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On the Libertarian Promise of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency isn't a 'empty promise for liberty,' as the Wall Street Journal claims.

In the Wall Street Journal, Greg Ip makes the claim that the downturn in cryptocurrency markets and the fall of TerraUSD, an algorithmic stablecoin, are proof of “the hollowness of crypto’s libertarian promise.” But that is far from being the reality of the matter.

The general assessment of the situation of cryptocurrency in the article is correct. In the previous thirty days, Bitcoin's price has dropped from $40,801 to $29,656, TerraUSD's peg was broken last week, and the market as a whole appears to be under pressure. And the article is true in stating that many bitcoin proponents see it as a speedier, cheaper, more accessible, and decentralized alternative to the current banking system. "[Cryptocurrency] has had 13 years to prove that case, and failed," Ip argues in the essay.

It's not clear how or why cryptocurrencies took "just" "13 years" to revolutionize the world, or even whether the current problems indicate that bitcoin has failed. And, regardless of whether TerraUSD's developer, Do Kwon, was motivated by libertarianism, the present cause for the article––the fall of TerraUSD––is hardly emblematic of cryptocurrency's promise to "free mankind from the shackles of government." The demise of TerraUSD, on the other hand, highlights the importance of consumers having the ability to pick from a number of possibilities. Although prices may decrease and initiatives may come to an end, cryptocurrency's potential to provide an alternative to the current quo remains.

While the article's basic overview of the situation of cryptocurrencies is sound, the conclusion that bitcoin is an empty promise of liberty is not.
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