Bitcoin demographics: on politics and privilege

This just in: Libertarians and “unbanked” peoples love Bitcoin like whoa. An interesting look at who’s using the open source P2P money:

“…there’s a fair amount of privilege built directly into the currency: In order to buy the sometimes wildly expensive currency, Bitcoin users need to be wealthy. And they can afford to put their wealth into a currency that isn’t widely accepted or even recognized. Plus, they move easily through the financial and digital space — the process of “mining” bitcoins demands it; it is all about knowing coding and decryption and how to use an exchange. The sum total of these things — advanced knowledge of computer science, wealth — are also markings of the young, white male.

But they’re not the only ones who are operating outside of our enshrined banking system. Other groups, the demographic opposites of the Bitcoin crowd, are doing the same. The clinical terminology for those people is the “unbanked” — they rely on informal, instead of formalized, systems of trading or borrowing capital. Why? The unbanked, comprised of women and people of color, are much more frequently turned down for auto loans, mortgages, and investment advice.”

I also recommend checking out this Forbes op/ed for a great crash course in all things Bitcoin.

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