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Bloomberg Columnist: Bitcoin is Part of a Real Monetary Revolution

Published by Slashdot on Mon, 30 Nov 2020


In an eloquent essay, Scottish-American historian Niall Ferguson argues that "We are living through a monetary revolution so multifaceted that few of us comprehend its full extent." The technological transformation of the internet is driving this revolution. The pandemic of 2020 has accelerated it... Covid-19 has been good for Bitcoin and for cryptocurrency generally. First, the pandemic accelerated our advance into a more digital word: What might have taken 10 years has been achieved in 10 months. People who had never before risked an online transaction were forced to try, for the simple reason that banks were closed. Second, and as a result, the pandemic significantly increased our exposure to financial surveillance as well as financial fraud. Both these trends have been good for Bitcoin.... What is happening is that Bitcoin is gradually being adopted not so much as means of payment but as a store of value. Not only high-net-worth individuals but also tech companies are investing. In July, Michael Saylor, the billionaire founder of MicroStrategy, directed his company to hold part of its cash reserves in alternative assets. By September, MicroStrategy's corporate treasury had purchased bitcoins worth $425 million. Square, the San Francisco-based payments company, bought bitcoins worth $50 million last month. PayPal just announced that American users can buy, hold and sell bitcoins in their PayPal wallets. This process of adoption has much further to run... Some economists, such as my friend Ken Rogoff, welcome the demise of cash because it will make the management of monetary policy easier and organized crime harder. But it will be a fundamentally different world when all our payments are recorded, centrally stored, and scrutinized by artificial intelligenceregardless of whether it is Amazon's Jeff Bezos or China's Xi Jinping who can access our data... Rather than seeking to create a Chinese-style digital dollar, Joe Biden's nascent administration should recognize the benefits of integrating Bitcoin into the U.S. financial systemwhich, after all, was originally designed to be less centralized and more respectful of individual privacy than the systems of less-free societies.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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