Consumers owe a duty of care when they buy a product. A purchase isn’t just a purchase – it’s a tacit agreement with the policies and beliefs of the company that manufacturers an item. If you visit a restaurant, for example, you are passively accepting the hiring practices of the restaurant, how it invests its money, and how it deals with its vendors. Purchases, simply stated, don’t happen in a vacuum. This is as true for cryptocurrency as it is for anything else. Unfortunately, though, many proponents of cryptocurrency are ignoring the fact that one of the largest currencies on the market is the virtual equivalent of blood diamonds.
Blood Diamonds and Bitcoin Similarity
Blood diamonds, for those who don’t know or don’t remember, are diamonds that are mined in a place of turmoil, generally to fund an army. While the backlash against these diamonds has died down somewhat, this is largely only due to the fact that major diamond sellers refuse to traffic in these tainted goods. There’s something inherently wrong about buying something that is hurting someone else. If you subscribe to this reasonable point of view, you might want to think again about investing in products like Bitcoin.
Forbes’ Jason Bloomberg makes the comparison between blood diamonds and Bitcoin, and for good reason. Regardless of how idealistic you are about this currency, you must admit that there is a huge downside. For every person who believes in private transactions, there seems to be several dozen who want to use the currency to fund illegal activities. From child pornography to drug running, BitCoin has become a currency of choice for those who want to operate outside the law. When you invest in BitCoin, you’re tacitly approving these actions – and, in many cases, using the tainted funds that have been used to hurt so many others.
Are you a bad person for using BitCoin? Of course not. You may, however, be ignoring the huge moral implications of using that currency. As a consume, you owe a duty of care whenever you make a purchase. If you continue to use BitCoin, you’re ignoring that duty – and you’re helping others to do things you might find morally reprehensible. If you object to anything else in your life on moral grounds, you should take a few moments and think about whether those same morals would prevent you from using a currency that’s so often used by criminals.