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A third-world country bureaucrat guide to Bitcoin

This blog post has sprung out of conversations I recently had with a couple of people, discussing whether Bitcoin is going to be banned in Russia and whether there's a chance that policy towards it can be changed.

At first glance, from a government point of view, Bitcoin is inherently dangerous and disruptive. However, it would be an obvious mistake to think of government as a single entity. It is, instead, a number of individuals, each pursuing their separate interests. The primary interest they pursue in most third world countries is to stay in power for as long as they can. The reason for that being that if they lose control it would mean losing their money as well; they can't just leave the office peacefully. History is full of examples of dictators and authoritarian leaders, who, once they were ousted, lost their fortunes, and sometimes freedom and lives, too. The reason why in western countries elected leaders are not so worried about their wealth is because those leaders are not really the ones who are in charge. Thus, when they go, the system itself and the ones who truly control it, don't change. So they don't have to worry.

But for a leader in a third world country that's not the case. In most instances, these leaders have a grip on power and they are themselves in control. They probably have bank accounts in some first-world countries and some money inside the country too. Losing control usually means losing all of that money (the most recent example would be Hosni Mubarak). The money inside the country will most likely be confiscated by the next government and the money outside also faces the same fate, because, it seems, western countries tend to be disenchanted with their puppets over time and tend to support the opposition. This is actually quite a natural cycle: new leader comes to power, fully cooperates with foreign powers at first, then gets on his feet, starts figuring things out and by the end of his reign, becomes completely disconnected from the forces (very often, forces outside of his home country) that helped him come to power.

And so, as I said, those leaders and bureaucrats who surround them, tend to remain in power for as long as they can and thus tend to tighten the grip - otherwise they will inevitably lose money. But what if they were offered a way out? What if they could keep what they earned while in power, and safely leave, while also being able to protect themselves using that money? Bitcoin offers this opportunity. By being prohibitively expensive to steal or confiscate and by being a decentralized system, it offers bureaucrats a way to transfer their wealth out of the scope of the political realm and protect it from political influence. Nobody would be able to easily confiscate their wealth and they wouldn't have to worry about not being good friends with foreign bankers and politicians anymore.

A question may be asked: but why would we want to help bureaucrats? After all, isn't Bitcoin something that was designed to take power away from them? And indeed, it does take their power away. But it's much better to take it peacefully, by offering them a way out. It is inevitable that Bitcoin will take over. But by alluring bureaucrats, it will actually do it faster and there are several reasons for it. First, the price will go up faster, obviously. Second, the bureaucrats themselves, once they're invested, would want the price to go up, and thus they would want adoption and thus they would favor the laws that would help Bitcoin thrive.

If you're bureaucrat, you have to really understand one thing: Bitcoin is the future. How soon would you like to be a part of it? Would you like to be a part of a new elite and at the very least, not lose what you already have? If yes, you have to act now and invest in Bitcoin. Because even if you are personally opposed to the idea and think you will be able to maintain the control over the financial system, someone else will inevitably deflect, investing into Bitcoin ahead of everyone else: that's the law, cartels always break down. So for you, the question comes down to this: do you understand competition? If you do, learn about Bitcoin now.