As George Orwell once didn’t quite observe:
As I write, highly civilised human beings are launching troll attacks, trying to kill my online reputation.
They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are ‘only doing their duty’, as the saying goes. Most of them, I have no doubt, are kind-hearted law-abiding people who would never dream of committing acts of great slander and hate speech in private life. On the other hand, if one of them succeeds in blowing my reputation to pieces with a well-placed tweet, they will never sleep any the worse for it. They are serving their tribe, which has the power to absolve them from evil.
At the dawn of the great meme wars of the post-Covid era, people didn’t quite appreciate the degree to which great fortunes could be won and lost with a single tweet. Nor was it clear who was fighting whom, or why. It took time for civilisation to understand the scope and parameters of the new Great Game. What was at stake. What the rules of engagement really were. How lives would be extinguished and lost.
In time, the nation-scale implications of finely crafted attacks from blue checkmark accounts became increasingly apparent. As they did, so did the collateral damage.
Most scholars now agree a critical flash point came on January 17, the day El Hodlador, one of the earliest sovereign adopters of a universal Declaration of Independence from the forces of centralisation, was inadvertently provoked via a false report about Moody’s downgrade of El Salvador’s credit rating.
What most trolling strategists never saw coming was how the provocation would escalate into a high stakes DGAF defensive manoeuvre. In the days to come, thousands of decentralised laser-eyed forces were rallied by El Hodlardor’s meme-powered president Nayib Bukele to inflict a campaign of irreparable shock and awe on the centralised node network.
But the fight was not over. Once regrouped and replenished, and as largely expected by the allied resistance, centralised nodes released their own rebuke. It came in the shape of the weaponisation of the IMF’s latest staff report of January 28, featuring no less than 114 references to El Hodlador’s adoption of bitcoin.
Critical observations included:
Relying on leverage and thus increasing public debt to invest in Bitcoin with the expectations of its continuous rise in price, while also timing the market to acquire Bitcoin, is not a permanent solution to ease financing constraints. Measures should be designed to support the vulnerable, minimise adverse distributional effects, and ultimately achieving historical medium-term growth rates (see text table for an illustrative scenario)
Bitcoin use carries significant risks and should not be used as an official currency with legal tender status (IMF, GFSR 2021). Crypto-technologies and digital payment systems like Chivo have the potential to make payments more efficient, thereby enhancing financial inclusion and supporting growth. However, its price volatility makes it inefficient as means of payments, unit of account or store of value. By adopting Bitcoin as legal tender considerable risks are introduced to financial stability, financial and market integrity, and consumer protection. In addition, a public backstop to ensure free convertibility from Bitcoin into US dollars creates a contingent liability. If the use of Bitcoin increases significantly, it can risk the dollarisation regime that has proven to be successful nominal anchor for the economy.
And finally a footnote that noted:
Bitcoins would be placed in the highest risk category, subject to a 1.250 per cent risk weight.
All hope for the forces of decentralisation soon hung in the balance. For now the meme wars continue . . .
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