Bitcoin, Postmodern Money

In the articles below, Keith Weiner covers many of the reasons why bitcoin is unsound and not money and rather the very model of a (post)modern monetary marvel.

Bitcoin: What is it Good For? revisits the volatility aspect of bitcoin and addresses the reasons it serves neither the savers, nor the borrowers in our economy.

In Gold, Redeemability, Bitcoin, and Backwardation, Keith explains why bitcoin is not money but an irredeemable currency, as money has to be a tangible good.

Bitcoin, Gold, and the Quantity of Money addresses the Quantity Theory of Money claim that bitcoin’s predefined quantity cap will result in stable prices of goods measured in bitcoins.

In Bitcoin, Keith discusses the importance of the bid side of a market and how real goods, like gold, have an ultimate bid or floor below which its price will not go. In contrast, bitcoin has no real bid at all, only the ever-changing bid of the fickle speculator.

Bitcoin Forked explores the concepts of fiat currency and irredeemability as they apply to bitcoin and the dollar and the key importance of backing, as a ledger is only useful if it is recording something.

Bitcoin Has No Yield, but Gold Does discusses how borrowing in a rising currency (like bitcoin) is hazardous to one’s wealth and the fact that bitcoin futures markets are only about speculation on bitcoin with leverage and are not commodity warehousing markets.

Bad Ideas About Money describes how bitcoin is a fitting final postmodern link in a chain of adulterations of the idea of what is real money.

Hidden Forces of Economics demonstrates how bitcoin “engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction” just the same as price speculation is merely the conversion of one’s wealth into another’s income.

In The Forking Paradise, Keith explains that because bitcoin dispenses with the need for assets and is just a ledger of liabilities, there is a powerful perverse incentive to fork bitcoin as many times as one can until the marginal ForkCoin has value lower than the cost of forking.

In Tragedy of the Speculations, Keith sees bitcoin’s skyrocketing price creating a perverse incentive for people to produce less because speculation is so much more fun. Bitcoin’s unstable price makes it unusable as money and prevents it being used for borrowing, meaning it is far from being the antidote to the madness of fiat irredeemable currencies that it is promoted as.

Bitcoin is Precise but not Accurate discusses the engineering concepts of accuracy and precision, noting that while bitcoin has precise formulas for mining and an extremely precise transaction ledger, it is based on the inaccurate quantity and labor theories of value.

Is Bitcoin a Commodity discusses why money has to be physical commodity and everything else is a form of credit. In contrast, bitcoin is not a commodity and does not pass Mises’ regression test as it has no demand other than demand for medium of exchange.

Is That a Feature or a Bug? questions whether bitcoin’s transaction irreversibility and imperfect anonymity are appropriate features for financial businesses who ask you to trust them with your life savings. Also discussed is the political nature of bitcoin’s governance via miners and ICOs (initial coin offerings), noting that while law enforcement may be moving slowly at the moment, like a steamroller once it grabs a toe, it will keep rolling right over the body until it is made one with the pavement.

Society needs a proper frame of reference for economic values. In Bitcoin Hyper-Deflation, Keith explains why Bitcoin, the dollar, and consumer goods (CPI) do not work as the reference point/unit of measure and why understanding marginal utility leads one to conclude that gold is the numeraire par excellence.

In episode 11 of the Gold Exchange Podcast, Common Ground Between Bitcoin and Gold, Keith discusses what similarities, if any, exist between so-called “digital gold” and the real thing.

Bitcoin’s greatest strength is also its fatal flaw. We refer to its ability to skyrocket. Bitcoin’s inherent volatility makes it unsuitable to be used for financing productive enterprises, a primary function of money. Paradoxically, one of the largest bitcoin companies proved our point better than we ever could. Read more in Gold 1, Bitcoin 0.

In an Open Letter to Michael Saylor and Lex Fridman, Keith takes on some of the biggest claims made by Saylor about Bitcoin and gold, while also pointing out where they agree on the problems of the dollar.

Bitcoin has a Perfection Problem discusses why Bitcoin has an intractable problem which is intrinsic to bitcoin itself. Keith discusses why the social phenomena surrounding Bitcoin and why the idea of a change poses an unacceptable psychological risk to Bitcoin believers.


3 replies
    • stinker fart says:

      right!! It’s the same as Fiat currency. Only currency based on something with inherent value [like gold] will be stable. Which is why we need to return to the gold standard

  1. JD says:

    So few comments on this page. It’s disturbing. Thank you for keeping this page updated. It’s extremely useful.
    I really wish you would write a small ebook that summarizes these arguments. And I also wish you would look beyond, to the utility of some smart contract tokens, and how the landscape shapes out for their use as currency, for fringe situations (similar to cigarettes in prisons). It seems, the State’s oppression is the only reason crypto currencies have any advocates, w.r.t. gold.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.