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Question: What fraction of Bitcoins are used for unethical things? I didn't say criminal things because unethical is a more important question. Your best guess...
64%
32%
16%
8%
4%
2%
1%

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Author Topic: What percent of Bitcoins are used for unethical things  (Read 2411 times)
BenRayfield
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July 01, 2011, 05:20:13 AM
 #1

Bitcoin combined with the Tor network to make it anonymous is an effective system (I've heard but not verified) for funding unethical things, like political corruption, powerful weapons for unethical people who couldn't get them otherwise, assassinations, and lots of other things you may consider unethical. I'm not telling you what's unethical. I'm asking, based on your definition of unethical, what fraction of Bitcoins are used for such purposes?

Same question about Dollars (and other centralized currencies). Poll: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=24970.0

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LehmanSister
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July 04, 2011, 05:54:03 PM
 #2

Depends on the ethical context in which your are asking the question. I can see few immoral reasons for integrating with a free market (with perhaps the exception of charities), but in general I think free markets are ethical possibly by definition. If the currency is globally accepted as unethical, then the useful utility in which they can enact become greatly limtied. What one does in a game with transferable utility is subject to the socially defined context of their ethics in which they are run.

So 0% or 100%, depending on your context. You're welcome to take a list of your ethical constructs and apply them to knowledge of the blockchain movement and get a far more accurate snapshot.

ISO: small island nations with large native populations excited to pay tribute to flying gods, will trade BTC.
Explodicle
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July 04, 2011, 06:04:31 PM
 #3

I generally agree with your definition of unethical, but doubt this is being done much at all, so far. But over time the coins will circulate, and they will all have been used for unethical things.
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July 04, 2011, 06:22:08 PM
 #4

I generally agree with your definition of unethical, but doubt this is being done much at all, so far. But over time the coins will circulate, and they will all have been used for unethical things.

Yeah well, that's the whole thing about transferable utility. If you want to enforce a certain ethical boundary upon a cryptocurrency like BTC, you can change the hash targets and penalize those involved in the transfer of coins to a competitive ethics society. That's only going to work if 1) you understand how to do that, 2) can popularize your alternative amongst your shared ethics community, and 3) can create an ethics based society that is willing enforce those rules. Since you seem to be talking ethics, then there is a bound and judicial system in which has a vested interest in limiting the trade of utility. So change the hash targeting system, educate those whom are in charge of enforcement of the ethical code (I have to assume that if you're asking, you're a member of a large one), and rebuild from there. Lemme know how it goes!

Until then, nature abhors restricted trade.

ISO: small island nations with large native populations excited to pay tribute to flying gods, will trade BTC.
Arrow
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July 05, 2011, 01:55:27 AM
 #5

There is no objective standard for what is moral or ethical, everyone has different opinions of that.

I for one, don't consider drug trade, or information trade to be unethical.

Many people, I included, are against murder, but I doubt that anyone has been murdered and paid in Bitcoins.

So, at the moment: 0%
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July 05, 2011, 06:30:49 AM
 #6

There is no objective standard for what is moral or ethical, everyone has different opinions of that.

Re: Morality, I agree 100%, but objectivity could never be applied to morality. A person's morality is a closed system, and viewed by multiple observers only in action, not via process.
Re: Ethics, since ethical codes are shared by societal groups, they are usually codified in some way (ex: oral tradition or legal codex). Within the society, there is probably a shared standard which could be applied (hence, court systems and arbitration).

So, at the moment: 0%

Agree.

ISO: small island nations with large native populations excited to pay tribute to flying gods, will trade BTC.
V4Vendettas
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July 05, 2011, 07:36:00 AM
 #7

Surely the nature of bitcoins means we can only ever guess?
Not been to Silk Road myself but are they keeping public records to show how trustworthy a vendor they are?

“Hey look 29,543 bitcoins traded for AK47’s in the last year alone 98.5% positive feedback .Dave’s Guns and ammo the only way to go.”

Like I said not been to the Silk Road so unless this is the case or we have some bitcoin journalists out interviewing these merchant’s how can we ever even have a remotely educated guess?

I have known about bitcoins for little over 2 weeks so forgive my noobishness if there is a blindingly clear way to be objective about this.

Not making an ethic point using AK’s as an example so just replace guns with heroin or whatever you view as unethical.

That said I’m going to say 64% because apparently it’s only used for drugs, child porn, ordnance, laundering, gambling and tax evasion.  It’s not like anyone is using it for legitimate reasons right?

I see this as an hard question to get useful awnsers because its two fold in my mind.

  • What percentage do you guess to be unethical and how did you make this asumption ?
  • What ethics did you apply to the above question?


BenRayfield
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July 11, 2011, 02:47:37 AM
 #8

These 2 polls (same question about dollars and bitcoins) are to get forum members' opinions based on their own definition of ethics, not to debate whose ethics is best.

The results so far are, going by the median:
Dollars 16% unethical.
Bitcoins 3% unethical.

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The Script
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July 11, 2011, 06:56:48 AM
 #9

Who cares?  Why does it matter?
mc_lovin
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July 11, 2011, 12:05:44 PM
 #10

Who cares?  Why does it matter?
Because polls are awesome.  As long as I get to vote on something, I'm in.

Explodicle
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July 11, 2011, 12:55:35 PM
 #11

Who cares?  Why does it matter?

One of the primary complaints against Bitcoin is that it is used for evil, more so than other currencies. Getting people to quantify things is an easy trick to get them thinking rationally.
The Script
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July 13, 2011, 12:56:14 AM
 #12

But us voting on the forum and claiming that only 1% of bitcoins are used for "unethical" uses doesn't make it true.  I simply wish people would stop worrying about what other people are using bitcoins for.  After all, every currency in the world is used for "bad things" too.
imperi
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July 13, 2011, 01:40:59 AM
 #13

99% of Bitcoins are used for trading into dollars and vice versa, back and forth.
BenRayfield
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July 13, 2011, 01:43:40 AM
 #14

The Script, I agree that people thinking it doesn't make it true, and I'm not worrying about what you said. Yes, every currency is used for bad things.

I created these 2 polls/threads (one about bitcoins and one about dollars) to understand how people think, not because I care specificly about the ethics of bitcoins or dollars. I created a thread http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=23054.0 called "A Compromise To Avoid World War 3", a very serious subject important to the future of the Human species, and most people got off subject, distracted by the details instead of the possibility (a high chance in my opinion) that we could all die if nothing is done. So I decided to figure out what about Human minds causes them to ignore such an important thing. Similar to how a programmer uses a debugger (like Eclipse or Netbeans) to find bugs in software, I am debugging the Human species, so I'm interested in how people choose their thoughts instead of the specific thoughts.

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TKE406
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July 13, 2011, 05:51:22 PM
 #15

CORRECT ANSWER:

Same percentage of the M1 USD money supply that is used for "unethical things"

There are many libertarians here. So things like selling/buying illegal things, cheating your taxes, and other such contraptions would not be really thought of as "unethical"
I doubt many BitCoiners are using it for slavery and sex trafficking..
BenRayfield
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July 18, 2011, 01:03:28 AM
 #16

I've found a bug in how the Human species thinks, and a way to fix it, described here http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=29211.msg373825#msg373825

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