Bitcoin technology could reshape the way financial markets operate. That is according to Blythe Master[s], the chief executive of Digital Asset Holdings, and one of the biggest names in the business... Everything from stock to bonds and derivatives could be exchanged and paid for in the same way the cryptocurrency community is executing bitcoin transactions, Masters said. Still, it is early on. Masters compared where Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are now in terms of their development to early 1990s Internet. "In reality, the world is not there yet," Masters said. She said the industry would have to address regulatory hurdles as it confronts issues like authentication and security in coming years. Masters was one of a group of JPMorgan executives who helped create the market for credit default swaps in the 1990s, and later went to head its global commodities division.Yes, a "Thought Leader" who helped engineer the global crash just a few years ago by peddling fraudulent financial instruments to circumvent regulations and sound investment norms is at it again.
And why not? This Business Insider piece wasn't written after a visit to Blythe Masters in the prison cell she belongs in, after all, and it's not like she has common sense or conscience to constrain her, that much is clear. Why, she's "one of the biggest names in the business," we are told! What else does anybody need to know?
The plausibility of "Bitcoin" and comparable crypto-currency schemes always derives (surprisingly explicitly surprisingly often) from anarcho-capitalist fantasies of natural market forces (of which there are literally none) generating optimally efficient and just "spontaneous orders" (of which there has never been nor ever will be one). The usual popular postwar Randroidal and Friedmaniacal just-so stories and nonsense rationalizations for plutocracy and white supremacy bubble and boil this discursive cauldron to its froth, of course. Note that regulation is figured here as a "hurdle" for "the industry," for example.
But notice as well that problems are figured as merely technical, and therefore technically solvable: "authentication" and "security" await their programming fixes, no social or ethical questions bedevil the pristine instrumental prospect... let us unleash the bulldozers! What the last thirty years has taught us above all is that it is techno-transcendental rhetoric in particular that transforms these commonplace confusions, deceptions, and self-congratulatory cons into the cadences of progressive and spiritual revelations that drive the popular imagination from solidarity and suicide.
The wistful call back to the glory days of the "early 1990s Internet" is a tip-off: You remember the early 1990s, surely, the beginning of The Long Boom, in which space was abolished, cryptoanarchy smashed all the states, Cyberspace was the Home of Mind, virtuality transformed reality, nanotech delivered superabundance, California Extropians said "No!" to Death and Taxes, and pop futurists were revealing on a daily basis the techs That! Would! Change! Everything!
Oh, for a to return to the days of Irrational Exuberance! The Smartest Guys in the Room could really squeeze a fortune from the rubes back then!
Even in this short, throwaway piece, you should notice that it is a futurological formulation that provides all the juice: "The world is not there yet."
A denial of basic knowledge is articulated in the form of a prophetic utterance, whereupon the brute force of technological determination and superlative destining are called forth to shunt the realities of precarious bodies, historical struggles, lawless violations, and ecosystemic limits out of sight, out of mind to make way for frictionless flows of capital and fountainheads of cyberspatial spirit-stuff.
Of course, state forms are the point of departure for any macroeconomics. So sorry to harsh your bliss, but what passes for "the market" in any historical epoch will be an artifact of laws, norms, pricing conventions, and infrastructural affordances articulated and maintained by states and public investment. Meanwhile, currency itself, not to put too fine a point on it, is what states authorize as instruments for the payment of public debt.
There is of course much more to say on these topics (do read Polanyi), but there is no point in saying anything at all before all the participants in the conversation grasp these fundamental and foundational facts of the matter at hand. To deny such things is not to have revolutionary thoughts but to testify in public either to complete ignorance on the topic at hand or to a willingness to engage in fraud. I don't know whether she is a market fundamentalist zealot, or a full on techno-utopian True Believer, or just a con-artist looking to hack together her next personally profitable bit of financial fraud, indifferent to the lives and hopes ruined by her clever schemes and technical gew-gaws. Blythe Masters is advocating nothing short of looting and warlordism and the neoliberal tech press, settled in the midst of the still smoking ruins and ballooning bodies of a world wrecked by these facile frauds, cheers her stupid destructive pieties as a "Deep Think," natch.