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These coins are being offered to us as being equivalent to currency, with some privacy-respecting and government-snubbing arguments added for spice. The reality, I believe, is: - These are not currencies but speculative vehicles, anyone saying otherwise in my experience stands to gain from convincing you of this - Coins incentivize people to hold cash outside of the real economy - this money is not reinvested in real-world companies and goods but is instead hoarded - Coins reward those who arrive first and buy up as many as they can, somewhat like a pyramid scheme - The pro-transparency (blockchain) and pro-privacy (anonymous) arguments used to defend coins are mutually exclusive and incoherent - Currently the amount of electricity to do mining is equivalent to the energy needs of Denmark; this will only rise, driving energy demand in pursuit of pointless wealth creation, much like privately-held companies making sure the public bears its risks and costs The only reason we're hearing so much about these damned things is that the rate of return is insane - for now. The rate of return on tulips and subprime tranches was also fantastic. The other garbage talked about in association with these coins is just nonsense. Will money become digital? Yes, it already has - the US just is way behind the times (we only just now got chip and pin). Will it become fiatless and associated with no government? I'm sure traders today would love a transactional medium that fewer people can take a cut of, but then again they like stability, and the idea that there's someone there as the 'banker of last resort'. Apologies for tone; I was initially fascinated with these things and thought they were an incredibly imaginative feat, but now I see them as allowing every libertarian the fantasy of having their own pile of gold in an offshore shelter, and excacerbating the tendency of people now to remove as much money as possible from the communities in which they live.
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