Bitcoin shackles a government and forces it to subsist only on what it can tax openly and legitimately borrow, but unlike a gold standard, Bitcoin doesn’t require any official status to become a standard. The market can arrive at the standard sans government approval, again because it works elegantly both for storage and transfer and it cannot be stopped because it exists in decentralized form.
We’re living in a world where it’s possible to visit Tokyo without ever leaving your bed, and where governments go to war with software rather than tanks. Yet in some ways the real future is more Stephen King than William Gibson. The plane landed; nobody was on board.
There are a few amazingly bright spots in this dull landscape — I’ll get to them in due course — but for the most part crypto just hasn’t lived up to its privacy billing. The question is why? What went so terribly wrong? In the rest of this post I’ll try to give a few of my answers to this question.