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Bitcoins, Money (and Credit) - Tuesday, 16.8.2011, 7pm

By London's Wine and Cheese Appreciation Society , 13 August 2011

= Title =

Bitcoins, Money (and Credit)

= Date/Time =

Tuesday, 16.8.2011, 7pm

= Location =

LimaZulu Unit 3J, Omega Works, 167 Hermitage Rd N4 1LZ London twitter: @limazululondon 02088007428

= Content/Abstract =

Bitcoin is a virtual currency whose claim to fame is that some US politicians became aware of its use to buy drugs on the Internet. However, the Bitcoin project is much more ambitious than merely providing a somewhat anonymous way to buy stuff on the Internet. Bitcoins are meant as a new currency: a new money for the Internet age. In fact, this new money is based on different principles than all modern currencies, i.e., credit money.

Because of this ambition, the project provides splendid opportunity to ask what money is. That is, we claim that Bitcoin reflects on various qualities of money which are usually taken for granted by addressing them as "technical challenges". In particular, the Bitcoin design is an attempt to solve the "technical" problem of how to exclude people from social wealth and how to maintain a permanent conflict of interest. Hence, we want to present how Bitcoins work and discuss what these technical innovations imply about the social conditions known as the "free market".

Furthermore, the Bitcoin protocol is an expression of scepticism against credit and credit money. For example, the total amount of currency that can ever be created is fixed to the arbitrary magnitude of 21 million. Hence, a lot of discussions about Bitcoin focus on the imminent "deflationary spiral".  On the contrary, if there is time left, we want to discuss the question why all modern currencies are credit money. That is, why does capitalism lead to the development of a credit system and in the last instance credit money. Instead of discussing the advantages/disadvantages of a new gold standard we want to discuss why there is no gold standard any more.

No prior knowledge of computer science, finance or Bitcoin is necessary to participate.

= Format =

London's Wine and Cheese Appreciation Society present an hour long breakdown of the workings of the bitcoin phenomena, with a structured analysis of its relationship to the gold standard and modern currencies. This will be followed by a facilitated discussion on the implications and possible applications of virtual currency exchange. We're not setting a time limit to the length of discussion - if necessary we'll run till the early hours.

= Website =

LimaZulu set up a Facebook event page at

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