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Author Topic: Should we be trying harder to stop the BTC black market?  (Read 14567 times)
acoindr
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October 12, 2012, 09:55:31 PM
 #21

I wouldn't call the cops if I saw someone buying drugs on the street... the question is, when large drug dealers are running huge amounts of illegal money through my exchange, do I turn a blind eye?

...

If the US government considers a big exchange to be laundering money to drug dealers, or some cartel... they'd better be hosted in outer space.

I guess you missed this forum thread:

The Very Best Place to Launder Money? Why, US Banks!

And you probably never saw images like this:


(Money and weapons seized from Mexican drug cartels.)

...at least twenty-two journalists and more than 35,000 people have been killed in drug war related violence since 2006

I hope you also know there were no "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, and that was and is a blatant invasion to protect the U.S. dollar.

I watched actual combat footage from Iraq taken from an attack helicopter. The gunner, "crazy horse", fired on some "enemy combatants". Reports from the ground team came back that the stomach of a ten year old girl was blown out. The response from crazy horse was damn, well that's what you get for bringing children to a fight.

You're not going to win a morality contest with the U.S. dollar over Bitcoin. The U.S. dollar being as dominant as it has for as long as it has probably financed more immoral activity than all other fiat combined. Bitcoin is a tool, just like guns which can be used for bad or good. You don't look at unwanted behavior and attack the tools, like guns, because that doesn't work. All it does is hinder the people that could use it for good. The unwanted usage will always find a way to continue by going underground. Just look at alcohol prohibition, the trillion dollar drug war, and gun laws. You really think someone can't buy anything they want if they really want it?
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mobodick
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October 12, 2012, 09:57:28 PM
 #22

"Should we be trying harder to stop the BTC black market? "

I think that realistically there is very little that can be done to prevent it.
That is the nature of bitcoin.
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October 12, 2012, 09:59:25 PM
 #23

The real crime is when governments make it illegal for two people to engage in voluntary trade. As long as they aren't hurting anyone else with their business, there is nothing wrong with what they are doing.

Obviously some of the examples you gave involve people hurting others, but I've not seen any evidence that those things are being done with Bitcoin.

You're forgetting that even in a voluntary trade people can become victims of others (misrepresentation, con etc etc.).
So there can be plenty wrong in just that tiny universe of two people making one deal.
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October 12, 2012, 10:06:26 PM
 #24

Most of what comprises the "Black Market" is actually activity that is not immoral - purchases of drugs, guns, money laundering, etc. These are not immoral acts, and thus nobody here should try use force to prevent them from happening.

Now, for those acts also part of the Black Market which ARE immoral (human trafficking being the obvious one), it'd be great if anyone in this community can help to stifle them.

It's not that simple.
The trades of weapons or drugs themselfs may not be moral, they are part of a bigger structure of immorality.
For instance, human trafficers often have guns.
If such guns are not easily available then that puts a barrier on them acquiring the guns.
If i ask you 'through what are drugs and guns often related' then you propably will say 'crime'.
So there seems to be a correlation, at least partially, between the sales of these things and crimes.
I'd agree that you cannot be certain from one single trade wether the goods will be used moraly but you can be pretty certain that a place that deals in such things will attract criminals like fly paper.
So that leaves us with a dillemma. Smoking gun but no actual proof.
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October 12, 2012, 10:26:59 PM
 #25

yeah acoindr, I think you're mostly right, although I do hate to tell my fellow libertarians who are from the USA that gun laws do work, if what you are trying to prevent are premature deaths. Looks at the amount of murders in the US per capita compared to Germany etc. If your goal is something else, then gun laws may not work. They certainly work well in places like Vancouver, but obviously would not be just or feasible in say Kandahar or the actual wild west. Anyway, that's totally off topic.

Of course those banks can get away with it! They control the regulators and governments!

One of our problems as I see it, is that allowing unfettered access to serious criminals will be the exact excuse they need to outlaw the use of bitcoins/all stateless currencies in the US, Canada, EU, etc. As people have mentioned in other threads... read the upcoming trade agreements. As someone who would like to see BTC grow as an international currency and instant trading and payment mechanism... let's just say I would prefer the easy way, instead of it being a constant battle with western authorities, to the point where BTC becomes viable ONLY for criminals and underground websites. If you think loosing silk road would hurt bitcoin, try loosing mtgox and every other exchange overnight. We'd be back to buying 10,000 BTC pizza's.

What if kidnappers start using BTC? It's the next logical step... we just saw that person/group attempting to extort Romney use BTC.

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October 12, 2012, 10:33:46 PM
 #26

Black market abandoning Bitcoin will be the end of Bitcoin. OP is a moralfag. Bitcoin is disruptive and it must be such, for your legal needs use paypal and wire transfer that comes with 24/7 noob support.


moralfag? lmao why am I answering this troll?

