Economists are the unsung heroes of our generation.
Even when the meat and braw that underlies our economies may be in question (Should sovereign money be debt based? Do deficits matter? Is GDP an accurate measure of prosperity?), economists tend to agree on more issues than most people realize.
For instance, economists deftly acknowledge that incentives matter. So what is an incentive?
According to the dictionary, an incentive is "a thing that motivates or encourages one to do something." When those things hurt others, what can we do to discourage them?
A market is characterized by two things: what someone will part with, and what someone will pay. In a market-based economy, a scammer must convince another that his or her ware is worth accumulating in lieu of a buck or two.
Scammers win, often, and excruciatingly so. A widow parts with her life savings to help her internet lover make bail, a man purchases an aromatic scent that is sure to attract women, or an individual enrolls in a 4-week course which is sure to solve all problems.
Scamming is an incentive-based activity. If somebody is willing to part with their currency for a story, then it makes sense to weave such a tale.
On the streets of Marrakech, scammers and pickpockets abound. They will look you in the eye, promise you the moon, decry the price at which you have negotiated their most cherished item, and probably turn a blind eye to their cousin who steals your wallet whilst you peruse the inventory.
Scammers scam. It's what they do. From a Moroccan street to a paved road in London, a scammer will scam whilst he can and should scam when the scam is a scam that a scammer can scam.
So what happens to scammers when the market is raised from a cobble-stone road to a 50th-story floor? Can the scamming continue? Should we expect the same behavior?
The essence of scam is to mask what is done, to keep a good target alone in the dark. The methods are simple and same as the street, to pick someone's pocket, awake or asleep. So question forever if you are the one, who wakes with the money or brandishes none.
Whilst questioning whether the world has agreed, examine the scene to conclude what you know. That scammers exist whether high or below. And deeper embedded they nestle their tale, protected by layers of ne'r'do'wells. When even you don't see the damage they shove, be sure that it's found - just look up - right above.
The best scam is the one you don't see. Fear not the amateur scammers in the Bitcoin world. Put your wallet in your front pocket, and keep your eye on the people who make promises. Take control of your money as best you can.