EU Begin Crackdown on Virtual Currencies

More reaction to the Paris attacks, we’ve had Snowden and encryption, now terrorism is apparently funded by virtual currencies:

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“European Union countries plan a crackdown on virtual currencies and anonymous payments made online and via pre-paid cards in a bid to tackle terrorism financing after the Paris attacks, a draft document seen by Reuters said.”

Comes off a bit different than the headline would have you think. They plan, and have a draft document. Utilizing the Paris drama, they are opportunistically surfacing all targets that they really can’t do anything about, just trying to tarnish them and make people thing that they are doomed, to slow the inevitable adoption. May work to some degree with bitcoin. Safecoin should be a different matter altogether.

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It could be, in fact it probably is, who cares, thats not the point.

You dont demonize a currency or form of monetary transfer because some people may use it for bad things. It’s like saying we stop cash because mafia types use it for dealing. The criminals need to be stopped not their choice of currency because you don’t stop criminals by killing their currency as they just move to something else.

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Who coulda guessed this was going to happen!
And I was just beginning to hope they were getting serious about increasing citizens’ privacy and freedom :slight_smile:

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Government promote citizens privacy and freedom? Yeah right.

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In politics things are not simply good or bad. Politics are always a “workaround”. Don´t want to give a historical lecture about that, but from a political perspectice money and bonds have always been critical (good and bad) since it came into existance. That´s why governments are urged to control it as much as pragmatism requests a more liberal approach.

I can understand the political cricism that has been raised against virtual currencies. Also it´s a fact that it is much harder to control than cash. It´s part of the duty of governments to be sceptical about innovations, so I think it´s kinda senseless and a waste of time to argue that that governements behave stupid - much rather it´s the task of us advocates of virtual currencies to show the value of the technology so they receive a pragmatist persepective in society. Laughing off governments won´t change the situation - to me that´s rather a demonstration of political impotence.

Proving the practical and pragmatic value of SAFE and any cryptocurrency is just a practical concern of providing market value. However my contention is that the government would try to control the people’s actions, whether they see them to be practical or not. I don’t see going out to buy a can of coke to be a particularly practical decision but I’m not going to stop you from doing it regardless of whether or not I think it’s wise, healthwise or pragmatically, to do so. And if I opt not to buy a can of coke then Coca Cola is not going to stop me from NOT buying their product just because it’s not pragmatic for them that I opted not to buy their product. See what I mean? If government feels that crypocurrency is impractical FOR THEM they should make using fiat currency MORE practical for everyone else not try to ban the use of cryptocurrency. In short compete or die.

Thought this might be of interest here.

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Only pointing out that they seem to be using the only tool they have in their tool bag for dealing with crypto: demonization. As opposed to the ability to pass effective laws to try to regulate the, effectively, unregulatable. They’ll try. They’ll cause a lot of pain and fear. But the current levers of control are more and more compromised.

Cryptography and what it allows are the only things which allow broad commerce and across the world. These are now the tools upon which the empires depend to hang together. But they are also the tools that allow uncontrolled action. So the solution is–and, from their point of view, can only be–"Give ‘us’ backdoors to everything. Trust ‘us.’ " But this can’t be enforced, especially with decentralized technology burgeoning.

They aren’t afraid of terrorists. For the most part they are behind the terrorists, encouraging them by their actions if not more directly. They are concerned that effective privacy and security may become wide spread, which will eventually bust their control at the very basic level: the individual mind.

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Only if you assume one is actually interested in wielding the government’s power, or believes that the government’s existence is desirable.

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Governments are elected by people, they are not some kind of amorph being that you can simply insult to feel better about yourself. It´s the people that put governments into place and people can revoke governments. So, of course you can feel sorry about yourself and be angry about “polititians” in general - you can also struggle to change it.

To argue governments should do this and that isn´t going to change anything. Advocates of distributed technology have to convince other people that this is something people should support. Many people out there already think that encryption should be illegal, because it makes things uncontrolable and terrorists use it. It´s far too easy to blame governments - we are dealing with public discourse, that´s far more than “governments”. It´s lobby or die - easy as that.

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I don´t quite see how you came to that conclusion. It´s completely irrelevant whether I, you or @Blindsite2k thinks that governments are desirable. It´s not even about governments, it´s about what backs them and that´s not just arms - many people support the idea that encryption should be banned/regulated. Of course, it´s easier to act as if it was just governments, but that won´t change the situation. If you really want to change things, you have to cope with power structures - saying “power structures” are stupid won´t make them magically disappear.

Hagen Rether, a political comedian, recently said - and that´s what I belive describes these kind of solution very accurately - that some people like the idea of the feudalistic king, because then it´s easier to sit back, blame him for everything and forget about the fact that it´s up to the people to promote for their political alternatives.

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Here’s how you described my attitude:

I am not necessarily trying to change things. Political impotence doesn’t matter to me. There is no one in this world who can prevent me from ignoring the government (to maximum extent possible) and using whatever encryption methods I see fit.

It is you who are mistaken in thinking that we must change the government to make things right. I cope with political structures by not engaging them. Move your wealth and activities in the space in which they are impotent and be free. Or keep wasting your time on participating in the rigged game.

As to the comedian’s claim, it’s … comical. Feudalism is superior to today’s system. King’s wealth came from capital appreciation so his interests were long term and aligned with the taxpayers’. Today’s government lives off current fiscal spending and bribes, obviously - from both theoretical considerations and practical experience - a completely catastrophic way to manage anything sustainable. Maybe you would benefit from reading some serious economic literature for change. :slight_smile:

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And we need polycentric law more than ever. It’s time for the gov to go obsolete.

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I didn’t describe your attitude. It was a general statement.

You have to deal with governments as a matter of fact. Same as you have to deal with people in general - they exist and potentially they have influence on your actions. I didn’t say you have to get involved with governments to make things right, that’s just your way of reading my post.

You are not involved in every political structure - you’re always involved in some kind of political structure. The claim not to be involved in political structures is part of pretending not to be responsible for society. :wink:

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Putting a bandaid on top of cancer and say it’s changed is laughable at best. Even if you tried to change the cancer, it will still kill you, and the human race.

crypto sets people free.

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Aha, being political = cancer… If you say so ;). Sounds like the perfect rhetoric to have a balanced discussion.

As I said, it’s easy to lean back and feel good about yourself if you make yourself believe you cannot change anything. What do you believe where your complaints about “mean governments” takes us, but to a circlejerk? Does it lead to the improvement for cryptocurrencies and distributed technology and if yes how? That’s just barroom cliché.

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See, this sentence describes your problem.
There are people who have no use for government and do not want to participate.

There is nothing to discuss. I don’t want a “better”, “more efficient” or “improved” government, and neither do I want to govern myself.
You can’t understand that this is a workable and in fact the only attitude that can put an end to problems caused by the government.

No, I do not want to change anything. I do not want to participate in a government, either as the governing or as the governed. Your problem is you cannot see the only workable solution.

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Dear @janitor, would you mind explaining what makes you think that I would like you to participate in a government? Do you understand the difference between government and governance? Are you aware of the writings of Michel Foucault (just out of interest) ?

Sidenote at “I don’t want to govern myself”: when you said “I don’t want to” you started governing yourself. :wink:

@Artiscience You should’ve said you’re a postmodernist before trying to enlighten us about how gov have a “duty to be sceptical about innovations” or how refusal to engage in politics is a “demonstration of political impotence”. You can read more here http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/ (hit refresh to know even more).