain technology; specifically investments, successful past and future icos within the industry, legal implications and regulations, and how decentralization is disrupting the banking industry.
For media inquiries, please contact Amandah Hendricks Chief of Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.
The post PR: The World Blockchain Forum Returns to London Bigger and Better Than Ever appeared first on Bitcoin News.
It’s called “Quiet Skies” and sounds for all the world like the name of some airline PR initiative. But as the Boston Globe reveals, “Quiet Skies” is actually the name of a TSA domestic surveillance program that has been operating on the down-low. It’s not entirely clear how you can…
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A federal watchdog is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen its oversight of state drinking water systems in the wake of the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, the AP reports. The EPA’s Office of Inspector General says in a report that the agency must take steps now to…
The Secret Service better seriously check that soccer ball Vladimir Putin gave Donald Trump at their summit, because security experts tell us there’s a simple way of putting a bugging device inside that is difficult to detect. As you know, Trump…
When the indictment of Russian intelligence officers for interfering with the US election broke, the recriminations were swift. Not only had the 12 allegedly hacked the Democratic National Committee, but they’d had the temerity to do so using servers paid with cryptocurrency. When politicians and mainstream media began finger pointing, they had only one culprit to blame – bitcoin.
Bitcoin is Tried and Convicted in the Court of Public Opinion
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II wasted no time in castigating the “crypto industry” for its role in the DNC hack. The fact that Russians had apparently used bitcoin to cover their tracks was of more concern than the numerous other failings that the indictment revealed, like the inability of Democrats to detect basic phishing attempts, or of DNC admins to detect the X-Agent malware that was installed. No, the biggest takeaway from all this was that bitcoin had facilitated one of the gravest nation state-orchestrated crimes in years.
As the detailed indictment against the Russian dozen reveals, however, bitcoin didn’t exactly enable the accused to cover their tracks. In fact, despite the extraordinary lengths they had gone to, bitcoin left an indelible trail that led right back to Russia, which the blockchain had gift-wrapped and handed to US investigators. The dozen accused purchased BTC on P2P exchanges, as well as mining the cryptocurrency themselves to pay for web hosting of dcleaks.com, and a VPN with which to operate the Guccifer 2.0 Twitter account. But this didn’t stop US officials from reconstructing the attackers’ every move, aided by the permanent record that the blockchain provides.
Blockchain, Bitcoin and Cognitive Dissonance
Chainalysis is a blockchain forensics company that is detested by many bitcoiners for its willingness to work hand-in-glove with law enforcement, helping to convict cryptocurrency users of victimless crimes such as the purchase of narcotics for personal use. Its co-founder, Jonathan Levin, despatched a trademark anti-bitcoin soundbite for CNBC, stating: “The fact that cryptocurrencies are global and real time means that you might only find out about these things after the fact. We need to think about the responsibilities that we all have in a world where payments move seamlessly across borders in the blink of an eye.”
Meanwhile, Wired, a publication that once mined 13 BTC and then inexplicably destroyed the wallet, issued a typical hit piece against bitcoin in its reporting of the hack. It began: “Bitcoin is a pain to spend. It is energy-guzzling, perilously slow and, with the prospect of dazzling returns (at least until recently), perhaps best to HODL ‘til you retire. But Bitcoin can count at least one group of spendthrifts among its users: Russian hackers accused of hacking in the 2016 election.”
Wading through the hyperbole, one could be forgiven for thinking that bitcoin had single-handedly phished John Podesta, hacked the DNC, brought down the Democrats, and swung the election for Trump.
Is Bitcoin a Help or a Hindrance to Criminals?
Anyone reading MSM reporting of the event, or the screeching from various congressmen, may have been left confused as to bitcoin’s role in the DNC hack. Did it enable Russian agents to commit the crime or did it enable law enforcement to catch them? The answer lies somewhere in between. There is no doubt that bitcoin is used by criminals. It’s been used to purchase all sorts of things that from a legal, if not a moral, standpoint are illicit. Like all currencies, bitcoin is also used for money laundering.
Whether bitcoin helps or hinders criminals depends, to a large extent, on the nature of the crime. If you’re buying a bit of weed on the deep web, even the most zealous of Chainalysis apparatchiks isn’t going to concern themselves with tracing your transaction. Law enforcement won’t give a damn either. If you’re perpetrating the most notorious hack of the decade, however, too right you’re gonna have your BTC purchases forensically analyzed. Had the Russian hackers used a stolen Paypal account or disposable Visa to go shopping, law enforcement would have had much less data to go on, and would have encountered greater difficulty in reconstructing the hackers’ actions.
To answer the question then, bitcoin is a pretty good tool for committing low level crime, where a basic degree of anonymity is required. But when it comes to committing major crimes that are sure to be scrutinized, not only is bitcoin bad for criminals – it’s downright dangerous.
Do you think bitcoin is a help or a hindrance to criminals? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The post Bitcoin is Great for Criminals. It’s Even Better for Law Enforcement appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Maxine Waters may have canceled events in Texas and Alabama this weekend over a ” very serious death threat ,” but she showed up to a Los Angeles rally against US immigration policy with a message: “I know that there are those who are talking about censuring me, talking about kicking me…
Millennial Living in 2018: Insights for the UK ‘Build-to-Rent’ Sector, a study in conjunction with FTI Consulting, commemorates real estate group Get Living’s 5th anniversary. Focusing on millennials, it found significant portions turning away from traditional stores of value, such as property and home ownership, in favor of crypto assets.
Millennials Turning from Traditional Investments and Toward Crypto
“For Millennials the soaring performance of Bitcoin – followed by an almost equally profound correction – holds more intrigue than the prospect of steady growth in house prices,” Get Living concludes. “This translated to 27% of male Millennials polled believing Bitcoin represents a better investment than property.”
Is this age group “in the vanguard of the new Sharing Society, where people are less interested in following in the footsteps of their home-owning parents and would rather make a fortune from Bitcoin?” asked build-to-rent advocates Get Living. The group “sought to answer these questions and a host of others about Millennials’ lifestyles in ground-breaking research carried out in cities across the UK in March and April 2018.”
That over a quarter of UK males polled, in the 3,065 universe of 21 to 35-year-olds, see crypto as favorable comports nicely with previous studies. In late March of this year, for example, “The Student Loan Report teamed with Pollfish to survey 1,000 current university students with related loan debt, asking one question: Have you ever used student loan money to invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin?” these pages explained. The survey “found that 21.2 percent of current college students with student loan debt have used financial aid money to fund a cryptocurrency investment.” That study itself confirmed a late 2017 Harris Poll, finding that 27% of all millennials preferred bitcoin core (BTC) to traditional stock and bonds.
“The rollercoaster ride in value for Bitcoin has excited many Millennials, with one in five seeing it as an appealing investment proposition compared with relatively slow-moving property values,” Get Living noted. And whatever the actual macroeconomic truth of the matter, a bare majority still hold to legacy investments such as real estate. As to whether still more males, and of course their female counterparts, will continue to move into crypto (and whether this will be for the long term) is anyone’s guess and well beyond the present study’s scope.
Will more millennials move into crypto? Let us know in the comments.
Images via the Pixabay.
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