Friday, September 22, 2017

Blockchain Jesus

Jeffrey Tucker was interviewed at the Corbett Report.  The primary topic was the blockchain.  I was sent the link to this interview by email; after listening for a few minutes I was torn between two completely irreconcilable positions:

1)      I can’t listen to this nonsense anymore
2)      I have to force myself to listen to this nonsense until the end

I ended up choosing the latter.

I will offer several of Tucker’s statements – as is my usual practice when commenting on interviews / podcasts, I will paraphrase as best as I can but do not promise perfect accuracy.

First, to understand Tucker’s reverence of the blockchain:

Blockchain is greatest technological advance ever, maybe since the printing press or papyrus.

The blockchain can eliminate the boom-bust cycle:

If we had blockchain in 2008, financial crisis would never have happened…

You see why I almost quit listening to this nonsense.

The blockchain will replace and improve upon the United Nations:

The blockchain is going to bring peace…

From my limited understanding, this next one may very well be true:

The blockchain allows us to better document our rights-claims. 

But this?

The community can observe our rights-claims.

The community can observe my rights-claims today.  Observing and respecting are two entirely different things.  Is the blockchain going to ensure that the community respects my rights-claims as well?  If not, how is the blockchain going to bring peace?

If you have been living in a house for twenty years and someone knocks on your door and says get out of here, this is my house – how are you going to fight against that claim?

I don’t know.  Do you think if I show them my blockchain it will scare them off?  Seriously, isn’t this problem pretty well solved already?

It is “embarrassing” to Tucker how the states are trying to regulate blockchain.  But, he says, this isn’t going to last.  I don’t know…I’m not so sure.  Somewhere, somehow, we will need blockchain courts to settle blockchain disputes – you know, like when the guy knocks on the door of the house you have lived in for twenty years and says it is his.

Will state adjudication mysteriously disappear?  Will congress fear the blockchain?  Just how many divisions does the blockchain have?  (More on this shortly)

A telling exchange:

Corbett offers what he says is one regularly mentioned criticism: when these systems become developed, they become tools of control, what say you?

Tucker admits this could be true enough, but…but…well, Tucker has no answer – his only answer is “the alternative is not to progress…” In the end, he says – we have to get rid of states. 

Wait a minute!  If blockchain doesn’t achieve getting rid of states, why all the messianic claims? If blockchain doesn’t achieve this, blockchain will achieve very little of what Tucker prophesizes – and certainly none of the truly important prophecies.


Two-thousand-seven-hundred years ago, Isaiah offered messianic prophecies as well – his prophecies came true seven-hundred years later.  You tell me if you think Tucker is a plagiarist (in form only , certainly not in function):

Isaiah 9: 6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

Isaiah 42:1 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.

2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.

3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”


  1. Great post. It really is sad to see the direction that Jeffrey Tucker has taken, as evidenced by more than a few of his writings/interviews/etc over the last few years. I initially thought he was one of the young rising stars in the movement in his Mises Institute days.


    1. Given the level of nonsense that comes out of his mouth and from his electronic perches at FEE and, I don't understand how Kinsella still associates with him.

  2. I wish them all luck, but I am old fashion:
    Max Blumert’s law: “Buy the best, pay cash, take delivery.”
    Warren Buffett :
"Rule No. 1: Never Lose Money. 
Rule No. 2: Never Forget Rule No. 1."

    What are the disadvantages of Bitcoin?
    Degree of acceptance
    Ongoing development 

    Bitcoin is often promoted as the antidote to the madness of fiat irredeemable currencies. It is also promoted as their replacement. Bitcoin is promoted not only as money, but the future money, and our monetary future.

    The rising cost of Bitcoin mining, which is an activity necessary to keep the Bitcoin network up and running, could turn out to be a potential flaw of the crypto-currency. It is too early to come to a definitive conclusion with respect to this though.

    Our knowledge of the technical aspects of Bitcoin is quite limited – we are mainly interested in its economic aspects. The fact that it originated in the marketplace and that it is a decentralized system are the characteristics that interest us most.

    Bitcoin has suffered greatly from teething problems and a growing perception that it is increasingly subject to fraud. Some of the frauds that have occurred were reportedly based on technical weaknesses hackers were able to exploit.

    How I Explained Bitcoin to My 94-Year-Old Mother

    “You mean… nobody knows where it came from. Nobody has ever seen it. Nobody knows what it is worth. Nobody knows where to find it. And nobody stands behind it. Seems crazy to me.”

    The basic idea behind Bitcoin is to create, by means of a mathematical algorithm, a digital good that is scarce and fungible.
    Nakamote devised a software system that enabled people to obtain bitcoins as a reward for solving complex mathematical puzzles. The resulting coins are then used for online trading. Nakamote also arranged that the number of bitcoins can never exceed 21 million.
    Some experts maintain that Bitcoin will displace the existent fiat money and will usher in a new era of free banking, which will finally put to rest the menace of inflation.


    1. max, I am glad to see that you moved away from Gary North links :-)

      To be clear, Tucker's comments were about the blockchain, not bitcoin. Based on my limited understanding, blockchain technology will prove very useful.

      Based on my more extensive knowledge, blockchain is not the second coming of Christ, as Tucker portrays it to be.

    2. What is a 'Blockchain'
      A blockchain is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions.

      A blockchain[1][2][3] – originally block chain[4][5] – is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography.

      Yes, some believe in Salvation by Knowledge and Science


  3. During Procfest 2014 I came and listen to a speech Tucker was doing on how Bitcion, 3D printing, some web service at the time and other technologies will lead to a free society. Tucker (and some other Libertarians such as Adam kokesh) seem to think because (in their opinion) technology makes government less and less needed in the world, that it will lead to a free society.

    I have debate many people on the idea of technology alone will lead to a free society. I even sent an email to both Tucker and Kokesh on this. I said since government is an agent of violence in society and that many people will back the government then how can new technology alone led to a free society? And also doesn’t the government use this same technology for evil?

    I got back something on how people will not need to use government services and communication will make it harder for the government to tack what people are saying.
    One of my problems is with what Tucker and others are saying is that why do anything. Why talk about the government or bother with Liberty at all since technology will solve everything. In fact Tucker should instead of talking about the evils of the Alt right, Donald Trump or going on tours he should be researching, investing into new techs and/or apps and be promoting them.

    Another problem is what happens if they are wrong? Well anyone that listen to them and believe probably did not talk to their friends and family on uncomfortable topics. They probably did not go out and try to change the world and why go through the effort of changing government laws when people will just wake up.

    Also if government is violence then why can they not ban or outright stop the technology/ies that threaten their power? If you read about Chinese history or Japanese you will know that many times they outright ban different technologies and killed the people who knew the knowledge. Japan ban fire arms for 200 years and were successful.

    Also I love your comment "I don’t know. Do you think if I show them my blockchain it will scare them off? Seriously, isn’t this problem pretty well solved already?"

    1. You have described many of the reasons why the idea that technology will tame the beast is naïve. Thank you.