This has nothing to do with morality. BTC is supposed to end monetary tyranny and hyperinflation, not be a shelter for criminals.

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October 12, 2012, 10:36:21 PM
 #27

the only thing exchanges should do is comply with the laws(to keep them from getting shut down.) If law enforcement wants info from address KNOWN to be SR then they should cooperate like any other business. Also assuming there are legal warrants to do so. But trying to take charge on their own and stop it is just absurd to be honest.

Okay okay jeez I didn't say I had a master plan, I am just trying to think of/discuss ways that bitcoin FSCs and related companies could possibly be more pro-active.
acoindr
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October 12, 2012, 10:43:01 PM
 #28

yeah acoindr, I think you're mostly right, although I do hate to tell my fellow libertarians who are from the USA that gun laws do work, if what you are trying to prevent are premature deaths.

How the hell do you figure that? First, you need to explain what is a premature death? Do you mean like a teenager dying, possibly from something drug related? I have news for you. Thanks to the US "war on drugs" which has had little success in curbing drug use, but large success in escalating violence, I can tell you drug dealers would NOT be prevented from getting guns because of gun laws...

Looks at the amount of murders in the US per capita compared to Germany etc.

What's you're point here? You think gun laws would make the U.S. a safe society? Ha!

If your goal is something else, then gun laws may now work. They certainly work well in places like Vancouver, but obviously would not be just or feasible in say Kandahar or the actual wild west. Anyway, that's totally off topic.

My goal is freedom. That's what works. I had a friend from Holland who couldn't understand our 2nd amendment. Apparently, you're not allowed to keep a gun in your house in Holland. I asked how you're supposed to defend yourself when someone breaks in? I don't understand how they get away with that. But on the other hand, they allow a lot more freedom of things like recreational drug use there... Anyway, I explained to her that our gun rights exist so good guys can carry guns too. She had never thought of it like that.

One of our problems as I see it, is that allowing unfettered access to serious criminals will be the exact excuse they need to outlaw the use of bitcoins/all stateless currencies in the US, Canada, EU, etc. As people have mentioned in other threads... read the upcoming trade agreements.

It doesn't matter. Whether governments try to outlaw Bitcoin or not they can't stop it. And they don't have jurisdiction over every country either, so all they will do is make it a political issue.

What if kidnappers start using BTC? It's the next logical step... we just saw that person/group attempting to extort Romney use BTC.

Like I said, the U.S. dollar has probably financed more immoral behavior than all other fiat currency combined. It's almost like you think these kinds of things were not possible or happening before Bitcoin...
mobodick
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October 12, 2012, 10:56:54 PM
 #29

yeah acoindr, I think you're mostly right, although I do hate to tell my fellow libertarians who are from the USA that gun laws do work, if what you are trying to prevent are premature deaths.

How the hell do you figure that? First, you need to explain what is a premature death? Do you mean like a teenager dying, possibly from something drug related? I have news for you. Thanks to the US "war on drugs" which has had little success in curbing drug use, but large success in escalating violence, I can tell you drug dealers would NOT be prevented from getting guns because of gun laws...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

Now check te rate of the US an then calculate a mean of the EU countries.
That's how the hell we figure that.

Also, the drug dealers with guns are not what racks up the death count.
Sure, smart criminals get their guns anyways, even here in holland.
But the law prevents dumb criminals (of which there are many more than smart ones) from playing around with toys that are a danger to society.
BlackHeartFund
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October 12, 2012, 11:00:33 PM
 #30

Sorry for not being clear, what I'm saying is that if your priority is preventing people from being murdered or accidentally shot and killed, gun laws save lives, obviously.

This is why we don't have hundreds upon hundreds of gun murders every year and stories about five year olds shot by their seven year old brothers in Vancouver, like a lost of American cities do. People can't have handguns outside a gun range, period. People can have hunting riles, not uzi's. Much harder to carry around on the subway, much easier to hunt with.  ;-)

As I mentioned, other people may have different priorities. If you are more concerned with being able to shoot someone who breaks in to your house than you are about gun violence, than obviously you would be against (at least most) gun regulation. People who are not afraid of their own shadow would probably risk it for the sake of countless needless deaths. Keep in mind that if someone is breaking in to my house here in Vancouver, or any country with half decent gun control (and ours is terrible), I am 100% CERTAIN THAT THEY DON'T HAVE A GUN!

Baseball bat > junkies without handguns.

Handgun vs junkie with handgun = a lot more dangerous and unpredictable.

