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Author Topic: History of United States Anti-Money Laundering Laws  (Read 6712 times)
waxwing
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October 12, 2013, 07:10:04 PM
 #81

It is disappointing to see so many intelligent people come to such an appallingly bad conclusion as "coin tainting is acceptable".

The failure here is to not understand that some things are principles, not matters for arbitration.

Look at the complete destruction of these principles in modern life:
the right to a fair trial and innocent until proven guilty
the right to free speech
the right to privacy

These are the principles which, in a slow and painful process since the Enlightenment, have created a whole new superior order of civilisation. But they have been abandoned.

Example: the right to free speech. Since terrorists and child pornographers and racist hate-mongers use this right, and we don't find that acceptable, we limit free speech in these cases. But any limitation of free speech for any reason means that speech is conditionally free, not actually free. And that means that a certain privileged group in society has to act as the arbiter.

So many intelligent people, certainly many or even most among those I know, think that this is an acceptable state of affairs - some things cannot be tolerated, so let's be "reasonable". There is nothing reasonable about this at all - a 1% reduction in freedom is actually a 100% reduction - something is free, or it is conditional. If it is conditional (and this is the point that I think people don't understand), human nature dictates that the conditionality will be exploited by the corrupt to gain more and more power for themselves and those with their views.

Now back to bitcoin. Money should be fungible - this is exactly freedom in the context of money. Money can still function if it is not free, as it does now for example with bank accounts, but it is a very different thing - it's really a multiparty contract in which one of the parties is some arbitrating organisation (usually a branch of government), which has the ultimate say in which money can and cannot be spent.

Gold could be used as a pure, free form of money but it was very subject to physical limitations. Bitcoin does not have those limitations and can be kept genuinely free. Please consider this. Just because pure freedom is not possible in the physical world does not mean it is impossible in the platonic realm of digital data.

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October 12, 2013, 07:40:20 PM
 #82

@waxwing

I couldn't give two shits about the philosophical aspects of money and freedom when it comes to the issue of 'taint', and I actually don't have much against strong-arming people if it can be done effectively and if the 'victims' deserve it.  I cackle with delight when a dirt-bag thief gets ripped off himself (like the Ozcoin incident as a classic example.)

My main complaint about 'taint' is that it basically cannot work from a systematic point of view (in my analysis.)  There is no universal agreement on 'fairness' so most people are going to be pissed off most of the time, and the extra degrees of variability which it would throw into the value basis of the solution would almost certainly be unpredictable and dynamic.

Separately, it would open the door for huge levels of control and abuse and I have no doubt that this would follow.

Anyway, 'taint' is not a source of concern until the transaction rate (block size) is significantly increased and mostly large operators provide the critical infrastructure.  Even then I would expect that realistic engineering principles would intervene before such a disaster occurred.  So, it's mostly just a fun intellectual excursion at this point.


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October 12, 2013, 07:42:03 PM
 #83

Waxwing

Excellent argument. Bravo!
waxwing
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October 12, 2013, 07:59:42 PM
 #84

@waxwing

I couldn't give two shits about the philosophical aspects of money and freedom when it comes to the issue of 'taint' <snip>
Quote
Separately, it would open the door for huge levels of control and abuse and I have no doubt that this would follow.
<snip>

I see a contradiction between these two stances; the second quote is pretty much directly in line with the 'meat' of what I was saying, so I don't think we have any disagreement. If you care about control and abuse of power then you care about freedom.

Sure it's pleasing to see a bad guy get a comeuppance, but my point is that that cannot trump the principle. The violation of the principle is far more of an evil than that an individual thief gets away with a crime. There is far less petty crime in a police state.

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October 12, 2013, 08:31:30 PM
 #85

@waxwing

I couldn't give two shits about the philosophical aspects of money and freedom when it comes to the issue of 'taint' <snip>
Quote
Separately, it would open the door for huge levels of control and abuse and I have no doubt that this would follow.
<snip>

I see a contradiction between these two stances; the second quote is pretty much directly in line with the 'meat' of what I was saying, so I don't think we have any disagreement. If you care about control and abuse of power then you care about freedom.

Sure it's pleasing to see a bad guy get a comeuppance, but my point is that that cannot trump the principle. The violation of the principle is far more of an evil than that an individual thief gets away with a crime. There is far less petty crime in a police state.


To clarify, the 'control and abuse' would damage Bitcoin on mechanical level (taking the liberty of including psychological effects under that term.)

Although I do not consider myself a Libertarian I happen to have a high degree of agreement with the principles such folks espouse philosophically when it comes to money and freedom.  And you have articulated it fairly well I might add.  My point is that I don't think that it is necessary to leverage such arguments when it comes to Bitcoin and 'taint'.  I am quite confident that and attempt at a 'taint' or 'tarnish' extension would result in disaster for strictly operational and engineering reasons alone.


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October 13, 2013, 04:00:58 AM
 #86

Well at least waxwing "gets it" ... the rest of you might have to suffer another few re-incarnations before an enlightened existence becomes available to you.

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