Friday, December 13, 2013

Chris Dixon is not being Ironic

As the micro-genre of Silicon Valley bashing/critique continues to grow, Chris Dixon writes this, I assume entirely unironic, PR piece about a recent investment:
One of the interesting things about Bitcoin is the contrast between how it is portrayed in the press and how it is understood by technologists. The press tends to portray Bitcoin as either a speculative bubble or a scheme for supporting criminal activity. In Silicon Valley, by contrast, Bitcoin is generally viewed as a profound technological breakthrough.
The presupposition is that speculative bubbles, criminality enhancement, and technological breakthroughs are in some way mutually exclusive. Morozov may be tedious at times, but his talking about the Manichaeistic worldview with permeates new technology is right on.

Bitcoin is an interesting technical solution but it solves the wrong problem because it conceives of money as commodity, instead of a formal accounting system for obligations. Regardless, the distributed cryptography that it's built on is quite amazing, and perhaps someone will build a useful application on top of it instead of Bitcoin, which is primarily a bubble and a facilitator of criminal activity.

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