Friday, 13 April 2012

"Mintchip" Is Not Bitcoin

Tyler Cowen asks:
"Is a Canadian BitCoin on the way?"
Clicking through Tyler's link, we find this description of the Canadian "Mintchip" by one Jesse Brown:
"Like BitCoin, it’s as anonymous as cash, leaving no electronic record of who paid what to who. Unlike BitCoin, it’s backed by a central authority, which is bad news for the anarcho-crypto Illuminati-fearing libertarian crowd, but good news for people who actually use it."
Actually, this is something of a brain-fart on two counts, firstly because the anonymity is actually the part that has specifically libertarian value in that anonymous transactions preclude State monitoring and taxation; secondly, the fact that "Mintchip" (crap name) has backing by the Canadian central bank ought to be regarded as bad news for people who use it because, just like cash and fiduciary media, its value can be debased over time should it actually take off.

So the answer to Cowen's question is: no, but it may have some Bitcoin-like features.


  1. Pentagon = alarmist conspirators! Michael Fagan = esteemed climate scientist!!!

    The US and Maldives endure the long, hot March of climate change
    It is becoming harder to ignore climate change in two very different countries entering election season

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    o Amy Goodman
    o, Thursday 12 April 2012 18.00 BST
    o Article history

    Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed, who is expected to run again for presidency. Photograph: Ishara Skodikara/AFP/Getty Images
    The Pentagon knows it. The world's largest insurers know it. Now, governments may be overthrown because of it. It is climate change, and it is real. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, last month was the hottest March on record for the United States since 1895, when records were first kept, with average temperatures of 8.6F above average. More than 15,000 March high-temperature records were broken nationally. Drought, wildfires, tornadoes and other extreme weather events are already plaguing the country.
    Across the world in the Maldives, rising sea levels continue to threaten this Indian Ocean archipelago. It is the world's lowest-lying nation, on average only 1.3 metres above sea level. The plight of the Maldives gained global prominence when its young president, the first ever democratically elected there, Mohamed Nasheed, became one of the world's leading voices against climate change, especially in the lead-up to the 2009 UN climate-change summit in Copenhagen. Nasheed held a ministerial meeting underwater, with his cabinet in scuba gear, to illustrate the potential disaster.

  2. Can't you even learn to embed your URLs as links?

    "...last month was the hottest March on record for the United States since 1895..."

    Single data points like that are neither here nor there. It's all about worldwide temperature trends over time and the validity of the assumptions used in mathematical modelling techniques (i.e. to what extent these are based on knowledge rather than conjecture).

  3. And besides, this post is about digital currency, not climate change. Post on-topic or get lost.


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