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The transformative potential of cryptocurrencies

Here is documentary that might give you an impression how creating new local currencies can successfully solve real-world problems, blockchain technology fits very well into that because of it's decentralized and digital nature, making it a lot easier to create, distribute and convert currencies (although the documentary doesn't focus on that aspect, but is explained more in depth on the website).

And here some research:

The transformative potential of cryptocurrencies

Ah, OK, so I think your point is more along the lines of "it's relatively irrelevant" which I really didn't even take into consideration given the already significant effects of crypto (for example in terms of CO2 emissions which are already about 0.1% of total emissions) and the extreme growth the market has seen and is seeing.  
I would say the percentage of transactions is not really the main factor here, more the wealth held in it, and crypto already is well on it's way of holding 1% of the world's wealth.

Maybe you don't believe it solves any genui... (read more)

The transformative potential of cryptocurrencies

Thanks a lot for you take.

One thing I would note is that cryptocurrency as a cause area is independent of cryptocurrency having have a net benefit or a net harmful effect; potentially cryptocurrency could destabilize global financial systems, so if one has a less positive view on cryptocurrency, regulating cryptocurrency (whether by governments, or by self-regulation within the ecosystem) and making sure at least some cryptocurrencies have a positive impact (thus reducing the overall net harm) could still be a potential cause area.

To address a few other po... (read more)

Good point! I think I'd like to see more spelling out of how exactly it could transform things (for better or worse). With my lame understanding: once I see that cryptocurrency is a solid store of value, then I can see it potentially threatening central banks and the ability for states to generate revenue through taxes. However, I find it hard to believe governments would let cryptocurrencies get to that point -- if cryptocurrencies are in fact capable of getting to that point. Another thing that is worth pointing out with cryptocurrencies is how they interact with the digitization of the economy. In general greater digitzation may not be a bad thing []. But it's possible that cryptocurrency led digitization may make corruption easier (I'm imagining it'd behave similarly to cash).
The transformative potential of cryptocurrencies

Unfortunately you seem to miss the point.

I am not here to say how great cryptocurrency is, although it can undoubtedly be extremely profitable (for better or worse), but to point out shaping it positively is important.

I guess your argument boils down to suppressing cryptocurrency being more viable than shaping its development positively, but history shows that many goods cannot be effectively suppressed and if people derive a benefit from it they will continue to use them, with all the disadvantage a black market brings (I am talking about the drug market)... (read more)

I'm not saying it should be "suppressed", but that it should fall under similar regulations to normal money, to prevent abuse and fraud. Cryptocurrency is a solution looking for a problem. Buying drugs is one of the only problems it's a significant improvement upon, everything else we can already do with normal money. I see no reason to believe it will ever account for more than 1% of the world's transactions. And yes, if the monetary system is completely dysfunctional and a tool for stealing wealth from your citizens, like in Venezuela, then I guess internet money is better than normal money. In the case of Venezuela, Runescape money for example has been used for this same purpose.
Is Effective Altruism fundamentally flawed?

I agree that aggregating suffering of different people is problematic. By necessity, it happens on a rather abstract level, divorced from the experiential. I would say that can lead to a certain impersonal approach which ignores the immediate reality of the human condition. Certainly we should be aware of how we truly experience the world.

However I think here we transcend ethics. We can't hope to resolve deep issues of of suffering within ethics, because we are somewhat egocentric beings by nature. We see only through our eyes and feel our body. I don't se... (read more)

Hi bejaq, Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I think your first paragraph captures well why I think who suffers matters. The connection between suffering and who suffers it is to strong for the former to matter and for the latter not to. Necessarily, pain is pain for someone, and ONLY for that someone. So it seems odd for pain to matter, yet for it not to matter who suffers it. I would also certainly agree that there are pragmatic considerations that push us towards helping the larger group outright, rather than giving the smaller group a chance.