Author Topic: What the WordPress Announcement Means for Bitcoin  (Read 3369 times)

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What the WordPress Announcement Means for Bitcoin

Yesterday’s announcement came as a shock, even to us. WordPress, the 22nd most visited website on the entire interwebs, is now accepting Bitcoin.

This is very big news (press listed below), and arguably the most important single event thus far in Bitcoin’s history. Yet, the significance does not derive from the fact that WordPress is so massive. Rather, the announcement is significant because of the reasoning behind the decision. WordPress “gets it” – they understand the true importance of the Bitcoin system (hint: it’s not the near-zero fees).

From the announcement:
“PayPal alone blocks access from over 60 countries, and many credit card companies have similar restrictions. Some are blocked for political reasons, some because of higher fraud rates, and some for other financial reasons. Whatever the reason, we don’t think an individual blogger from Haiti, Ethiopia, or Kenya should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment issues they can’t control. Our goal is to enable people, not block them.”

My heart skipped a beat when I read that. They get it.

Stated simply, WordPress recognizes that Bitcoin offers something that no other payment system can – a means of payment by anyone, anywhere, for any purpose. Bitcoin has no Terms of Service.  As WordPress explains, “Merchants who accept Bitcoin payments can do business with anyone.”

Bitcoin is money without prejudice. It is money incapable of discrimination, and this is why WordPress is standing by it, “With Bitcoin we join a new digital economy that doesn’t leave anyone behind, essentially making financial transactions open source — something is behind 100%. “

Clearly, WordPress is not just a cold corporate entity adding yet another payment option in hopes of gaining marginally more market share in some obscure demographic. Rather, they are taking a stand in favor of certain ideals – namely, freedom. More specifically in this case, WordPress is defending the freedom of speech, a freedom everyone claims to support yet so few actually do.

WordPress doesn’t censor its blogs, so why should it censor the means of payment by which users create them? Or more pointedly, why should WordPress tolerate PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard censoring their users? Before Bitcoin, WordPress didn’t really have a choice, but now they do.

This has profound consequences for Bitcoin’s reputation.

While those who deeply understand the value of individual liberty have had little problem seeing the virtue of a decentralized, non-state monetary system, many shortsighted observers have focused only on the more salacious aspects of its use, discrediting it as such.

WordPress Bitcoin payment screen

Now, however, with WordPress’s far more enlightened and long-term understanding, the debate should change. Bitcoin will be increasingly understood as a tool for human liberty (rightly so). And indeed, if one understands how money works in our world, it is by far the best tool for human liberty since the Internet itself… or, perhaps, since the WordPress blog J.

To Andy Skelton and the entire WordPress team, thank you for being brave enough to stand up for your principles. The EFF is not brave enough. The Mises Institute is not brave enough. Wikipedia is not brave enough. But WordPress is, and we thank you sincerely.

« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 12:14:33 AM by »
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