I read it. All of it. Judge Posner once complained about law students being the ones who wrote the intellectual journals of that branch of knowledge because unlike professors they were not knowledgeable enough to know whether they were standing in a pile of crap or not.
So likewise I think the author of this article has facile knowledge of the subject and I found the economic analysis weak. Compounded was the conflation and detours in the writing; the organization is what you would find from a ferret on meth.
The argument is thus: TOR and Bitcoin are bad because some actor with enough resources could compromise privacy and track everything.
TOR IS COMPLETELY TRACEABLE
Any low-latency mixnet is. There's no two ways about it. Anyone who can observe a sufficiently large part of the internet over time can correlate your traffic to that of the server and get a pretty good idea that it's you.
This (Bitcoin) is a forensic financial investigator's dream situation.
So let us assume for the sake of argument
that both TOR and Bitcoin could be tracked if there were enough resources available to a single actor. The assertion likely fails on economic arguments. This is because the cost
of privacy is so low while the return on investment from extortion
to breach that privacy is so negative.
For example, you could be zipping bitcoins all around the network from random public WIFI spaces. Sure, a forensic financial investor maybe could track all of them if the budget was large enough. But the truth is that even with government they do not have unlimited resources and departments are constrained by budgets. Thus, resources have to be allocated.
The problem for these organizations is they cannot allocate efficiently because they lack a pricing mechanism. Thus they allocate inefficiently which results in wealth destruction. The less effective their pricing mechanism the more wealth they destroy which results in less wealth available so the less they can track unless they can acquire additional wealth some other way to fund the investigation. The free market is not going to pay a forensic financial investigator $25,000 to only track, not necessarily confiscate!, 3 BTC ($12.25 exchange rate). But government will!
Both TOR and Bitcoins are tremendous force multipliers
in that they greatly decrease the cost of privacy while simultaneously exponentially
increasing the cost of breach thus causing the ROI from extortion to quickly go massively negative.
Perhaps The Daily Bell concedes that these 'elitist families' have 'trillions' of wealth to 'track' everything with. But I know a few forensic financial investigators who will track some bitcoins for some of those trillions. Maybe they could form a forensic financial investigators union so they can charge more for their labor yet track less bitcoins. Sure, they may be able to hire hoards of investigators and track a lot of bitcoins for a long time but unless they can somehow acquire more wealth to continue the escapade then eventually they will run out of funds to pay forensic financial investigators. Coupled with the wealth transfer effect of Bitcoin and the net worth of elitist families could decline extremely quickly particularly if they continue funding such hobbies of compulsive control and surveillance.