[ExI] Bitcoin

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Apr 4 12:36:05 UTC 2013

On Wed, Apr 03, 2013 at 11:21:57PM +0100, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> From a theoretical perspective I feel torn. Bitcoin is a  
> crypto-libertarian dream, a currency free from government control where  
> you can invent new financial instruments with an afternoon of  
> web-programming. This is what we were talking about back in the 90s!  
> Yay! At last! But... while I think SilkRoad is very neat and that people  
> should be allowed to buy drugs, it shows that bitcoin might make it *too  
> easy* to run black market activity. It seems perfect for hiring people  

I have another currency which is well known to support black market
activity: 100 USD and 500 EUR bills. Let's outlaw these, since
we *actually know* these are being used for all kinds of crime,
including hit jobs, etc.

> to rough others up, or even assassination markets - and it might allow  
> buyers to avoid the currently tricky step of contacting unsavory  
> characters. From our experience with viruses and exploits, the scary  
> explosion happens when an economic driver appears and starts to feed a  
> bad business.

I don't see a problem. Bitcoin is traceable, far more traceable than
cash -- you just can't know which warm body is associated with a string, 
unless you do further digging.

Of course governments (who're currently busily outlawing cash, in case
people haven't noticed yet) will try to outlaw Bitcoin. 

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