Ed Conway says Bitcoin could turn capitalism on its head

We think this is a deeply unlikely outcome:

Bitcoin could turn capitalism on its head

The insight is, apparently:

In much the same way as the least interesting thing about Wikileaks is Julian Assange, the least interesting thing about bitcoin is the currency itself. What really matters is the technology sitting behind it, a kind of cloud database created alongside the currency by its pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

The blockchain, as he called it, is a register of every bitcoin transaction ever made. With most currencies, electronic transfers are recorded by banks and payment systems, presided over by a central bank. With bitcoin those transactions are logged by volunteers’ computers around the world, all of them constantly chugging away, processing and verifying each transaction. Equally interesting is the way those computers — or rather their users — are incentivised to be part of the network: if they are the first to verify a transaction, they get rewarded with more than one bitcoin of their own.

The blockchain might be a more efficient method of doing this than the current one - although we're deeply, deeply, unsure about that efficiency - but an overturning of the manner in which capitalism works?

Seriously, putting the Land Registry into the cloud changes capitalism? Replacing Capita, Equiniti and Computershare as share registrars with a decentralised system is a radical change?

Even the idea of non-government fiat money isn't all that much of a change. Bitcoin is fiat money itself and we've always had non-governmental forms of that. Whose round is it next is an informal type of fiat money.

Bitcoin and associated ideas might well be interesting and even transformative but a new method of registering ownership of assets is hardly a change to capitalism now, is it? Given that capitalism itself is a system which depends upon , exists because of, the individual ownership of assets which we track so that the system itself works.