Anyone who calls a private currency is either confused or purposefully lying.

Bitcoin, being open source, is a commons. Anyone in the world can access the network to recieve/send coins.

It has no private owner, it belongs to humanity.

That's like saying socks are a commons, because anyone can acess them. Your private property is whatever you can rightfully impose your will on. The Satoshis you bought are thereby your property as much as the bits on your hard disk including the copy of the source code of the bitcoin client you're using and the socks on your feet. The concept of bitcoin, the bitcoin client's git repo, the sock factory and the knowledge on making socks are not. Cf. Locke.

And I deny lying on purpose.


Looks like you fall into the confused camp.

I'm taking about the network, not the satoshis.
The network is a commons.

@jcbrand The network is comprised of privately owned hosts. The mere possibility of sending them such data likely to trick them into transferring satoshis owned by others into your property without their consent (as in stealing) does not make anything a commons.


@stevenroose @Gux

Yes, your satoshis are owned by you and cannot be stolen outside of someone getting hold of your private key.

That's completely besides my point though. The network is permissionless and anyone can set up a node and interact with it. Nobody can stop you from sending and receiving sats. That's because the network and the Bitcoin-core source code is a commons.

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"The network" it just a metaphor for privately owned hardware. Think of a shopping mall. Everybody has access, but that doesn't make it a commons. Rather, the owner grants everyone access, because visitors mean profit, though he may ban thieves, etc. Same for a miner. The host listens to a port and accepts all packages (that's the "everyone has access" part), because he's eyeing the transmission fee, but he will reject invalid blockchains, ban hackers, etc.


@Gux @stevenroose

A mall is a centralized architecture and therefore a terrible metaphor for Bitcoin, which is p2p and decentralized.

Also, the network is real, not just a metaphor and is much more than just "privately owned hardware".

The network comes into being when nodes implement and adhere to an agreed-upon protocol.

That protocol is open and a commons. No-one owns it.

The blockchain itself is also a commons. No single entity owns it, and everyone has access.

@Gux @stevenroose

Furthermore, nodes (hardware) can be owned by governments, cooperatives, communes, state universities and any other form of human organization you could imagine.

They're not all just privately owned.

@Gux @stevenroose

The original bitcoin-core node software is also free software and a commons.

So given the fact that the protocol, the database, the necessary software are all free and form a commons, and the network is permissionless and available to all, it's clear to me that the Bitcoin network is a commons.

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