Is cryptocurrency a threat to anarchy?

Submitted by elyersio in AskRaddle

It seems that there is a general dislike of cryptocurrency on Raddle, and I don't know why. It's not government controlled. I think there's also a dislike of money, too. Is there trade in anarchy? If so, what's the difference between trading bread and computers, and trading gold and bitcoin? Would an anarchist society that decided to use bitcoin end up with a person or group of people in control, and the whole thing corrupted?


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Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

In short, any currency is in the end bad for anarchy. Anarchists are not just against the state, they are against capitalism too. There are some arguments for why cryptocurrency is more desirable than 'regular' state-currency, afaik, but I think generally anarchists are not going to want any money.

Anarchists are typically more interested in gift economies, for example.


elyersio OP wrote

Suppose blockchain technology could assist a gift economy? And what would life in a gift economy be like?


Xesau wrote

How would it? Blockchains are basically databases with public integrity checks. What would have to be stored in a database in a gift economy?


elyersio OP wrote

You know what, I don't know. But I sometimes tend to think of blockchains as magical decentralization devices, which they're not. But I still hope that a "database with public integrity checks" could someday be a database of decentralized law that everybody can agree with. If I want a decentralized state, what am I?


Pop wrote

Depends what you mean, but probably a liberal

For example, liberals will often 'decentralise their state' by separating powers - so there is a judiciary, a parliament, a executive, whatever, and they are meant to be kept separate and to monitor and police each other so that they don't get too much power

Other ways liberals 'decentralise their state' is by having federated provinces, like in the US. Where the provinces are just called states

because really what makes a state is that it is an overarching centralised/centralising structure - otherwise it is just a bunch of small states

how do you envision a decentralised state?


elyersio OP wrote (edited )

A state where everybody is/can be a part of the legislation, execution, and justification of laws. A government that exists not as a person, or group of people, but as ideas, or an open source program. A government that would die without the people, instead of a government that is a parasite. A dependant brain of the state that organizes the state. A hive mind, so to speak.

I can easily imagine this 'government' in the form of some kind of computer network program, driven by a blockchain or the next miraculous software thing that comes from the next Satoshi Nakamoto, that helps us organize our next projects.

TL;DR: The "overarching centralised/centralising structure" is a computer program, kept in check by everybody who uses it.

Does that make me a liberal?


[deleted] wrote (edited )


elyersio OP wrote

Well, I just found /r/ShitLiberalsSay, so from there I can learn if I'm a liberal :)


ziq wrote

What you're advocating for is the The Venus Project.

Here's my critique of that.


elyersio OP wrote

Wow. I can't even find any source code in that project.

In your society, would we be able to do what Elon Musk is doing, and be able to land spacecraft on Mars?

Wait a minute.... Elon Musk... wants to own Mars...


ziq wrote (edited )

I wrote that years ago (years before the date on the article, even), so my views have changed a lot since then.

But under social anarchism, humanity would overthrow the state and capital overlords and then instead of us laboring to create Musk's profits, we'd labor for our own prosperity and the prosperity of all.

Mars would be a lot easier to get to if we weren't directing all the wealth to the elites.


surreal wrote

No, there is no trade of commodities or currency in anarchy because there is no profit, there is exchange of things and access to things.

Bitcoin will eventually be corrupted or end up with a small group of people owning most of it which is capitalism all over. What's nice about bitcoin is not the currency part but the blockchain tech behind it that can be used to for whatever else we can imagine. There are networks already running on top of the bitcoin blockchain and web apps too, we can make some other blockchain without the transaction of currecy being part of it.

So no, cryptocurrency is not a threat because there is no currency and money in anarchy.


sudo wrote

I certainly don't dislike it, though I'm a communist, not an anarchist. I think that we won't do away with money for a long time (I consider labour vouchers to still be money, just a very special type of money). I see nothing inherently wrong with cryptocurrencies, but I find the libertarians who so strongly promote them to be worthy of ridicule.


captaindread1 wrote (edited )

Under my view, local cryptocurrencies, temporally limited (with date of expire) and based in confidence (that is, without any authority supporting them) would not be a real problem for anarchism, but it does not mean that it would perfect tool, of course.


elyersio OP wrote

Why local, and why expiring? Also, how would you keep it local?


captaindread1 wrote

Well, basically those restrictions could avoid accumulation of capital, and, at the same time, could booster economic flexibility.

How to keep it local? Well, I am not a computer engineering, but I think that transactions could be limited by GPS coordinates or something like that, just allowing local exchanges.

In any case, I think that it would be completely unsuccessfully if is not combined with radical reorganization of the society, such as Libertarian Municipalism.