Monday, May 26, 2014

Experiments on Money

Here is a tweet I responded to earlier this evening:
The article "The Correct Strategy of Bitcoin Entrepreneurship" by Daniel Krawisz caught my attention and here is my comment:
I failed to realize the ambiguity of my response until I read this:

Twitter is just too short sometimes, so here goes some more text to clearify what i meant.

I sure like the catchphrase "speculative philanthropist". It rings a bell of what I feel might be a good set of intentions to go about investing, entrepreneuring or otherwise dedicating your money and time.

Meaning, positive impact, personal fullfillment won't be achieved by money for it's own sake. This is no different if looking at bitcoin than for fiatmoney. Everyone needs to think about what to do with money. How to handle money issues in order to live up to ones own expectations and responsibility is a critical question. It is also a question many of us do neither ask nor answer while we are struggling to get a grip on our personal money issues.

Taking into account that the crucial money question is answered all too seldom, I object Mr. Krawisz's notion on all those "bad" alternate cryptocurrencies.
Why should we feel bad about investing time into alternative cryptocoin variants apart from bitcoin at this point in time? Is it really necessary to focus energy and sort things out before getting in too deep?

I believe the opposite is true: We need as many people to bring their various maybe weird ideas to life as new currencies. There is centuries of stagnation on how the money systems work to break. Experiments need to be done, we will learn a lot dropping mindblocks as we go. 

Bitcoin, Altcoins and the blockchain are recent concepts and technology with quite some power to disrupt. No one really knows how this story will proceed. Keeping an open mind and experimenting a lot is how to learn.

Learning is key to do good stuff based on cryptocurrencies. How money works is at the core of modern societies and hasn't changed a lot. You get money if you have money. The systems tends to concentrate wealth and works in favour of those who are fine off already.

But money is not reason. If money becomes reason bad things follow. No need to duplicate this bug with cryptocurrencies. Let's try something else. Let's design a money system that supports participation and engagement not hording.

This is why i think requesting the community to stop altcoin experiments and put their attention on Bitcoin only is a bad thing to do. Feeling the need to restrict engagement derives from a worldview of scarcity not appropriate in the digital age.

We are at the verge of giving economy a new set of rules. They will be encoded as algorithms and safeguarded by blockchain trust. Let's try to find a set of rules that works for the people not the other way around. 

Keep up the #altcoin experiments!


  1. Hey, my point about altcoins is that there necessarily will be a consensus on a single currency, which is overwhelmingly likely to be Bitcoin because Bitcoin has the largest network. Of course it's fine to experiment with altcoins, but the problem is that selling them as an investment ought to be considered unethical without the understanding that there is virtually no chance it will be worth anything in the end. That's my problem with altcoins, not the experimentation.

  2. I see your point and your right that the idea of altcoin schemes as an investment is bound to leave investors disappointed most of the time. I don't like the term "unethical" though and I tend to believe that you underestimate how varied and rich on connections the infrastructure of various coins will happen to be. When looking into altcoins one should not go for abstract currencies but for coins designed as a basis for innovative ways to productively engage people.