Of course there are other reasons that gun laws may be good or bad, but I don't think this thread is the place. If you are in a position where you think an armed citizenry is a defense against government tyranny, as many Americans do even to this day, then that could be another valid reason to oppose gun laws. I don't personally agree that this has been a good strategy since, oh, around the time the US built a standing army, but hey, I'm not right about everything. I certainly support the idea, if not the implementation.
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October 12, 2012, 11:02:07 PM
 #31

While I applaud some (most?) of what anonymous has attempted, I don't think individual hackers from an anarchist collective should be publishing people's personal information and accusing them of crimes based on ip addresses. My basic wish is being able to find people who are profiting from these things and using BTC... and then attempting to identify the exchange accounts they are using... and then forwarding that information to appropriate authorities.

I realize this is difficult and presents numerous privacy and other problems... so have the BTC financial services companies essentially decided to turn a blind eye? What do they do if and when they get complaints?
If your connecting the legal framework to the link between fiat and bitcoin at the exchanges then there isn't really any issue because the coins are easily traced at that point through the blockchain and can be traced from there through any number of wallets. If anyone wants to preserve their anonymity then they can use a mixing service and, imho, they have every right to do so. The legal system can place obligations on exchanges to refuse coins coming from mixing services and known wallets if they wish and they have a right to do that because the exchanges are dealing in fiat.

It's fairly safe to assume that exchanges are obliged to make the financial data of their users available to the authorities when required because they're dealing in fiat and its also fairly safe to assume addresses on the blockchain are already being mapped to the transfers to and from the users accounts on the exchanges.

If your suggesting the legal system should attempt to police what can and can't be done with bitcoin from there (ie. send them to a mixing service to preserve anonymity) then all I can say is let them try. Without the desire for privacy things like tor wouldn't have been necessary and if the legal system creates more ways of invading peoples privacy then the result will be more ways of protecting it.

Targeting bitcoin and tor as a method of protecting paedophiles is turning the problem completely the wrong way around. They were created to protect privacy and gained popularity due to invasions of privacy, their usage for immoral activities and the problems that presents are an unfortunate by product.


Thanks, very informative and reasoned.
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October 12, 2012, 11:04:12 PM
 #32

https://imageshack.us/a/img607/7854/13v152.gif

You think we, as a community, is going to stop what organizations with billions of $$$ can't stop themselves?

They should legalize all that stuff and use the taxes on drugs to provide free healthcare to their citizens instead.
Ryland R. Taylor-Almanza
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October 12, 2012, 11:12:41 PM
 #33

I like that image

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CharlesPonzi
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October 12, 2012, 11:16:33 PM
 #34

There is no crime if there is no victim.

I landed in this country with $2.50 in cash and $1 million in hopes, and those hopes never left me.
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October 12, 2012, 11:21:10 PM
 #35

Quote from: acoindr
What's you're point here? You think gun laws would make the U.S. a safe society? Ha!

There is no such thing as a safe society.

I'm saying that if the USA banned all guns except hunting rifles, there would be an extreme drop in murders and accidental shootings, obviously.

I am not advocating anything, lol you are making me sound like a left wing activist, I just came herr to talk about the basic long term future of BTC/fiat exchanges, and how criminals and government criminal investigations threaten them! I am just stating the obvious with regards to gun laws, really nothing to argue about.

Democratic countries (if we can still call ourselves that) decide what their priorities are and, ideally, create laws that advance those priorities. As I mentioned above, I am in no way claiming that reducing gun violence has to be every country/state(province)/city/communities' top priority. Certainly taking away the AK47 of someone in Somalia trying to defend their hut from armed warlords is not a good idea, and no one would advocate it. Gun laws are not intrinsically good or bad, everything depends on the circumstances.

Quote
It doesn't matter. Whether governments try to outlaw Bitcoin or not they can't stop it. And they don't have jurisdiction over every country either, so all they will do is make it a political issue.

If the western economic powerhouse nations shut down the exchanges... as I said, 10k BTC pizza will be back. Certainly I see the romantic appeal of fighting the global system at any cost, but some of us here would actually like to advance BTC in our lifetimes. What freedom do you gain by holding worthless BTC with no where to exchange them? This chance at economic freedom will be lost and we will all be back to fiat for the rest of our lives.

Quote
Like I said, the U.S. dollar has probably financed more immoral behavior than all other fiat currency combined.

...obvious and irrelevant.


Quote
It's almost like you think these kinds of things were not possible or happening before Bitcoin...

I honestly can't imagine what I said that could possibly lead you to believe that. Please attempt to advance the actual discussion at hand or kindly move on
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October 12, 2012, 11:25:58 PM
 #36

https://imageshack.us/a/img607/7854/13v152.gif

You think we, as a community, is going to stop what organizations with billions of $$$ can't stop themselves?


