In case you didn’t see this a few weeks ago, here is an interview that Cointelegraph did with Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed and a prominent supporter of Bitcoin. The most important quote is below.
C[oin] T[elegraph]: What’s your perspective on the current state of Bitcoin?
C[ody] W[ilson]: The state of Bitcoin — a complete abortion culturally. All the topics being celebrated are those participating with the government. I thought it was very interesting that Ripple got tagged. Everyone keeps thinking that as long as we participate, we’ll be fine. Obviously that’s not true. No one has the philosophical bearing or maturity to understand they are not your friends. They are your enemies.
They are going to bend what you had, what we thought was different about it, to look exactly the same as what came before. Without a big expression of intentionality to what are considered not the polite things to do with Bitcoin — specifically money laundering, specifically private access to your coin, holding your own keys — without projects that express these principles, you have nothing of what you want with a revolution. This leaves me to proclaim that most people involved with Bitcoin were not serious about that in the first place.
That is a fairly accurate summary of the state of the Bitcoin community. Those who seem to be the most active in pushing Bitcoin right now, or at least those getting the most press among mainstream news sources, are those who have capitulated to the state regulatory regime. But by complying with money services business regulations, banking regulations, anti-money-laundering regulations, etc., Bitcoin loses its radical character. It becomes just one more option among many. The revolutionary character of Bitcoin was that it allowed individuals to transfer value amongst each other, across borders, very quickly, without having to go through the banking system or having to ask permission of governments. It gave people a taste of how fast and efficient a truly market-based money and banking system could be.
Naturally governments don’t want people to be able to do anything without their say-so, so many governments around the world, and particularly here in the United States, have decided to try to strangle Bitcoin by making Bitcoin businesses comply with the current regulatory regime. Once Bitcoin is subject to all the myriad financial regulations and becomes completely integrated within the financial system, it will be not much more than a glorified, but riskier, PayPal.