It's troll's gold—a curse to the holder, and to those who desire it. It's deflationary, which means it's an inherently poor currency to do business in; it comes with a built-in sales tax. It provides an incentive for employers and debtors to delay payment as long as possible. It's money that comes with a built-in discouragement to exchange, and half the work of money is as a medium of exchange.
Science fiction writer Charlie Stross brought this up on his blog, and the post jumped the science fiction ghetto wall—it got cited on /., and David Atkins over at Hullabaloo picked it up.
And, yes, Bitcoin could become a problem. It was intended, after all to implement both the crypto-anarchist and goldbug agenda. But, really, isn't this what the biggest global banks have already done? Finance, beyond the control of the most powerful governments, and corrupting those governments. I do not think Bitcoin could make matters much worse, in that regard. Yet…
There's a dark side to Keynesian economics. Keynes-Hicks models provide tools which hold out the promise of an economy without booms and busts, without bubbles and depressions, without a 1%. Conversely, though, Keynesian management can be used to enable an aristocracy, to insure that money will only be a store of value for people who are connected with the people who run the system. A new tool of class oppression, in other words.
But there's a deeper darkness. Without the "somewhat comprehensive socialization of investment" that Keynesian economic management requires, a money economy is like a climate system, with arbitrary and unpredictable weather, vast storms, freezes, booms and busts. And that is what crypto-anarchists want to make a permanent condition.
Well. I do not think that is too likely. But a new aristocracy? Is that not what a faction of the world's very wealthy are working to create?