No, not stop, not at all. Simply talking about some system of accountability at the exchange end. Again I am not declaring that this is a brilliant idea that has to be done, just something I've been considering while developing a legal BTC service of my own, and I'm trying to gauge what everyone else thinks about the matter.


Quote
They should legalize all that stuff and use the taxes on drugs to provide free healthcare to their citizens instead.

That is for damn sure. For vastly improved rehab services as well (especially in countries who already pay for health care collectively through taxes). In the USA, sure, make the stoners pay for everyone lmao.
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October 12, 2012, 11:31:09 PM
 #37

I'm not trying to discuss the morality of anything. I think all drugs should be legal. I certainly DON'T think automatic weapons should be sold in an totally anonymous, unregulated market. That's just me. I respect other opinions, there are certainly grey areas in everything. Those issues can only be changed at the moment via our governments, I completely agree that they are not for us to judge.

And why are they not for us to judge? By your own admission and judgment, current state-imposed drug laws are flawed. As others have already pointed out, you would seem to be contradicting yourself on a number of points.

If we don't have any kind of mechanism for preventing serious criminals (human traffickers etc) from using BTC to launder money, we are giving the banker controlled politicians an excuse to go after bitcoin.

Personally, I hope the statists go after Bitcoin sooner rather than later. If Bitcoin survives the onslaught, great. In case it doesn't, another more resilient cryptocurrency will rise up from the ashes soon enough (cf. BitTorrent). Either way, it'd be nice to get past this little hump as soon as possible; and once past it, discussions like this will be rendered wholly irrelevant, since the currency will already have been proven to be resistant to its worst possible adversary trying to disrupt/destroy it, and as such there will be no more stopping the inexorable expansion of the black market.

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October 12, 2012, 11:35:49 PM
 #38

"Note I did not read the whole post"

If someone wants to buy drugs off the internet let them, better then them going out to a dealer who might have ill intent. Yes they could have ill intent over the internet. But when is the last time you heard of crack head getting jipped on SR and returning to kill the dealer? Or someone going to buy 1000 dollars worth of weed and being gagged tied and bound. I do not support hard drugs at all but if it keeps some crime off the streets and save me some tax dollars have at it. Go in your house and die in a corner. At least science will have another body to study on.

This is a great way to live, " Do not bother me and I will not bother you." In fact that is what america was built on but we have strayed So so far away from it.

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October 12, 2012, 11:45:00 PM
 #39

yeah acoindr, I think you're mostly right, although I do hate to tell my fellow libertarians who are from the USA that gun laws do work, if what you are trying to prevent are premature deaths. Looks at the amount of murders in the US per capita compared to Germany etc. If your goal is something else, then gun laws may not work. They certainly work well in places like Vancouver, but obviously would not be just or feasible in say Kandahar or the actual wild west.

FYI, the so-called Wild West was in fact a safer place to live, as measured e.g. by per capita homicides, than many modern American cities such as Detroit or Memphis. You may wish to read The Not So Wild, Wild West by Terry L. Anderson and Peter J. Hill. The Hollywood depictions of the American West have much more to do with best-selling serialized fictional accounts than with the actual reality of the time.

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October 12, 2012, 11:46:25 PM
 #40

yeah acoindr, I think you're mostly right, although I do hate to tell my fellow libertarians who are from the USA that gun laws do work, if what you are trying to prevent are premature deaths.

How the hell do you figure that? First, you need to explain what is a premature death? Do you mean like a teenager dying, possibly from something drug related? I have news for you. Thanks to the US "war on drugs" which has had little success in curbing drug use, but large success in escalating violence, I can tell you drug dealers would NOT be prevented from getting guns because of gun laws...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

Now check te rate of the US an then calculate a mean of the EU countries.
That's how the hell we figure that.

Also, the drug dealers with guns are not what racks up the death count.
Sure, smart criminals get their guns anyways, even here in holland.
But the law prevents dumb criminals (of which there are many more than smart ones) from playing around with toys that are a danger to society.


Your logic doesn't compute. Your chart shows firearm related death rates, and your argument is gun laws prevent premature deaths right? Well, Colombia tops the list at #1 with the U.S. at #10, but how can that be? Doesn't the U.S. have some of the most relaxed gun laws? And besides that, Colombia has a population of under 50 million, whereas the U.S. is over 300 million... yet the U.S. is not number one on your chart. How can that be? I'll tell you. It's because there are a lot of societal factors behind gun related crimes and deaths. You can't broad brush everything and say the solution is gun laws. I don't have time to argue this properly, but I hope this can shed some light.

By the way, what would you do if someone broke into your house and held a gun on your family?
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