Next up Energy Use of Bitcoin
Inequities of Bitcoin
Massive energy use and the creation of e-waste have been talked about rather extensively in regards to BTC -- Still waiting on a decent rebuttal to those points -- but I haven't seen much said about the inherent inequities of BTC. So, I thought I'd share some thoughts on this.
The adoption of BTC results in inequities from day one. Over the last decade, BTC has only been aware to those in technical circles. This information asymmetry allows a select group of people to gather BTC at a lower value than others. Now, as BTC reaches mainstream, all those convinced they should join are at a massive disadvantage, as the value is thousand times more expensive -- All of those early adopters are now much like the 1%.
From one system to another
Moreover, as miners are awarded with BTC, those who have existing access to massive amounts of real-estate, computer equipment, and cheap energy, are also awarded with BTC. That means, those who are already in an advantaged position outside of BTC, can also gain an advantage within BTC. I also see no reason not to suspect that the Governments of the world (like US and China) are actually operating the largest mines, thus cementing their continued control of power and wealth in the new system.
There doesn't seem to be any characteristics of BTC that prevent hoarding of wealth in a minority group?
Transactions can be quite slow with BTC. While this is obviously a negative characteristic in terms of usability, it also exposes another inequity baked into the system: Transactions can be sped up if you are willing to pay a higher miner fee.
That means those who hold more BTC, and thus can expend more of it without concern, can pay for faster transactions than the dispossessed. This is awful. Can you imagine a scenario where supply of something is limited, so there is a rush to buy? Would seller's not be incentivized to accept buyers whose transactions could happen in hours rather than days?
Even for something like condo sales in a city with limited supply. While today, you may have to wait in lines overnight, or make offers with less conditions, or even make an offer without seeing a place... With BTC, would a seller not give preference to those who can prove they can afford the higher miner fees, thus closing a deal faster?
What about the severely disposed? If I run out of food, and my transaction would take a day to process... Do I have to wait another 24 hours before eating?
Can these issues be fixed?
Will the underlying technology of BTC change to fix transaction times? Is there value loss if masses of BTC holders transfer to alternative networks or coins? Does that create another scenario of information asymmetry? How many times will people have to convert to a new coin until we are happy with the underlying technology?
Could any change in the technology undo the massive lead that early adopters or large-scale miner operations have?