Are Bitcoins and Guns Not Both Justified by “Cheap Code”?

Recently I came across an interesting article entitled “Guns or Bitcoins, Who’s Your Daddy?” A prominent libertarian author explains his view on the issue of guns and cryptocurrency. The author, Robert Murphy, a well-known self-described free-market thinker, sees no conflict between libertarianism and Bitcoin.

In a libertarian blog post on Sept. 17, Robert Murphy writes:

I find it amazing that there are even libertarians who believe that the concept of “money is speech” is so fundamentally wrong in this new century that they would advocate that any piece of software be banned from the Internet because it has the ability to make money. Let me ask you this; why do you think there are barbershops that don’t cut your hair?

Not only that, but Murphy goes on to criticize the use of modifying bitching, stating:

Now then, let me move on to another libertarian author, Dr. David Henderson. In this post, Dr. Henderson also calls into question the free market principle by asking whether Bitcoin or Guns is a better alternative.

He goes on to say:

As far as I’m concerned, Bitcoin’s unique feature that does not require trust in third parties, no matter how malicious, doesn’t add up to much if you think about it. I don’t think that you should modify a computer program that doesn’t contain malicious code in it. And if you’re going to claim that Bitcoin is “better than guns,” I can’t see how you could possibly justify that position.

So is altering a program to make it accept Bitcoin or Guns, without modifying the code in any way, an acceptable business practice? I think we all know the answer.

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