[ExI] quote for the day

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu Mar 24 00:09:29 UTC 2016

On 2016-03-23 23:08, spike wrote:
> Bitcoin hipsters please: while I was camping, I heard a Hollywood 
> hospital was hacked and its files held for ransom.  It paid a fraction 
> of the demand, but did it in bitcoin.  Is this true?  If so, does not 
> bitcoin enable kidnapping?  And would not it create special 
> opportunity targets of the families of people known to hold bitcoins?

Yup, Hollywood Presbyterian was hit by ransomware:
And now a hospital in Kentucky got hit the same way:

It is the (relative) untraceability of bitcoin that makes it useful for 
this kind of attack. Kidnappers and extortionists have always had 
trouble getting payment to work, but using digital money and software 
that act as smart contracts this has become much easier. The problem was 
discussed by Tim May and the other ur-cryptoanarchists on this very list 
back in the paleozoic 1990s. I recently reviewed that work for my paper 
on assassination technology (assassination markets were one of the 
"classic" dark ideas, and have actually been realized sort of - they 
likely do not work, but people have set up darknet markets for it). It 
is an interesting problem for independent cryptocurrencies and smart 
contract systems to avoid being too useful for this kind of crime.

(Also overheard today: a friend suggesting to Robin that he was Satoshi. 
Robin argued that he would have used Lisp instead of C.)

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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