The notion that the US government will ban Bitcoin is popular for a good reason.
Bitcoin threatens a significant source of the government’s power – the power to create fake money out of thin air and force everyone to use it.
That’s because Bitcoin can give monetary sovereignty to the individual and render central banks obsolete—along with their confetti currencies.
That’s no small accomplishment.
It’s a historical development that profoundly alters the status quo between the rulers and the ruled. It’s similar to the invention of gunpowder, the printing press, and the Internet.
There’s no question the US government would want to protect their racket from an encroaching monetary competitor in the same way the mafia does when a rival encroaches on their turf.
The $64,000 question is whether they’ll be successful.
Friedrich Hayek, the great free-market Austrian economist, once said:
“I don’t believe we shall ever have a good money again before we take the thing out of the hands of government, that is, we can’t take it violently out of the hands of government, all we can do is by some sly roundabout way introduce something that they can’t stop.”
Hayek is right.
By their very nature, governments never peacefully relinquish power. And if forcefully taking power out of their hands is out of the question, then the only way to do it is through “some sly, roundabout way introduce something they can’t stop.”
Is Bitcoin that solution?
Many people think the answer is “no” because the government will shut it down.
Can Anyone Shut Bitcoin Down?
Bitcoin has no central authority and single point of failure.
Instead, it runs on a decentralized, voluntary, and growing network scattered around the world on over 15,384 computers—many of them are cleverly hidden—in nearly 100 countries.
With Bitcoin, there’s no central location for a SWAT team to raid. There’s no CEO to arrest. Governments can do nothing but play an endless and fruitless game of whack-a-mole across the globe.
Even if the US and Russia engaged in an all-out nuclear war, destroying most of the Northern Hemisphere, Bitcoin wouldn’t miss a beat in the Southern Hemisphere.
In short, no government can kill Bitcoin on its own.
To even have a chance to stop Bitcoin, every government in the world would have to successfully coordinate simultaneously to shut down the entire Internet everywhere and then keep it off forever.
Even in that improbable scenario, radio signals can still transmit the Bitcoin network, and small portable solar panels can power the network’s computers. Further, satellites are constantly beaming the Bitcoin network down to Earth.
In short, all aspects of Bitcoin are genuinely decentralized and robust—and getting stronger every day. Barring an inescapable, global return to the Stone Age, Bitcoin appears unstoppable.
The cat is out of the bag. Bitcoin is bigger than any government.
If They Can’t Shut It Down, Won’t They Ban It?
Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, and others have tried to ban Bitcoin. However, they all failed miserably as adoption in those countries kept rising.
Could the US government try to outlaw Bitcoin?
The US President could issue an Executive Order banning Bitcoin.
Remember, Executive Order 6102 outlawed gold ownership for American citizens from 1933 until it was repealed 41 years later.
However, that outcome is unlikely for three reasons.
Reason #1: Code Is Protected Speech
Bitcoin is simply computer code.
US federal courts have ruled computer code is equivalent to speech protected by the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution.
On the other hand, the Constitution is not a reliable protector of rights, as the Covid hysteria, the War on Terror, and the War on Drugs have all proven. So, I wouldn’t exclusively count on the US Constitution to protect Bitcoin.
Nonetheless, the previous precedents ruling code as equivalent to protected speech complicates any attempts to ban it.
Reason #2: Regulatory Clarity Already Exists
The US government has defined Bitcoin as a commodity and property.
The IRS, the SEC, the CFTC, and other federal agencies have given Bitcoin clear regulatory and tax frameworks.
That’s helped many large US businesses get into Bitcoin, including many large financial institutions. Reversing these guidelines would generate significant pushback and be challenging—but not impossible—to implement.
Reason #3: Banning Bitcoin Is Impractical
Government bans may restrict something, but they cannot make something valuable and desired by many people go away by passing a law.
Consider governments in Argentina, Venezuela, and numerous other countries that have laws restricting their citizens from accessing US dollars.
However, these laws have little effect on their citizens’ desire and ability to use them. Instead, these actions create a thriving black market or, more accurately, a free market.
Similarly, consider how successful governments have been in prohibiting cannabis over the decades. Despite their best efforts, cannabis has always been available in most big cities.
Trying to enforce a prohibition on something digital and borderless like Bitcoin is entirely impractical. Bitcoin would be far more challenging for governments to ban than US dollars or a plant.
Even if it were practical to ban Bitcoin, it’s already too late.
There’s a critical mass of Bitcoin advocates among large corporations, politicians, and regular people.
They bring all of their lawyers, lobbyist, and political connections to potentially advocate for Bitcoin. That’s a lot of political firepower. And their numbers are only growing.
According to a survey from NYDIG, 46 million Americans own Bitcoin. That’s around 22% of all adults in the US.
Supporting a ban on Bitcoin means going against tens of millions of Americans—no small number are wealthy, powerful, and well-connected.
In short, outlawing Bitcoin will not help anyone win an election.
Bitcoin has already reached escape velocity. In other words, it’s too politically popular to outlaw, and every day it gets stronger as adoption grows.
The Bottom Line
Even though banning Bitcoin would be politically unpopular and unconstitutional, the US government still might consider the move if it could do so effectively—but it can’t.
So, the US government will have to adapt to that reality. In fact, it has already by giving Bitcoin a clear regulatory framework for businesses and investors.
When you put it all together, you have an unstoppable superior form of money conquering the world.
It’s not hard to see where this trend is going. It’s a monetary revolution.
Yet, many people still believe the government will shut Bitcoin down or otherwise ban it.
That perception gap is a blessing, as it allows us to capitalize on this information asymmetry with investments that tap into this powerful trend.
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