Antonopoulos said at a Bitcoin Melbourne meet up on Monday:
“It’s as monumentally stupid as it would have been in 1994 to classify the internet as a fax machine service, and put it under the control of telecom companies. Or to classify it as a CB radio, a fancy CB radio and ask every user of the internet to pass a Morse code exam and have an operator’s license.
This is a clear case of not knowing what to do with Bitcoin, which has somewhat flourished in many Australian provinces this year, as we have reported. Many nations are having major issues with debt incurred by their debt-based, fiat currency, controlled by central banks. The banking interests have become experts at putting provinces, states, and nations into debt through their unsound system of finance. Andreas explained:
“Those things didn’t happen at the time because regulators took a wait and saw approach and decided to let the technology itself flourish for a while before trying to apply regulations. By doing regulation in that way, Australia’s not making bitcoin slow down, what they’re doing is making bitcoin move out.”
As he advised the Canadian government last month, it is best to wait and see, and not over-regulate Bitcoin until you know what you’re dealing with. And the average government has little idea what Bitcoin is, but they do know they don’t control it, which is its greatest strength, and its greatest weakness. Antonopoulos said:
“The truth is very few people understand what bitcoin is exactly, and how it works. And I don’t mean a few politicians; I mean very few people in general really really understand bitcoin. I would count myself as one of them. I understand parts of bitcoin, but I don’t think I can predict where this thing is going. I don’t think I can predict even a fraction of the applications that are likely to be built on bitcoin. None of us know. This is unchartered territory. The reason it’s unchartered territory is because nothing like bitcoin has ever happened before.”
The underlying issue is also that many nation-states are so indebted, so insolvent that they are looking at anything to tax to help balance their fiat books. Nothing is safe from over-regulation or taxation to save the failing fiat currency system, which is showing signs of collapse worldwide. So the upside is obvious from that perspective, but is short-sighted, just like running a nation on fiat currency run by central banking interest. The downside is you grease the wheels for move Bitcoin away from your desperate restrictions and regulations. You give other nations a major opportunity to take Bitcoin and grow it into a major financial asset for decades to come.
Great Britain was in the same position with the automobile in the 19th century, but chose to over-regulate it. “The Locomotive Acts” made owning a car so onerous and expensive that the entire industry vacated the UK and headed for greener pastures in the U.S. and Germany. Great Britain’s loss was a huge boon to these tow nations, which have made trillions of dollars since. The UK went from an automotive leader to a footnote within a decade, all out of fear and ignorance towards new technology that was ready to change the world.
Is Australia ready to make the same mistake? Some countries have beaten Australia to that fearful punch. The countries that step forward, and welcome Bitcoin, will see quite an economic boon in the future, as Germany and the U.S. did with the automobile. Even if by default, the days of fiat currency controlling this world financially are clearly numbered. Having a “Plan B” is not only prudent, but necessary going forward. Bitcoin should be a small part of any smart investor’s portfolio, whether it be personally, or a cultivated currency of any nation state, with an eye towards our increasingly digitized future.
The 20th century is over. Time to stop playing by those outdated and ineffective rules of finance, and look to grow for the future. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Is Australia on the right side of history? Is this tax best for Australia now or in the future? How should nations interact with digital money that they don’t even recognize as a currency yet? Share above and comment below.
Images from Andreas Antonopoulos and Shutterstock.