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Author Topic: Bitcoin at the US Senate  (Read 66738 times)
Mike Hearn
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November 10, 2013, 11:50:12 AM
Last edit: November 13, 2013, 11:47:44 AM by Mike Hearn
 #1

On the 18th November, which is a bit over a week from now, members of the Bitcoin community will be testifying in front of the US Senate in two committee hearings:

1) Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) committee

2) Senate Banking committee

The hearings have been called so US representatives can learn about Bitcoin and in particular, about its impact on law enforcement and banking. The HSGAC hearing will have two panels. The first one consists of members of US LE agencies. The second is the industry panel and will have, amongst other people, Patrick Murck of the Bitcoin Foundation on it.

For those who don't know Patrick, he is pretty much "the Bitcoin lawyer" and is one of us - he has been involved behind the scenes with Bitcoin for a long time now, I talk with him frequently and I know he will do a great job. That said, Patrick was not our first choice. Actually the Senate invitation was for Jon Matonis, who was our first choice. Unfortunately Jon couldn't make it on such short notice. Gavin would have been our second choice, but he is in Australia visiting family at the moment and also was not available.

The selection of the other panelists are also, I think, good news for us - they're people with a strong understanding of the Bitcoin space, people who have got credibility and achievements under their belt. Unfortunately my understanding is that it would be a faux pas to reveal their names here for some reason, but you'll find out who they are in a week.

edit: the names of the people appearing in front of the Senate Banking committee have now been published

Preparatory work has already begun and Foundation staff are working on some written testimony that will be submitted along with the oral testimony. Patrick will be heading to DC soon in order to start rehearsing and preparing. As executive director, Jon is of course going to be instrumental in figuring out what we're going to say, although he's being helped by other members as well of course. If you want to suggest ideas and contribute, go join the Foundation and post to the forum.

In recent times I've occasionally seen people sometimes question what the purpose of the Foundation is. Well, this is one of the reasons it was created. There are many powerful institutions in our world run by people that simply don't or won't take part in forums like bitcointalk, mailing lists and so on. The way they operate is by holding meetings, conferences and hearings like this one. The Foundation not only funds development but acts as a bridge between these two very different worlds.

Thanks,

Mike Hearn
Chair, Law & Policy committee
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November 10, 2013, 01:20:02 PM
 #2

On the 18th November, which is a bit over a week from now, members of the Bitcoin community will be testifying in front of the US Senate in two committee hearings:

1) Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) committee

2) Senate Banking committee

The hearings have been called so US representatives can learn about Bitcoin and in particular, about its impact on law enforcement and banking. The HSGAC hearing will have two panels. The first one consists of members of US LE agencies. The second is the industry panel and will have, amongst other people, Patrick Murck of the Bitcoin Foundation on it.

For those who don't know Patrick, he is pretty much "the Bitcoin lawyer" and is one of us - he has been involved behind the scenes with Bitcoin for a long time now, I talk with him frequently and I know he will do a great job. That said, Patrick was not our first choice. Actually the Senate invitation was for Jon Matonis, who was our first choice. Unfortunately Jon couldn't make it on such short notice. Gavin would have been our second choice, but he is in Australia visiting family at the moment and also was not available.

The selection of the other panelists are also, I think, good news for us - they're people with a strong understanding of the Bitcoin space, people who have got credibility and achievements under their belt. Unfortunately my understanding is that it would be a faux pas to reveal their names here for some reason, but you'll find out who they are in a week.

Preparatory work has already begun and Foundation staff are working on some written testimony that will be submitted along with the oral testimony. Patrick will be heading to DC soon in order to start rehearsing and preparing. As executive director, Jon is of course going to be instrumental in figuring out what we're going to say, although he's being helped by other members as well of course. If you want to suggest ideas and contribute, go join the Foundation and post to the forum.

In recent times I've occasionally seen people sometimes question what the purpose of the Foundation is. Well, this is one of the reasons it was created. There are many powerful institutions in our world run by people that simply don't or won't take part in forums like bitcointalk, mailing lists and so on. The way they operate is by holding meetings, conferences and hearings like this one. The Foundation not only funds development but acts as a bridge between these two very different worlds.

Thanks,

Mike Hearn
Chair, Law & Policy committee
Bitcoin Foundation

Hope everything will go smooth and they can understand how big it is.
Keep doing great job!
Thanks!

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November 10, 2013, 01:24:48 PM
 #3

video's of patrick so people know his 'style' and get to know him more then just a name

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMC-oSoaOcY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWLgSHHFaI0 - one minute - 05 seconds into video


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November 10, 2013, 01:54:12 PM
 #4

On the 18th November, which is a bit over a week from now, members of the Bitcoin community will be testifying in front of the US Senate in two committee hearings...

