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You really need to do a bit of research into Anarchists like Cody Wilson's philosophy before jumping to these conclusions. 3d printed guns were never intended to be more efficient than stamped ones and they don't represent a violent call to armed revolution.
They represent a backstop and to show the ultimate futility in regulations. A shifting of the paradigm and a change of the power dynamic more towards decentralized and egalitarian power structures vs the NRA, factory gun manufacturers and the military industrial complex.
What I don't understand is this: Bitcoin is a distributed network. We know (or can know) which bitcoins were "lost" in MtGox. What is "true" in the Bitcoin world is determined by the "opinion" of the network.
So couldn't the top 5 or 10 players in the network, who collectively have something like 75% of the computing power, collude and simply invalidate the transactions out of MtGox?
No, the top largest mining pools cannot because:
1) A 51% attack doesn't change the blockchain history or allow one to steal funds out of existing accounts. If this even ever did occur(unlikely) they could simply either temporarily deny new transactions from being processed or make 1-3 double spends before being noticed and stopped.
2) The miners in the mining pools can instantly switch pools if their trust is misplaced by the pool operators with no effort and have done so repeatedly in the past where top mining pools have gone out of favor
3) The true power of the direction of the Bitcoin protocol lies within the "Full nodes" which is any user who chooses a wallet that downloads the full blockchain and not a SPV or thin wallet.
4) Fungibility is an important concept that many in the community hold as sacrosanct and choose to respect. Their are certain fundamental principles which define bitcoin that we agree upon for the most part and one of them is the fact that all coins are equal and blacklisting will not be instituted
That is a barrier to competition, but look how fast Bitcoin arose.
History is replete with examples of superior technologies that never get a foothold because of the network effect. A technology has to be dramatically superior to overcome this in many cases. Any alt feature set can simply be rolled into bitcoin if it is good enough as Bitcoin is simply an evolving open source protocol where 60% of the code has already changed.
There is no reason to assume that Bitcoin will stay on top other that its first mover status. Not a single other reason.
History has shown that all republics and nations will ultimately fail as well, so yes, in this sense I agree with you, in 100 years bitcoin may likely be replaced.
Bitcoin has no value if it is not used.
USD has no value if not used either. I receive Bitcoin as payments, pay employees in bitcoin, make retail purchases in bitcoin for discounts, tip in bitcoin, wire money in bitcoin, and give out loans in bitcoin, no different than USD.
Bitcoins, as of today, are only valued relative to USD and Euro, for all practical purposes.
Bitcoin has value relative to all currency, commodities, and services just like the dollar. In fact most activity with Bitcoin is centered around the BTC/CNY currency pair and not USD or EUR currencies.
Bitcoin has no value if it is not used. The use of Bitcoin is somewhat arbitrary, unlike the Euro or USD. It would be much easier to have another digital currency topple Bitcoin than have Bitcoin topple an national currency.
Bitcoin isn't toppling any national currencies and no one even suggested so. Fiat and Bitcoin will continue to coexist, compete, and assist each other all at the same time.
So, I agree that Bitcoin has a first move advantage, but your confidence that other digital currencies could not quickly compete appears to be higher than mine. The problem is that is Bitcoin's only advantage.
What about all the hardware and software that cannot so easily be re-purposed for other digital currencies? ATM'S, BTC Hardware wallets, POS systems, ASIC miners, ect...
There are other currencies, certainly, but none are competing to be the official currency of the US. That is the key difference that you are throwing aside as if it is meaningless, and I assure you it isn't. A digital currency has a unique characteristic that make it compelling for a global exchange medium, but there is nothing unique among other digital currencies.
I've stated quite the opposite, indicating that the USD does indeed have a unique difference in that it is considered legal tender while Bitcoin is sovereign and has its own unique properties that the USD lacks.
The USD is unique as the standard US currency. Just as every other national currency is unique.
You seem to have a hard time grasping why and how a digital asset can have value. The value Bitcoin has comes from the billion+ invested in hardware, development, startups, education, marketing , and acceptance. Much of this hardware and software cannot be easily re-purposed for other crypto-currencies. Another token cannot come along and easily topple Bitcoin, just the same as a competing national currency cannot so easily topple the USD as being the most accepted reserve currency worldwide.
No, there is only one currency standard for the country. They can trade with other currencies but everything is based on its relation to the USD, but as far as the USD goes, there is not competitor in the US, and particularly not one that influences the value of the USD.
There is a world that exists outside your country, and one that has ~4 billion unbanked and underbanked. Within the US the dollar does indeed have many competitors, one of them being Bitcoin. The one unique thing the dollar has that Bitcoin doesn't is it is considered Legal Tender and has the privilege of the sole currency to pay taxes with and is a mandated option to repay debt with in your geographic region.
What we really need is the government to create a virtual currency, with all the regulation and control that entails. Then you can have all the benefits of a cryptocurrency but with the benefits of it actually becoming mainstream for the majority of users, without the problems a truly anonymous one has with regard to criminal activity.
All governments do already indeed create "virtual currencies" as most fiat exists as digital tokens. Many of the benefits you speak of that Bitcoin provides will never be adopted by governments as some of the intrinsic properties are antagonistic to governments needs and desires.