Ransomware no reason to fear Bitcoin

One of the unfortunate aspects of cash is that whoever holds the cash is the owner of that cash, no matter how they came in possession of it. If a criminal holds you up in an alleyway and take your cash, unless you can positively identify the individual, the police successfully arrest them, and they still have the cash at all, then that cash is simply gone.

In order to protect us from this kind of thing, banks were created. They will hold and insure our money, up to a point. The side effect of that is that once you deposit your money with them, they are the de facto owners of it, and if they go bust, again, you are holding the bag. Because the banks were so bad at this in the 1930s, the government became the insurer of last resort, and many types of deposits are now insured against bank default up to a certain point.

Credit cards are another layer of convenience and protection. If some steals your credit card, you can have charges the criminal incurred reversed, frequently to the detriment of the retailer, but you have greater safety.

So, in the end, due to banks and credit cards companies, handling cash is not safer and easier than it has ever been before. With one niggling little problem: we are no longer in control of our money at all. The banks and the government can, if they will, and they do, track every charge and purchase. They can block you from sending money to people or places they deem ‘off limits.’ And now, with the advent of NIRP, meaning negative interest rates, meaning that the banks will start to charge YOU for depositing money with THEM, even for savings accounts which used to be interest bearing, the trend is to make both cash and saving inconvenient and costly.

Cash has risks. If we use cash, we have to exercise great caution in protecting it, but in many ways, that is still preferable than having a bureaucracy deciding what and when I can spend money on. Unfortunately, as we become an increasingly digital society, using cash will become increasingly unrealistic. You just can’t send cash over the Internet.

Bitcoin is to the Internet what cash is to everyday living. It is the cash of the future. Recent reports of a hospital in LA having their computer files encrypted and held for ransom to be paid in Bitcoin are extremely disturbing, but a consequence of having a money system free of government control. It will be hard to track the criminals, to be sure, but if the police do their job diligently and without shortcuts, there are ways to track and possibly arrest these individuals, just like there ware ways to finally catch muggers in alleyways.

Bitcoin is no panacea curing all the ills of money. It is a way to return to the individual the privacy and control that we once had with cash. It also returns the responsibility.

That is a choice that I would make.