Bitcoin Is Far More Than An Investment, by Paul Rosenberg

Bitcoin embodies the promise of encryption, a way to free yourself from government. From Paul Rosenberg at

Over the past few years, huge numbers of people have come to see Bitcoin as an investment… as a stock. That’s because a significant percentage of the populace – certainly a good percentage of the investing class – knows someone, at least a friend of a friend, who has done very well with Bitcoin. That’s the kind of thing that people notice, and not unreasonably so.

The truth, however, is that Bitcoin is more and better than an investment… much more and much better.

We’ll get to some detail on this later, but before I start on the story of Bitcoin, I should at least say that rather than being an investment (even though its exchange price does rise dramatically), Bitcoin is actually a new societal model. It is fundamentally different from the old model, being both more efficient and morally superior.

It Came From Outside

Now, let’s spend a few minutes on where this thing came from. And the short version is that it came from outside.

Bitcoin, you see, is not an adaptation based on existing currencies, nor can it be understood that way. Bitcoin is from the realm of radicals.

In particular, Bitcoin came to us from the cypherpunks, a group of cryptography advocates. They began to flourish in the early 1990s, as they realized they could “wall-off” areas of cyberspace from the intrusions of governments. Here, to give you some flavor, are a few quotes from these people:

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us.

We don’t much care if you don’t approve of the software we write. We know that software can’t be destroyed and that a widely dispersed system can’t be shut down.

A specter is haunting the modern world, the specter of crypto anarchy.

Arise, you have nothing to lose but your barbed wire fences!

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One response to “Bitcoin Is Far More Than An Investment, by Paul Rosenberg

  1. I have a high regard for Rosenberg’s long track record of insight, wisdom, and ideas. With this article he has again reminded me – as is the case with each of us, we may be wrong or proved to be wrong, about any of our “insights, wisdom, and ideas.”

    Toward perhaps triggering further insights, wisdom, and ideas from others, I shall once again post my article on ‘”cryptos” I initially posted several years ago.

    Thank you, Bob, for your tireless efforts on behalf of values we cherish and share!



    Well, maybe. However, there is a reason that crypto currencies are not called “crypto money.” They are not money – any more than the dollar remains actual money. Perhaps, however, like the dollar, they may become yet other “ghosts” of money.

    Aristotle defined the necessary attributes of money over two-thousand years ago. He argued that a proper money must possess durability, portability, and divisibility. It must possess “intrinsic” (contextually) value and be a stable “store of value.” These attributes are timelessly relevant because they are driven by human nature and Reason. Why?

    Individual awareness and opinion, together with the judgement upon which said opinion is presumed to be based, precipitates value. This, in turn, precipitates whatever actions might be taken in response to gain or keep said value.

    To the extent such judgement is in accord with the facts of reality, the actions taken in response will then be confirmed as rational (consistent with properly gaining or keeping said values). When viewed not individually, but collectively, such actions constitute a “market” – THE market for ANY value.

    The market for money is no different!

    I am reminded of a common mistake made by many advocates of freedom who properly see both the utility and privacy aspects of crypto-currency as of great potential value. They fail, however, to appreciate the context in which this potential utility and privacy arises.

    These advocates are correctly responding to the coercion and injustice that an absence of freedom precipitates. They then embrace a “market” response to it. In error, they elevate said response to where it becomes THE solution, as opposed to it being but a contextual solution – one existing because of the context in which the thought-to-be solution deals with temporal facts. Temporal, because of the temporary absence of what would otherwise be “the natural order of things.” “Natural” being the “order” (context) when freedom prevails.

    The so-called “black market” is a perfect illustration of this phenomenon. It is a market response to a temporary absence of freedom surrounding a specific commodity, product, or service. Said black market representing a disfigured one driven into existence by legal sanctions/prohibitions. Consequently, upon a return to the “natural” free market, said black and disfigured one will immediately end!

    Gold and silver became, and have remained as money, because of individual awareness, opinion, and judgment – actions then taken in response, by literally billions of individuals over thousands of years of recorded history. As commensurately relevant, the actions taken by others in response, are equally telling. The former group acting in concert with their freedom to do so, the latter seeking to institute impositions on that freedom.

    Because it best represents the reality of Aristotle’s timeless reasoning and the fact of humanity’s timeless nature, gold (and/or silver) in one’s possession need no other values to be recognized and accepted as an “intrinsic” (contextually) value – specifically, as a stand-alone medium of exchange. Conversely, crypto-currencies require the existence and “certainty” of a profound technological infrastructure. Just as paper money requires paper, ink, and of crucial necessity, a printing press. Of greatest necessity, however, giving rise to the need for the others, are the legal sanctions requiring their exclusive use (“legal tender” laws).

    Should I have the freedom to exercise my opinion, judgment, and remain free to pursue my values in response, I know I will choose the currency offering me the greatest utility. Crucial to that utility will be its convertibility into money when presented to the issuer – on demand! Failure in having access to any currency that is convertible, I will still attempt to use the one offering greatest utility. A utility that, absent convertibility by the issuer into actual money, best provides privacy, convenience, etc.

    Tellingly, absent convertibility, history clearly demonstrates that none of them will faithfully-represent, best-secure, and timelessly-protect, the efforts and achievements of the 80-or-so years of my life! (As an aside – but utterly critical question, ask yourself who is the issuer of your crypto-currency?)

    During freedom’s hiatus, I may be forced to act differently, but upon its return, I will once again demonstrate through opinion, judgment, and actions, why Aristotle’s insights – now of over two-thousand years, remain timelessly instructive. For any crypto-currency, to serve as a substitute for actual “money,” – such as did paper when it began its substitution for same, it will have to, at a minimum, be easily convertible into the money of Aristotle. Failure to possess this capacity means it will eventually undergo the same fate as every other currency in history has undergone. Ultimately, owing to reality and human nature, an inescapable one. Why?

    Because the only money reliably resulting from the free exercise of individual awareness, opinion, and judgement, is the money of FREEDOM, not “money” arising because of its legislated absence!

    Before ending this article, a couple of critical perspectives originally written by Garet Garrett in 1932. “Critical” defined as essential and logically inescapable. They represent the elusive facts underpinning much of my reasoning embodied in this article.

    The true meaning of the gold standard is not gold, any more than the value of a piece of paper money is the value of the engraving. The true meaning of it is a convention – and the faith of that convention must be kept, not in gold, but in credit. The credit best represented by the best convertible currency!

    This is (was) the modern function of gold. To limit the amount of currency and credit, in whatever cloaking devices, that may be willfully, irresponsibly created and set free. Gold is the reasoned (independent awareness, opinion, and judgement) figurehead in which this convention has been historically kept. It might be almost anything else, except that after long experience it was found that gold served better than anything else at this function.

    For crypto’s to become a substitute for actual money is impossible. They may, like all other currencies thought to serve as instruments of credit, crypto’s may indeed become utilized as such. To endure, however, they must be convertible into gold (or silver) on demand. Otherwise, they will simply share the same fate as have others. A fate that will eventually become the dollar’s. Then, of course, these cryptos will easily become seen for what they are.

    A currency that is just another apparition of money.

    Dave Walden


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