Bitcoin Is a Tale of Tragedy

Aug. 18, 2022 [technology] [monetary] [privacy-security]

Bitcoin is a tragedy. And I say this knowing full well that my donation section lists only a Bitcoin option. The cons outweigh the benefits and since I’m not paying for site hosting right now anyway, that section will be removed for the time being. Because I only like to run full nodes for any cryptocurrency and building from source + familiarizing myself with each one’s terminal commands all while taking precaution to do everything properly is mentally taxing. So I’d rather just use one cryptocoin and not have to deal with others. I’m still watching the crypto space to assess which would be best to spin up as the sole successor.

Why didn’t Satoshi & friends trial things out of public view while awaiting something like ring signatures to be devised? It’s really such a shame that the transparent chain took off and that there’s no backtracking to fix its flaws ever. In terms of privacy, Bitcoin is even worse than credit/debit cards since everyone can see all transactions forever, as opposed to just your bank and their partners. This creates a chilling effect where every transaction you make has to be carefully calculated out ahead of time to identify points of leakage and avoid exposing any paper trails that could correlate it to your real identity. I’m not even comfortable recommending it to people who are casually interested in cryptocurrency because of this.

Even if you do everything “right”; obtaining coin through cash payment outside of KYC, running your own node over Tor, creating new addresses for each receiving input and generally trying (and failing) to replicate the opsec of Jason Bourne, Bitcoin still operates totally in the open where even a single screwup can compromise your whole transaction history. Not to mention the other issues with slow transactions (lightning network doesn’t count, I’m not running another node with an entirely new chain just to fix this idiotic oversight), unnecessary transaction costs and mining which is completely out of reach from common users.

The only positive outcome I can see would be if institutions ended up adopting Bitcoin while average folks took up Monero or some other thoughtfully designed cryptocoin. That way movements of money between large organizations and even governments could be more transparent to the public. And they can eat the high cost of transactions since it would seldom be used to settle any small transfers.

I hate to say it but: Don’t use Bitcoin! It’s a treacherous hazard.