January 15th, 2016
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
But despite knowing that Bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly. The fundamentals are broken and whatever happens to the price in the short term, the long term trend should probably be downwards. I will no longer be taking part in Bitcoin development and have sold all my coins.
Why has Bitcoin failed? It has failed because the community has failed. What was meant to be a new, decentralised form of money that lacked “systemically important institutions” and “too big to fail” has become something even worse: a system completely controlled by just a handful of people. Worse still, the network is on the brink of technical collapse. The mechanisms that should have prevented this outcome have broken down, and as a result there’s no longer much reason to think Bitcoin can actually be better than the existing financial system.
Think about it. If you had never heard about Bitcoin before, would you care about a payments network that:
Couldn’t move your existing money
Had wildly unpredictable fees that were high and rising fast
Allowed buyers to take back payments they’d made after walking out of shops, by simply pressing a button (if you aren’t aware of this “feature” that’s because Bitcoin was only just changed to allow it)
Is suffering large backlogs and flaky payments
… which is controlled by China
… and in which the companies and people building it were in open civil war?
I’m going to hazard a guess that the answer is no.