I read a story recently about a group of dandies who want to “help regulate Bitcoin, for its own good.” The thing about these guys is that they don’t really care about Bitcoin as a beautiful, disruptive technology or even for the great benefit it brings to mankind. Instead, they see Bitcoin as their ticket into the halls of the elite.
These people are not the agents of a new age. Rather, they’re trying to get into the upper levels of the old, hierarchical system.
When Charlie Shrem of BitInstant was arrested, these people jumped in on the side of the ruling elite, saying things like:
We were only passive investors in BitInstant, and we’ll do everything we can to help law enforcement. We fully support any and all governmental efforts. We want to ensure that money laundering requirements are enforced, and look forward to clear regulation being implemented on the purchase and sale of bitcoins.
First of all, none of these people — Bitcoin investors or government regulators — care anything about money laundering. When HSBC and Wachovia were caught red-handed, laundering hundreds of billions of dollars for violent drug cartels, no one was arrested. No one even lost their job! This talk about money laundering is nothing but theater for suckers.
Yet now, after holding no one accountable for laundering half a trillion dollars for the cartels, they found themselves with a chance to hurt Bitcoin — over a few million dollars of drug sales to peaceful users. So, they sent their goons to arrest poor Charlie Shrem (very publicly), who was positioned a full two steps away from the drug transactions in question.
And then, these elite wannabes — supposedly pro-Bitcoin — sucked up to the hypocritical ‘enforcers’ with everything they had. And I quote:
There are certainly a handful of folks that are hardcore libertarians (some anarchists) that believe that bitcoin should be completely unregulated, but I believe they are in the minority and, as a percentage of bitcoin believers, is shrinking very quickly.
In other words, “Please don’t think of us as anything but your faithful companions, our overlords.” It’s disgusting.
New or Old?
The people who are grasping for prestige from the old system are making themselves enemies of the new. This is not about money, you understand — the people I’m talking about are already wealthy. This is about their desire to stand in the highest levels of the ruling hierarchy. Once their heart has gone there, anything that threatens the old system threatens them, and they will end up fighting it.
What these people are trying to do, as best I can tell, is to form a new “smart wing” of the hierarchical elite, then to enlighten the world from that position. It seems like they still imagine themselves to be libertarians. But to get their new “smart wing of the elite” way, they have to minimize, discourage, or fight the authentic new way.
In an email, one of these dandies said that the crypto-anarchists who dominated Bitcoin were “getting left behind.” In fact, however, I think the truth will be just the opposite.