[ExI] quote for the day

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu Mar 24 09:13:37 UTC 2016

On 2016-03-24 02:15, spike wrote:
> I wouldn’t.  But what about the slimeballs who locked those hospitals’ 
> files?  Did they get away?  Couldn’t some commie get in cahoots with 
> kidnappers here, make money on bitcoin?  Is it really untraceable?

The untraceability of bitcoin is debatable. Without mixing, the 
blockchain actually is a tamperproof, distributed accounting ledger of 
bitcoin transactions, so one would be able to find at least to what 
anonymous accounts the money went. However, there are mixing nodes that 
make it hard or impossible to follow an individual bitcoin... in 
principle. I get the impression there are practical limitations here.

But the key practical limitation is that if the malware makers reside in 
a country with a government that looks the other way (especially for 
hacking stuff in countries they do not like anyway), then traceability 
does not matter much.

Kidnapping is harder to succeed with than locking files, since you need 
to actually physically grab somebody, putting you in harm's way. Digital 
crimes can also be automated so you don't have to work so much.

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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