Sunday, August 11, 2013

Come See Sander Hicks Debate Todd Seavey Over BITCOIN!

Tomorrow, I have been invited to a public debate on the question of Bitcoin, the digital currency. Will it survive? Just what is it? And why does it matter.

This is something I got passionate about this Summer, after attending a whole conference on the topic in Silicon Valley, California. I wrote a long article on the revolutionary characters, ex-pat currency crusaders, and libertarian heroes who were there. I will share some sneak peeks from that article below. (Look for it to be published soon in the upcoming issue of Bitcoin Magazine. How delightful!)

Here's the event info from Todd Seavey, who is producing the debate:


The Dionysium presents a debate next week, Mon., August 12th (8pm) on 

"Bitcoin: Can It Endure as a Currency?" 


YES: leftist activist, author, and entrepreneur Sander Hicks 

NO: libertarian writer, editor, and sometime debate-moderator Todd Seavey

with loads of audience Q&A -- and by all means spread the word to those, y'know, money-type people. 
Our new moderator is the witty and charming Pamela Stubbart, a "liberal-tarian" entrepreneur and free thinker. 

It's all Mon., August 12th (8pm), at the Muchmore's performance space/bar in Williamsburg, ground floor of 2 Havemeyer St. (corner of N. 9th St.), just three blocks east of the easily-reached first L stop into Brooklyn, Bedford Ave.


Here's a bit of a preview of the kind of nice things I might say about Bitcoin, from my article recently accepted by Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin is a liquid currency and an investment vehicle.  It’s an open-source, peer-to-peer, encrypted currency. Bitcoin, or “BTC” doesn’t have any corporate entity behind it. Its price floats on the free market. People use $16 billion a year of Bitcoin right now. It’s a quick and cheap way to move money. Bitinstant fees start at 3.99%, while Western Union can cost between 7% and 22%, depending on the country of origin. (A study from the World Bank reports unsurprising high profit margins of the money moving business.)
This past May, venture capitalist Fred Wilson and others invested a record $5 million in CoinBase, a major Bitcoin service. Bitcoin, Wilson said, follows the same pattern that has made other forms of social web technology triumphant.
But Bitcoin is more than a great investment. To its diehard fans, it’s a banner under which unites a broad swath of dissent: progressives to libertarians, anarchists to goldbugs, Occupiers and anti-Federal Reserve activists and truthers. It has the potential to attract anyone who uses money.
According to an early Bitcoin investor, who is now independently wealthy, “Bitcoin will be the liberator for the world’s poor giving them access to the global marketplace on a scale never seen before. If bitcoin can give market access to that many people the entire planet will experience an upswing comparable to the industrial revolution, only stronger.”
When blogging software company Wordpress recently decided to accept Bitcoin, it was out of a love for freedom of expression. MasterCard and Visa don’t work in “underdeveloped” countries. But Bitcoin works everywhere. “We don’t think an individual blogger from Haiti, Ethiopia, or Kenya should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment issues they can’t control,” said Wordpress folk, “Our goal is to enable people, not block them.”
So, why then, does Bitcoin get such harsh resistance from mainstream economists like Paul Krugman? And why all the cynical swipes from the Washington Post? Why was the top exchange, Mt. Gox, raided by Homeland Security, early in May 2013?
Who stands to gain, and who stands to lose, at this new disruptive currency rises in stature?



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