“The very first sentence of Satoshi’s original paper reads as follows: ‘A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.’ It looks as if, on the contrary, those very same financial institutions are going to use this new technology to keep themselves right where they are: in the middle of every possible transaction network, extracting all the rent they can.” – LRB · John Lanchester · When Bitcoin Grows Up: What is Money?
“In January, the UK government’s chief scientific adviser issued a report which said that ‘distributed ledger technologies have the potential to help governments to collect taxes, deliver benefits, issue passports, record land registries, assure the supply chain of goods and generally ensure the integrity of government records and services.’” – LRB · John Lanchester · When Bitcoin Grows Up: What is Money?
“In the process of arresting Ulbricht and shutting down Silk Road, the FBI became one of the world’s larger owners of bitcoin, because it seized the site’s considerable assets: 144,000 bitcoin, worth £43.9 million at today’s prices.” – LRB · John Lanchester · When Bitcoin Grows Up: What is Money?
“As Julian Assange has said, it just happens to be a fact about reality, such as that you can build atomic bombs, that there are math problems that you can create that even the strongest state cannot break … there is a property of the universe that is on the side of privacy, because some encryption algorithms are impossible for any government to break, ever.” – LRB · John Lanchester · When Bitcoin Grows Up: What is Money?
“there are at least seven billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world (four and a half billion people have access to a flush toilet). So more than twice as many people have a mobile phone as have access to a bank account. If your phone can give you access to the things you would need from a bank, well, you’ve just disinvented the need for banks, and fundamentally changed the operation of the money system, across whole swathes of the developing and emerging world.” – LRB · John Lanchester · When Bitcoin Grows Up: What is Money?