No more ideology-based crypto critique!

Ideology can help defend a case. But he quickly gains an advantage and allows him to step aside. The crypto scene – as difficult as bringing all cryptocurrency supporters together – has had to endure this accusation time and time again in the past. But now, for several months now, aggression from cryptocurrency critics has been mounting. More and more anti-Bitcoin articles appear on well-known news portals, fighting for attention with increasingly drastic words. Terms like “scary” or “stupid” are used, and the terms “electricity eater” and “climate killer” can also be found on a regular basis.

Falling cryptocurrency prices appear to offer skeptics a reasonable opportunity to vent their anger on Bitcoin and Co. More are listened to than during last year’s crypto boom. But instead of being skeptical in a positive sense, polemics are being discussed more and more. The technology is stylized as the enemy and disproportionately stringent regulation is required.

Where does the anger at bitcoin come from?

But where does this anger against technology come from? After all, you are not used to being so hostile from other technologies. Such broad expression of opinion is unknown in the case of 3D printing, air taxis or the Internet of Things (IoT). The alleged criminalization and the destruction of the climate by cryptocurrencies serve as alleged factual arguments that offer an explanation for the establishment of this camp.

Even though current research and findings show relatively clearly that the contribution of “crypto-crime” in terms of money laundering or terrorist financing is negligible, this bias persists. Those who wish to remain undetected should avoid blockchain infrastructure as law enforcement can track down criminals not despite, but because of, cryptocurrency use.

moral pride

Given the second alleged factual argument, the cryptocurrency climate damage, it doesn’t look much better. Proof-of-stake is more climate friendly than traditional financial applications. This argument does not apply to Bitcoin, a proof-of-work mechanism, but its value proposition for decentralization and security is based on its high energy consumption. There is no doubt that the electricity used for this should come from renewable sources as much as possible. But here too there is no differentiation, critics often equate energy consumption with CO₂ consumption.

A much bigger problem, however, is moral arrogance: since you don’t see any benefits in this technology, you want to ban it. The climate killer argument opens up a debate that would otherwise only be conceivable in autocracies. Anything that does not appeal to the subjective sense of advantage of a small group of people should be banned. We have already talked about where this attitude can lead.

Bitcoin and blockchain are political

This brings us closer to the real reason behind bitcoin’s criticism. This seems to be based not so much on alleged factual arguments as on a political position. Apart from people from the political camp of the Greens, these are mainly people with a very leftist worldview. In the past, the left in particular has positioned itself as the main opponent of crypto at the national and supranational levels.

Martin Schirdewan has now followed Bitcoin’s critical footsteps from former left-wing MP Fabio di Masi. A left-wing MEP stands up in the media against the crypto economy. On tagesschau.de he says every fourth Bitcoin user is a criminal, and in an interview with Der Spiegel he says he would like to tighten the rules on unhosted wallets. To previous inquiries from BTC-ECHO during the discussion about the ban on bitcoin in the European Parliament, sent to all major democratic parties, the left responded with clear answers.

Planned economy and contemporary monetary theory

One of the most famous bitcoin critics in Germany, Jürgen Geuter aka @tante, uses particularly heavy artillery to attack the crypto economy. In an interview for Zeit, he talks about an attack on our democracy, and t-online almost conspiratorially says that it is about “preventing the state from acting”. If you read his numerous tweets and comments online, you might think he is wondering about Reich citizens.

His statements show clear political statements towards the left. Geuter cursed neoliberalism, cited leftist economist David Graeber, and advocated greater state regulation. As a supporter of the trend towards centralized control, he takes the same line as Bitcoin critic Maurice Höfgen. Maurice Höfgen, for example, works for the Left Party in the Bundestag and advocates Modern Monetary Theory, MMT for short. Credo is more planned economic control, less market economy. The contrast with the bitcoin NGO and its poor understanding of value couldn’t be greater.

Left in conflict with himself

Bitcoin critics such as Geuter, Schirdewan, and Höfgen do not care about this topic – with cryptocurrencies in the real sense of the word – it is rather about implementing their economic policy ideology. Especially since you are overlooking yourself and you are prone to error. After all, Bitcoin was created in response to the 2008 financial crisis to counter the supremacy of Wall Street. Counteract an exclusive financial system with a system in which everyone can participate.

The basic idea of ​​the cryptocurrency can be interpreted as fairly left-liberal as it implies greater diversity and participation in all social classes. Decentralization and preventing the economic elite from gaining undue influence is also in the DNA of blockchain technology.

Nobody has to like Bitcoin, and not everything is going as planned in the cryptocurrency sector. Therefore, it is important to express a substantive criticism of the blockchain sector. However, this becomes problematic when the critique of facts turns into an ideological mission. Discrediting cryptocurrency supporters and hostility to technology leads to division in society and great economic damage that everyone ends up losing out on.

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