I think the Bitcoin mania has jumped the shark. In today’s New York Times an article covered the latest effort of some cryptocurrency enthusiasts and billionaires to establish a blockchain utopia in Puerto Rico, called “Puertopia” (at least for now since it means ‘eternal boy playground’). The article covers some interesting aspects of Puerto Rico’s tax and business friendly structure – basically these billionaires could establish businesses in the territory and pay no federal taxes and all the while remain U.S. citizens. That in itself may be a boon to an economy decimated by Hurricane Maria and then further beat down by Trump’s anti-Puerto Rico tax policies, but what is far more intriguing is the cult like structure these men want to build.
In the article they speak of creating their own city and making it an ideal community for creating a new society based on cryptocurrency. One of the leaders of this motley group even creates his own blessing for the new community:
The force of Mr. Pierce’s personality and his spiritual presence are important to the group, whose members are otherwise largely agnostic. Mr. Pierce regularly performs rituals. Earlier that day while scoping out property, they had stopped at a historic Ceiba tree, known as the Tree of Life.
“Brock nestled into the bosom of it and was there for 10 minutes,” Mr. Nygard said.
Mr. Pierce walked around the tree and said prayers for Puertopia, holding a rusted wrench he had picked up in the territory. He kissed an old man’s feet. He blessed a crystal in the water, as they all watched.
That quote really makes me shake my head. I am wondering where humanity is headed. I do believe that technologies like blockchain are transformative, but ultimately are they transforming the world in the right way? They are certainly racing to strip governments of power, but they seem to be focusing the power in the hands of a few, very technologically advanced people. Could this end corruption in Africa? I think the answer to that question is yes, but at the same time it makes me ask the question: Does this jeopardize 2 centuries of American democracy?
A currency independent of the dollar that has a global force seems potentially destabilizing.