Jan 9, 2020
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Why the Counter Economy Is Necessary to Bitcoin’s Survival as a Disruptive Currency

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Why the Counter Economy Is Necessary to Bitcoin’s Survival as a Disruptive Currency

As Bitcoin is adopted by more and more traditional financial institutions, and becomes regulated by governments worldwide, the question of its survival as a truly disruptive alternative to legacy financial systems is raised. After all, if governments like Qatar’s can ban it, and international banking laws like AMLD5 can push bitcoin-friendly companies out of business, how is Satoshi’s revolutionary P2P cash to survive without a counter economy of willing users who transact freely and autonomously?

Also Read: Regs Roundup: SEC Actions, Crypto Tax-Free in Korea, New Chinese Laws

Counter-Economics and SEK III

Short for “counter-establishment economics,” counter-economics is any and all economic activity which takes place outside the purview of, or simply disregarding, the state.

The concept was popularized in libertarian circles largely by agorist Samuel Edward Konkin III, or “SEK III,” and comprises any non-violent act of the free market which runs counter to statist laws and norms. For example, something as small as selling odds and ends at a flea market is counter-economics. Not reporting income to a war-fueling and privacy-invasive tax agency, or running a dark web marketplace like the Silk Road. Painting a fence for a neighbor and being paid under the table. Setting up a roadside fruits stand or carpooling service without a license. These are all examples of counter-economic activity.

Samuel Edward Konkin III

Konkin himself defined counter-economics as follows:

“The Counter-Economy is the sum of all non-aggressive Human Action which is forbidden by the State. Counter-economics is the study of the Counter-Economy and its practices. The Counter-Economy includes the free market, the Black Market, the ‘underground economy,’ all acts of civil and social disobedience, all acts of forbidden association (sexual, racial, cross-religious), and anything else the State, at any place or time, chooses to prohibit, control, regulate, tax, or tariff. The Counter-Economy excludes all State-approved action (the ‘White Market’) and the Red Market (violence and theft not approved by the State).”


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