Shervin Pishevar discusses revolution in stateless digital currencies

The advent of Bitcoin has continued to be one of the most disruptive and controversial developments of the last decade. Many astute veterans of finance have characterized Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as being little more than an elaborate scam. They say that there is no reason to believe that the currency has any intrinsic value at all. And this means that any value it holds above a nominal amount that would normally be charged for money-transfer services is essentially fraudulent.

However, the opposing school of thought argues that cryptocurrencies are a truly revolutionary development. This school argues that cryptocurrencies have real intrinsic value due to a number of different factors. The first is that cryptocurrencies are typically issued in limited quantities. And that quantity is determined through demand, with a strict upper limit on how much cryptocurrency can be produced. This stands in stark contrast to fiat currency, which is freely printed by any government that wishes to pay off short-term debts or otherwise debase the long-term value of its sovereign currency and debt.

Shervin Pishevar, one of the most successful venture capitalists in the tech space, is firmly in the latter category. Shervin Pishevar argues that another source of intrinsic value for currencies like Bitcoin that may even exceed all other sources of intrinsic value is that governments are effectively incapable of stopping the flow of capital that is held in those cryptocurrencies. This means that cryptocurrencies harken back long ago to the age of truly stateless money, like gold and silver coins. These are forms of money that are extremely difficult to effectively impose capital controls on. This is even truer in the case of cryptocurrencies, which are electronic in nature and essentially impossible to limit in terms of global movement and transaction types.

Shervin Pishevar says that these developments could eventually render governments without a reliable source of revenue. This, says Shervin Pishevar, could ultimately usher in something like a genuine libertarian society where all government services are carried out in the private sector and where all of the problems associated with government are dissolved.