Why keep Bitcoin around?

Nov 8, 2019 · 3 min read

By this point, everyone in crypto should see that “money” is an existential issue for states and corporations, and that states will not relinquish their monetary power voluntarily — not to crypto-native developers, and not to corporate cartels like Libra:

For more background in the US context, please see:

A typical crypto-native response is crypto’s indefatigability: “See, states are beginning to realize that cryptocurrencies are potent competition, because we are!”

But this begs the question: if faced with an existential choice between relinquishing monetary control or attacking Bitcoin, why wouldn’t incumbents simply outlaw or otherwise try to capture Bitcoin?

This is the biggest existential question for any limited-utility blockchain tool.

The question is NOT whether states have already done this. The question is NOT whether states/corporations can do this (e.g., whether, say, Bitcoin is inherently uncapturable). The question is much more simple:

Why wouldn’t a state or private competitor to Bitcoin simply try to capture the Bitcoin network? Either through legal/regulatory channels, or via an outright hostile takeover?

Thus far, nobody wants to answer this question publicly.

That’s a shame because there’s no shortage of diehard bitlievers who will stop at nothing to emphasize Bitcoin supremacy. If that’s the case, this should be an easy question for them to answer (and then defend from critiques).

For instance, FB today has more than $50B in cash reserves and is launching its own money. Assume it’s 2023 and Libra is trending well.

What are the rational economic reasons for FB to keep networks like Bitcoin around?

Can you answer this? Do you see the value in having your answer(s) challenged? If so, please drop a response below, and we’ll get to work.

[This is an expanded excerpt from another piece on blockchain incentives, called Blocks Over Knives]

Crypto Law Review

A journal pushing the bounds of our legal imaginaries, on-chain, off-chain, and against the chain.


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Small NGO with a big patent urging BigTech & Crypto to enable trash/hazard reporting & open source data. "The Wi-Fi & Bluetooth of TrashTech" - cleanapp.io.

Crypto Law Review

A journal pushing the bounds of our legal imaginaries, on-chain, off-chain, and against the chain.

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