Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales took to X (formerly Twitter) on Dec. 11 to take a potshot at Bitcoin, crowing that while many users have lost their Bitcoin because they forgot their BTC wallet passwords, he’s never lost any money due to mislaying his bank password.
Wales’s comments didn’t resonate well with the wider Bitcoin and crypto community, who snapped back at the Wikipedia co-founder about its dependence on donations to run day-to-day operations.
In his X post, Wales sarcastically claimed that he forgot the password to his bank account and lost all his cash, only to then mock the BTC community by adding, “Actually, that didn’t happen because banks work and Bitcoin doesn’t.”
I forgot my bank password and lost my entire net worth. No, actually, that didn’t happen, because banks work and bitcoin doesn’t.
— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) December 10, 2023
The Bitcoin community blasted the Wikipedia co-founder for taking an unprovoked potshot at BTC and reminded Wales that while banks might work, they’re not for everyone, and there are many people around the world who don’t have access to banking services.
Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation group, reminded Wales that banks work decently in countries with the rule of law and strong currencies. He added that only about a billion people out of the world’s population of 8 billion have access to banking services.
Banks work decently so long as you live in a country with rule of law and a strong currency. So maybe ok for ~1 billion people out of 8 billion people. And they tend to not work very well if you criticize the government or voice provocative opinions
— Alex Gladstein ⚡ (@gladstein) December 10, 2023
Lyn Alden, the founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy, said even those with bank accounts aren’t secure at all times, citing the example of a Lebanese doctor who lost 95% of the value of their savings as a result of hyperinflation.
One of the most heartbreaking emails I got was from a Lebanese doctor who lost 95% of their net worth due to hyperinflation, because they held it in banks/currency.
They were too busy being a doctor rather than a hands-on investor on the side as well, assuming the money is safe.
— Lyn Alden (@LynAldenContact) December 10, 2023
Bitcoin proponents like Samson Mow went on the offensive and remsneered atin the Wikipedia co-founder about the plight of his firm that depends on donations for its survival. Mow said if Wikipedia just “bought Bitcoin a few years ago as I suggested, you wouldn’t have to beg for donations every year in perpetuity.”
A few others pointed out the centralization expected of the banking system and reiterated that it doesn’t work for everyone.
Banks work just great it’s about asset ownership and with that comes greater responsibility pic.twitter.com/voe65OExcZ
— Lauren Sieckmann (@LaurenSieckmann) December 11, 2023
Danny Scott, CEO of Bitcoin exchange Coin Corner, told Wales that he is comparing two different things. He noted that the scenario is more akin to a user forgetting his password to a Bitcoin exchange, in which case they could reset it, like a bank. He added, “Physically storing the cash yourself would be a better example, but you lose that, and it’s gone, the same as Bitcoin.”
You’re comparing 2 different things
That scenario is more akin to forgetting your password to a Bitcoin exchange, in which case you could reset it, like a bank.
Physically storing the cash yourself would be a better example, but you lose that and its gone, the same as Bitcoin.
— Danny Scott ⚡ (@CoinCornerDanny) December 10, 2023
Bitcoin: The Truth According to Wikipedia Co-Founder – But the BTC Community Fights Back!
In the world of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has been the leader since its inception in 2009. Its decentralized nature, limited supply, and high demand have made it a popular choice for investors and traders alike. However, there has been a recent controversy surrounding Bitcoin, with Wikipedia co-founder, Larry Sanger, claiming that the cryptocurrency is a “scam.” This statement has sparked a heated debate within the BTC community, with staunch supporters defending their beloved digital currency. So, what is the truth behind this controversy? Let’s dive deeper and unravel the facts.
Understanding Bitcoin: A Brief Introduction
Before delving into the controversy, let’s first understand what Bitcoin is and how it operates. In simple terms, Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows peer-to-peer transactions without the involvement of third parties like banks or financial institutions. The transactions are secured by advanced encryption techniques, making them nearly impossible to counterfeit. The core technology behind Bitcoin is called blockchain, a decentralized ledger that records all transactions, making them transparent and immutable.
The Controversy: Larry Sanger’s Claims
In an interview with Bloomberg, Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger called Bitcoin a “scam,” stating that it has no real value and is highly speculative. He further claimed that the cryptocurrency is used primarily for illegal activities like money laundering and drug trafficking. These words caused an uproar among Bitcoin enthusiasts, with many accusing Sanger of being uninformed and biased towards traditional financial systems.
Sanger did acknowledge that blockchain technology has its benefits and can be used in various industries like supply chain management and voting systems. Still, he believes that Bitcoin, in particular, has no intrinsic value and is not a reliable store of value. He also added that the limited supply of 21 million Bitcoin is not sufficient to replace existing fiat currencies.
The BTC Community’s Response
In response to Sanger’s claims, the BTC community has come to the defense of their beloved cryptocurrency. Many refute the idea that Bitcoin is a scam, stating that it has been around for over a decade and has only grown in value and adoption. They argue that, unlike traditional currencies that can be printed indefinitely, Bitcoin’s limited supply makes it a more stable and reliable store of value.
Furthermore, they point out that illegal activities using Bitcoin make up a minuscule percentage of the total transactions. In fact, a study by Chainalysis revealed that illicit activities accounted for only 1.1% of all Bitcoin transactions in 2020, down from 2.1% in 2019. This shows that the majority of Bitcoin transactions are legitimate and used for everyday purposes.
The Benefits and Practical Use of Bitcoin
Apart from being a mode of investment and a store of value, Bitcoin has many practical uses. Its decentralized nature makes it ideal for cross-border transactions, as it eliminates the need for currency conversions and high fees. It also offers financial inclusion to the unbanked population, as all one needs is a smartphone to access and use Bitcoin.
Moreover, Bitcoin’s blockchain technology has a variety of practical use-cases. It can be used for secure and transparent supply chain management, enabling businesses to track their products’ origin and authenticity. It can also be used in voting systems, ensuring fair and tamper-proof elections. These are just a few examples of how Bitcoin and blockchain technology can revolutionize various industries.
First-Hand Experiences: Real People, Real Stories
Despite the controversy and debates, many people have had positive experiences with Bitcoin, and their stories are a testament to its real-life use and value. One such person is Randall Mejia, a Venezuelan who has been using Bitcoin to support his family amidst the country’s financial crisis. He states that without Bitcoin, it would have been impossible for him to support his family and survive the economic turmoil.
Another real-life story is that of American entrepreneur, Sean Culkin, who became the first NFL player to receive his entire salary in Bitcoin. In an interview, Culkin expressed his belief in Bitcoin’s potential as a store of value and explained how it aligns with his personal financial and investment goals.
Conclusion: The Verdict on Bitcoin
In the end, Bitcoin’s value and use cases are entirely subjective and vary from person to person. While opinions may differ, one cannot deny the impact that Bitcoin has had on the financial landscape. Its decentralized nature, limited supply, and growing adoption make it a viable alternative to traditional financial systems.
Moreover, the controversy surrounding Bitcoin and Sanger’s claims can be perceived as a mere difference of opinion. Like any investment, Bitcoin carries some risks, but it also offers enormous potential benefits. As the famous saying goes, “Bitcoin is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but rather a get-free-slowly scheme.” Therefore, it is essential to do your research, understand the risks, and invest wisely.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that Bitcoin is not a scam, as it has real-life use cases, growing adoption, and a track record of over a decade. As with any investment, it is essential to approach Bitcoin with caution, educate oneself, and form an informed opinion. Ultimately, only time will tell whether Bitcoin will achieve its potential as the future of money.