Douglas Carswell

19 DEC 2016

Bitcoin is 2016's forgotten insurgency

2016 will go down as year of political insurgency. But there has been another, quieter rebellion against governing elites that hasn't happened at the ballot box. It's called Bitcoin.

Bitcoin – the digital currency based on blockchain technology – has been one of the hottest commodities this year. It has outperformed stocks, bonds, currencies, and gold.

Why?

Because it isn't fiat money.

Bitcoin is self-organising. It isn't regulated top down, by a central bank, but by its global network of users. It has become currency only thanks to consumer demand. That is the root of its success.

The big reason behind the Bitcoin boom is security against the state. Venezuelans are using Bitcoin to dodge central-bank-driven inflation. Chinese are buying it to avoid new capital controls. Indians are adopting it to elude the government's crackdown on cash.

It's popular in the West too. Since the financial crisis, Western governments have used their monopoly over money to enrich bankers at the expense of savers and taxpayers. Bitcoin offers an escape from that monetary manipulation.

To overcome oligarchy, it isn't enough just to change the people at the top of government. Their monopoly itself must be broken.

The biggest threat to establishment elites isn't political, but economic: self-organising systems that make big government obsolete. In other words, the market.

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