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09/November/2015

What Is a 'Bitcoin'?

Hugo Salinas Price

A "Bitcoin" is a molecular magnetic field on a computer memory. The "Bitcoin System" allows a person to purchase one or more Bitcoins for fiat money and to move the purchased Bitcoins around the world, from one computer to another, free of interference by any governmental agency and independent of all banking systems.

Those who promote the Bitcoin System sing the Bitcoin's praises as being a money that is free of any interference or influence by any government agency or monetary authority, and the owner's Bitcoin property is known to no one but the owner. Secrecy and privacy are the Bitcoin's great merits.

To enhance the desirability of the Bitcoin, its promoters have engaged in fraudulent advertising. They present the totally imaginary Bitcoin on the Internet as a pile of shiny gold-colored coins labeled "Bitcoin".

The deception is calculated to have prospective buyers of Bitcoins and actual "owners" of Bitcoin balances think of these brassy, gold-colored coins when dealing in Bitcoins, thus confusing them with images of non-existent coins. The promoters want the public to associate the imaginary digital Bitcons with something tangible. This is most certainly fraudulent advertising.

Additionally, Bitcoins are promoted as free of inflationary risk, for the fanciful reason that the Bitcoins are "mined" - evoking the strenous labors of gold-miners in their dark caverns - by specialists who must rack their brains to "mine" Bitcoins and produce new, additional digital Bitcoins to contribute to the Bitcoin System as their property. The idea is to enhance the value of Bitcoins because they are very hard to "mine". The fact is, that scarcity does not necessarily make a thing valuable. Nor does the work involved in "mining" them give them any value.

The Bitcoin is supposed to be a great triumph of technology, which protects the rights of the individual to his property and privacy. But, does this make the Bitcoin a new type of money?

The answer is "No".

There is a reason why the Bitcoin has obtained a measure of success: all Bitcoins are molecular magnetic fields on computers, just as all "moneys" today, in banks around the world, are only molecular magnetic fields on computers. So the Bitcoin is simply a new scam offering a new, self-proclaimed imaginary digital "money", which is in competition with another huge, established scam also offering only imaginary digital "fiat money".

The Bitcoin is merely a new-arrival on the scam scene, as an alternative to the established scam scene of exclusively digital fiat money in all the world's banks.

For the time being, the established scam has the upper hand, because a) fiat money (in about 174 varieties around the world) is the "party in possession" of the perversion of the original system of real money, which perished in 1914, and b) people are accustomed to it, since they have been using it for a century.

You own Bitcoins? Have fun! You will be crying, at some point down the road, but you will be able to cry secretly and privately, with no one the wiser, when your dreams of secret wealth prove to be just that - dreams.

 

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Hugo Salinas Price, World Riba Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 26, 2012.
Hugo Salinas Price, World Riba Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 26, 2012.
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