The State of (most) Bitcoin Commerce

A Pneumoencephelograph

A Pneumoencephelograph in 1919

In 1919 a medical procedure, Pneumoencephalography was developed. It allowed for imaging the brain using X-rays, and involves as the name implies draining the fluid surrounding the brain and replacing it with air. It took months to recover from and in the intervening time the brain lacked the protection normally provided by the cerebrospinal fluid that naturally should have been surrounding it.

The procedure was politely described as being "not generally well tolerated by patients" and has since been replaced by Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging in a tremendous victory for neurology patients everywhere.

I see most Bitcoin commerce happening today as being like doctors continuing to order Pneumoencephalography for patients even when modern imaging equipment is available and capable of producing a better result at a lower cost. Why trust anonymous forum shysters when tools like GPG allow for strong signatures for contracts, or tor's questionable anonymity when GPG can protect a message travelling through hostile channels.

The cryptography that gives us Bitcoin gives us the right tool for civilized Bitcoin commerce.

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