Bitcoin: The First Shots, Fired

\Mt Gox seems to have gone dark, with supposedly 744,000 lost Bitcoins. Once the biggest Bitcoin exchange, now dirt on Bitcoin’s name and future.

Of course, something like this was destined to happen. Bitcoin is revolutionary. Bitcoin is new. Bitcoin is valuable.

“All that glitters, someone will try to take.”

That’s what we see here– the first major speed bump for Bitcoin. When even the largest middleman might filch your investments, why invest?

If you had to live in constant fear of the bank divesting you of your money, wouldn’t you stash it all under your mattress?

But even though to the Bitcoin world this is the equivalent of JP Morgan Chase closing its doors, saying “We have a bug”, I don’t think it’ll severely impede Bitcoin’s progress.

After all, the people investing in Bitcoin aren’t the common people. They’re the trailblazers. The WSJ recently reported that 75% of the US aren’t familiar with Bitcoin, and 80% wouldn’t bother using it.

For those 20% who will bother, and the even smaller percentage who actually are pushing the cause forward, Bitcoin isn’t just an investment they think will give high ROI. It’s a revolution they believe will overthrow paper currency. The death of the dollar. A few annoyances won’t stop them. They’re effecting a dream– and nothing can stop someone realizing his dream.

Because of this, while news on Mt Gox has only served to further alienate the populace from Bitcoin, the currency and community in itself is rebounding pretty quickly. Hitting a $400/btc low last night, trading is already back to about 545.

While Mt Gox has been spasming for several weeks now, dragging down prices from what was $800 at the beginning of February, perhaps weeding out this parasite may allow for a stronger push.

Bitcoin is still in its young days. Speculation will shift. Usage will alter. And news like this will only prolong the time before Bitcoin becomes a viable currency. But as Coinbase put it, “As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today.”

But it doesn’t matter, because in the end, decentralized currency will win. No loss can suppress the thirst for freedom. And that’s exactly what Bitcoin provides: freedom of money, the future of Internet payment.

Let’s think of Mt Gox as we think of a flowerbed, blooming. Hidden amongst these flowers are weeds– few in number, but large in effect. While watching someone yank out weeds from a beautiful garden may be estranging, it’s a necessity to save and support the institution as a whole.

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