Bitcoin, Kill bitcoin
This economist has a unique take on how governments can take on and kill bitcoin. | Source: YouTube/Fundación Rafael del Pino

By Saifedean Ammous, author of the Bitcoin Standard, appeared on the most recent episode of Stephen Livera’s crypto-economics podcast. Ammous spoke on several subjects, including a hyperbitcoinized future.

What Would It Take To Kill Bitcoin?

Livera spoke to the fact that a full government ban on Bitcoin would make people aware of the fact that they have little control over the money in their bank accounts. Ammous responded, in part:

People think that if government were to just pass a law that bans Bitcoin, then Bitcoin goes away and they get to laugh at us, and that’s the end of the story. I think it’s actually the other way around. […] The more restrictive governments are against Bitcoin, that means the more restrictive they generally are financially, and the worse their monetary policies are.

So if people are trying to get into Bitcoin and governments are saying, ‘If you buy Bitcoin, we’re going to throw you in jail,’ then number one, we can tell, obviously that people have a good reason to be buying Bitcoin, otherwise they wouldn’t be risking going to jail. And that government is trying to stop them from it, and the fact that it is trying to stop them means that government is imposing financial restrictions on them.

And so that ultimately is Bitcoin’s use case. Bitcoin’s use case is moving money around the world without having to report to your government. And so the more governments create restrictions like this, the more problems they create, the worse their monetary policy is, and that’s not just, you know, the governments of the west. […] It applies all over the world.

Bitcoin Bans Have a Streisand Effect

Ammous believes that laws banning Bitcoin have a positive impact on it. The unrestricted nature of Bitcoin transactions means that repression has more of a Streisand effect.

A blanket ban on bitcoin will have the opposite effect, according to the economist. | Source: Shutterstock

Laws are just one way governments might try to kill cryptocurrency. As with any technological force, you can’t rightly legislate it away. Bitcoin is as much a philosophical movement as it is a financial upheaval and, indeed, a judgment on institutions writ large.

Want to Kill Bitcoin? Be Better

Ammous says that if governments want to kill Bitcoin, they need to compete with it.

The notion that you’re just going to kill the economic incentive that exists for people to use Bitcoin by passing a law that criminalizes it, I think is fanciful – I don’t see that happening. […] The way for governments to kill Bitcoin would be to do the exact opposite of what the no-coiners want and the exact opposite of what the Keynesians and the people who hate Bitcoin think would work. The way for them to kill Bitcoin is for them to make the economic incentive to use Bitcoin irrelevant. To make the demand for using Bitcoin go away at the source. They need to offer a technology that is better than Bitcoin – that can obviate the need for Bitcoin.

The long-time crypto analyst elucidates this viewpoint more in a recent paper issue of his newsletter, which costs $50 if you want to read it.

Listen to the full podcast below.

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