Bitcoin: The Currency of Mistrust

Felix Salmon has a very good post on Bitcoin (and the potential bubble associated with it). The gist of his argument is in these two paragraphs:

If you hold dollars, you’re trusting the US government not to destroy your wealth. Bitcoin, by contrast, is based on mistrust — it’s specifically designed so that it’s every man for himself. All in Vain was blamed by many in the bitcoin community for his stupidity: what was he thinking, keeping his wallet on a Windows computer attached to the open internet?

But even with bitcoin, people nearly always end up trusting someone – and the entity they’re trusting often turns out to be unreliable. MyBitcoin, turned out to be a fraud; Mt Gox was hacked. The latest hot new bitcoin company is Coinlab, but given how much money can be made by hacking into these companies, and given that law enforcement authorities are unlikely to make any attempt to go after the perpetrators, there will always be a pretty substantial risk that clients will lose their money.

In related news: Henry Blodget didn’t publish his take on April Fools’ Day.

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