Bitcoin Critical Argument – Team Matias

Team Leader: Anthony Matias

Members: Brent Adkins1, Justin Baker4, Steve LeBano2, Anthony Matias3

Our Thesis: The system of Bitcoin is unstable because it has no one to oversee the whole process.  This system has no safety next like banks have with insurance companies.  One’s savings on Bitcoin can be easily hacked or manipulated by a computer programmer. Bitcoin is like operating a casino, the people who run it will rake in a good percent of the money while others gains and losses don’t matter.

Our Argument:  The Bitcoin currency system is a bunch of users trading and trusting that the person that they are trading with is giving them a sufficient amount of Bitcoin in return for the product.  Bitcoin has no safe net in case they are hacked.  For instance, over 87,000 bitcoins were stolen from the server and couldn’t be replaced, which depreciated the value of the bitcoin greatly.  A security lapse allowed hackers to make off with over 200,000 dollars worth of bit coin after the gained unauthorized access to bitcoin wallets stored by customers and the server. Both of these hacks happened in a mere few weeks.  These examples show that the system is flawed and is easy to be hacked into.

Even though this “revolutionary” currency system seems to work at first glance, in reality it is incredibly flawed and hard to trust since there is no authority.

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2 Responses to Bitcoin Critical Argument – Team Matias

  1. davidbdale says:

    I really admire that you articulated a specific thesis and argument, Team. The time was short and it would have been tempting to just toss a lot of information onto the page, but you showed discipline in organizing your ideas this way.

    Your argument is interesting and valuable. I have no idea whether you’re right or wrong. The entire topic is so fresh that anything we say about it is pure speculation, but that won’t stop me from offering some contrary speculations of my own to balance yours. In doing so, I’m not criticizing; this process of engaging in argument helps both you and me to clarify what we mean and to identify what we know and don’t know.

    First, it would be crazy to expect a new currency to be universally reliable and stable. Imagine the first few people who were presented with paper dollars instead of gold coins. Um . . . . can’t I just have the gold, please?

    Then too, this system is designed for hackers. If any system was ever going to be vulnerable to manipulation, it would be a system used primarily by experts in manipulation. (I’m not calling hackers criminals, but drug cartels are clearly more perilous than pharmaceutical companies as ways of creating wealth precisely because their participants are already ruthless lawbreakers.) The upside of doing business exclusively with hackers, for the operators of the system, is that their vulnerabilities are exposed quickly and can be fixed. And if the system can be made invulnerable to highly motivated hackers, what chance does law enforcement have of keeping up with the newest versions of the exchanges that conduct anonymous trades in illicit goods?

    As for the “safety net” of traditional bank deposits being insured, etc., try explaining to the millions of Americans who lost their pensions in 2008 that they were safe when they trusted American businesses, the government, and investment bankers with their retirement savings.

    Why did you not grade yourselves? I’ll ask you to explain in class.

  2. davidbdale says:

    Graded for all participants. Good work.

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