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So what's with all the Bitcoin hate and vitriol anyway?
As Bitcoin is increasing its traction around the world, it seems the internet is becoming awash with articles that take a negative view on this nascent cryptocurrency. Why is this? As this article will show, the reasons for this phenomenon are quite easy to understand.
Why would so many people want to dis Bitcoin? The actual cause of the hate depends on a number of variables, but the main reasons people disparage Bitcoin are fear and ignorance.
Lets have a closer look at some of the different strata that have professed their disdain for Bitcoin.
Banking and Finance Incumbents
Probably the most vocal in their hostility towards Bitcoin are banking and finance industry incumbents. A slight shift in equity, commodity and forex investment towards Bitcoin can drive Bitcoin's capitalization to a trillion dollar market in a very short time.
Finance is well aware of this. That' why they're clinging to the status quo: they have the most to lose. Representatives of this segment have watched Bitcoin grow from insignificant speck to the 100+ Billion juggernaut-in-being that it is today. And whilst Bitcoin and its aspirations were laughable at first, this virtual money, still nascent as it is, is now fast becoming too big for comfort.
Ignoring Bitcoin may have worked initially - participating in a revolution when you're at the top of the food chain is likely to be counter-productive anyway - but now that old-school money has realized that Bitcoin represents a serious threat, an actively offensive approach is required in order to eliminate it.
This is why established Finance players have started implicating Bitcoin in endless fearmongering campaign: tulip bubble, money-laundering, tax evasion, gun-running. No boogeyman is left unturned in their hackneyed incantation. They do this to try and raise FUD levels amongst the public at large, particularly the uninformed and the gullible, in a desperate attempt to hopefully end Bitcoin's all-consuming bull-run before it starts consuming their fat and happy industry in earnest.
The next most emphatic sceptics are those that are believers in gold as a hedge investment, a staunch crowd if ever there was one. Again, no surprise here; imagine you've bought into gold years ago, but you've yet to see any kind of returns from this move. After all, the price of gold hasn't gained significantly for a considerable time.
And then, after years of waiting patiently, out of the blue, Bitcoin bursts onto the investment scene, a complete greenhorn asset class, that subsequently proceeds to not only blow away gold's spot price by several orders, but is promptly elevated to safe haven status, traditionally no less than Gold's prerogative! No wonder there isn't a lot of love lost for Bitcoin amongst gold bugs.
Talking about no love lost, turns out that baby boomers aren't too fond of Bitcoin either. This generation grew up with tangible things, like their paper bank books. Only much later in life did they come face to face with computers, internet and a whole new intangible, virtual world.
Now, incorporating PC spreadsheets, email and e-commerce into their day to day activities is one thing, but after decades of unstoppable digitalization of their lives, most pentagenarians and above vehemently draw the line at Bitcoin. The old guard is unable to wrap their head around Bitcoin and you can't really blame them.
Not a huge group, but some of the most resentful haters are those that had a very early punt in Bitcoin, perhaps in 2012. A lot of these early adapters have either lost their Bitcoin to hacks, fraud or outright theft. Those were some Wild-West days.
Worse, many sold their Bitcoin after one of the frequent early crashes, or after becoming disenfranchised with Bitcoin during the long stagnant years. Only to witness Bitcoin arise from the ashes and explode to $6,000+. These hapless individuals are now quite embittered and no longer want anything to do with Bitcoin. Count on a lot of vitriol from this group for some time to come.
One of the problems of Bitcoin is that it's not easy to fathom. To most listeners, hearing its decentralized concept explained sounds so unlike anything else, so far-fetched, that most instinctively reject the whole idea altogether as implausible, even impossible. Ironically, it's probably no exaggeration to say that most Bitcoin believers started off as outright rejecters, more often than not nudged there by the whole Libertarian/Crypto-anarchist slant.
Until such time they revisit Bitcoin, go down the Bitcoin rabbit hole, to discover Bitcoin for the disruptor on steroids that it is, this category, too, can be quite strident in their cynicism.
All in all, plenty of scope to take a disliking to Bitcoin. And we haven't even mentioned its volatility, or the way Bitcoin is not exactly accepted as payment ubiquitously yet, or the fact that transacting by Bitcoin can at times be less than real-time.
These three arguments, too, are often leveraged by the anti-Bitcoin brigade. Of course, impartial observers should know better than to brush off Bitcoin outright on the basis of any current inadequacies. This is like dismissing the internet back in the early 1990's on the basis of its initially sparse distribution, sluggish modem speeds and deficient bandwidth.
Anyone with the slightest foresight can see that capacity issues and teething problems are a given in any fledgling development, particularly one as revolutionary as Bitcoin. To cast aside a germinal movement with as much potential as Bitcoin on account of it being imperfect bespeaks a serious lack of vision.
That said, it's far more likely that Bitcoin sceptics employ their vacuous reasons, knowing full well that progress is made on Bitcoin's infrastructure as we speak. Just like the internet was constantly being honed back in its early days, culminating in the fully-fledged global medium of media it is today. Just like internet back then, Bitcoin is a moving target and will remain a moving target for some time to come.
But, suffice to say, in spite of all the negative outpourings by the various segments above, clearly, the Bitcoin juggernaut just keeps gaining ground. Proving that Bitcoin truly is the honey badger of money
Bottom line: There's no stopping an idea whose time has come.
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I wrote the above article myself and it expresses my own personal opinions and views on Bitcoin. I am unable to guarantee that the information and/or results will be correct. Furthermore, whilst I own some cryptocurrencies, I do not receive compensation for my writing and I have no business relationship with any of the companies mentioned in above article. In addition, I am not an investment advisor and above article is for purely informational purposes. Investors are advised to personally undertake adequate due diligence, or to consult a financial advisor in order to determine what assets - if any - are appropriate to invest in.
Bryan, a Singapore PR, has spent two separate stints in Singapore, spanning close to two decades. As is the case for most non-techies, although Bryan's first exposure to Bitcoin was around 2010, it wasn't love at first sight. However, Bitcoin's impressive resilience, meteoric rise and world-changing potential have converted Bryan, to the extent that he has now pivoted to fully commit to Bitcoin.
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