Disclaimer: This author’s opinions do not reflect the opinions of coinbrief.net.
A few days ago, on May 13, 2014, a two part conversation was posted on the website for Glenn Beck’s news network, The Blaze, regarding Bitcoin. In this two-part video series, Glenn Beck sat down with Jeffrey Tucker, Elizabeth Ploshay, and Kristov Atlas to discuss the basics of Bitcoin and some interesting possibilities for the future of our monetary system. This type of mainstream coverage is exactly what Bitcoin needs to become widely accepted and eventually, hopefully, replace the current system of fiat money under centralized, government control.
Glenn Beck’s Open Mind Toward Bitcoin
Glenn Beck has a notorious reputation on both sides of the American Left-Right political paradigm. The liberals see him as a far right radical, while the even further right “radicals,” the libertarians, see him as just another big government neoconservative. However, since the start of his news network, The Blaze, he seems to have had a change of heart regarding the libertarian political philosophy, especially in the realm of economics. Beck now condemns many big government policies and, especially, the central banks’ control of the global money supply. Of course, we can speculate on whether or not this change of heart is genuine or if Beck is merely trying to take advantage of the growing liberty movement in the United States. However, all of those speculations are irrelevant; regardless of Glenn Beck’s intentions, he has brought major attention to Bitcoin and it is a very good thing.
The atmosphere of this discussion in Beck’s office was not the typical high energy screaming match that we’re used to seeing on large news networks. Beck, Tucker, Ploshay, and Atlas all sat around a table in Glenn Beck’s personal office and had a friendly discussion about Bitcoin. Every part of the discussion was calm and intellectual; Beck never tried to argue with any of his three guests or tried to prove Bitcoin wrong. He seemed to be genuinely interested in this new innovation in monetary technology. He even stated that he believed it was a good idea for one to invest a substantial amount of his or her portfolio in Bitcoin, and even said that he encouraged his college-aged children to invest in Bitcoin! He mentioned the disastrous course the Federal Reserve, along with the other central banks, has taken and how it has set us up for a very likely monetary collapse unless something is done to return to sound money principles. And, amazingly, Beck seemed to be extremely intrigued, if not completely persuaded, by the ideas and implications put forth by the Bitcoin enthusiasts sitting around the table with Beck.
Bitcoin Community Reacts
The reaction to this special segment on Bitcoin was huge. One Redditor noted that, after the airing of Glenn Beck’s Bitcoin segment, calls to his Bitcoin startup increased exponentially. Many of the callers even said that the reason they were calling was that they heard about Bitcoin from Glenn Beck and that they wanted to learn more about it and how they could buy some. In addition to that particular instance, the segment sparked a large discussion across several forums on Reddit and on other websites as well.
Regardless of what your feelings are towards Glenn Beck, it is undeniable that he has done something huge for Bitcoin. Bringing it into the mainstream spotlight has created interest in cryptocurrency that would not have existed had Beck not had this discussion on his show. An entirely new demographic has now been exposed to Bitcoin, and hopefully it will lead to a new wave of mainstream Bitcoin adoption. That is exactly what Bitcoin needs. Of course there is an extensive, ongoing intellectual debate about whether or not Bitcoin can even attain the level of acceptance required to become money. However, if Bitcoin does actually become widely accepted, then all of the intellectual debate will be irrelevant and the naysayers will be proven wrong. The simple fact is that the only thing standing between any object from transitioning to money from a medium of exchange is general acceptance by a society’s population. Bitcoin is already a medium of exchange; therefore anyone who is attempting to use economic theory to prove that it can’t become money due to a lack of use-value is making a completely erroneous argument. Applying the Regression Theorem to Bitcoin yields 3 possible results regarding Bitcoin:
- The Regression Theorem is wrong.
- Bitcoin did have some use-value at some point, otherwise it wouldn’t have attained exchange value.
- After the concept of money had been established in a society, an object doesn’t necessarily need a use-value to become money.
We will discuss these three possibilities further in a later article.
Achieving Mainstream Bitcoin Acceptance
The fact of the matter is this: we need people to know about Bitcoin in order for it to replace the existing monetary system. The only way to achieve a high enough level of acceptance is to continually work to raise awareness. The best way to do this, however, is not through a centralized organization. Entrusting an entity such as the Bictoin Foundation with spreading Bitcoin acceptance ties too much of Bitcoin’s reputation to the reputation of the organization. This fact becomes a problem because certain controversial actions made by the organization can harm the public image of cryptocurrency. What we need is more people like Glenn Beck to put Bitcoin and other crypto-coins into the public spotlight. We need people who are independent of monolithic, international organizations, but who have a substantial following, to spread awareness of Bitcoin. That type of decentralized activism is a much more effective method than anything the Bitcoin Foundation can do; awareness of cryptocurrencies need to be spread at the grassroots level, just like how they were created.