Waste of time. A decentralized currency doesn't need that.
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November 10, 2013, 02:03:06 PM
 #5

On the 18th November, which is a bit over a week from now, members of the Bitcoin community will be testifying in front of the US Senate in two committee hearings...

Waste of time. A decentralized currency doesn't need that.

Obviously there isn't a need. But trying to spread understanding and such can't be seen as a bad thing, right?

i don't post much, but this space for rent.
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November 10, 2013, 02:03:43 PM
 #6

thanks mike for that info and the professionalism of the foundation. good luck!

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November 10, 2013, 02:13:51 PM
 #7

On the 18th November, which is a bit over a week from now, members of the Bitcoin community will be testifying in front of the US Senate in two committee hearings...

Waste of time. A decentralized currency doesn't need that.

bitcoin doesnt need it. but if your wanting to swap FIAT for bitcoin at any point then it does need some government approval.

if you dont want this then stop working for a business that pays salary in FIAT, stop going to FIAT acceptig shops/stores to buy food/clothes and dont fill your car up at FIAT priced gas stations. instead find the bitcoin alternatives and you will never need to worry about government regulations affecting you directly.. even though regulations will still affect the merchants you deal with, if they have to convert to FIAT, so theres no way to prevent regulations, there is only ways to limit how much it extends to you and affects you directly

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November 10, 2013, 02:30:18 PM
 #8

Good luck guys!

It's great to know it's going to be approached with level-headedness.

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November 10, 2013, 02:30:50 PM
 #9

On the 18th November, which is a bit over a week from now, members of the Bitcoin community will be testifying in front of the US Senate in two committee hearings...

Waste of time. A decentralized currency doesn't need that.

bitcoin doesnt need it. but if your wanting to swap FIAT for bitcoin at any point then it does need some government approval.

if you dont want this then stop working for a business that pays salary in FIAT, stop going to FIAT acceptig shops/stores to buy food/clothes and dont fill your car up at FIAT priced gas stations. instead find the bitcoin alternatives and you will never need to worry about government regulations affecting you directly.. even though regulations will still affect the merchants you deal with, if they have to convert to FIAT, so theres no way to prevent regulations, there is only ways to limit how much it extends to you and affects you directly

Shouldn't we first extend 10 tx/sec limit before trying to bring millions ppl to Bitcoin?
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November 10, 2013, 02:56:11 PM
 #10

We should send Richard G. Brown from IBM.

Failing that, short notice and all, send his arguments.
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November 10, 2013, 03:22:50 PM
 #11

Tell them they (the governments) made a huge mistake when they decoupled fiat from gold, and that bitcoin fixes that problem so that they can't do the same "mistake" again
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November 10, 2013, 03:27:32 PM
 #12

Good luck guys!

It's great to know it's going to be approached with level-headedness.

Yes that is what I thought. Patrick can explain Bitcoin well without sounding evangelical.
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November 10, 2013, 03:28:39 PM
 #13

Senate don't give a damn, they just wanna destroy BTC Grin
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November 10, 2013, 03:59:54 PM
 #14

You can also post ideas here, of course. Although I think Patrick prefers to use the Foundation forum, I read both.
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November 10, 2013, 04:23:53 PM
 #15

Dunno, especially since it involve that "foundation"...

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November 10, 2013, 04:30:47 PM
 #16

You can also post ideas here, of course. Although I think Patrick prefers to use the Foundation forum, I read both.

What are you trying to say? Are you trying to say the Foundation represents all of Bitcoin or just its members?  You seem to want to sidestep this important issue with a vague reply.  Sure, anyone can post anything anywhere but is the Foundation claiming to represent those interests of people who post here or just their members who pay?

They don't even care about foundation members. The Foundation is a way to make rich its "founders". That was obvious from the day 1 when they violated their own by-laws.
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November 10, 2013, 04:48:52 PM
 #17

Nobody, not paying members of the Foundation nor anyone else, has the power to force Patrick to say anything in particular in front of the committee hearing. It will be him taking the oath and giving the testimony, not "the Bitcoin community".

However, Patrick is a reasonable man who listens to input and advice. Unsurprisingly given that Foundation members pay his salary, he primarily listens to them. I've also been giving him input and ideas, and I read this forum. So if someone comes up with some good ideas or talking points I would try and ensure that gets his attention.

To put it bluntly, I think all the above is obvious and common sense. If you would like to contribute, start thinking of intelligent things that could be said instead of flaming people and picking fights.
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November 10, 2013, 05:02:46 PM
 #18

On the 18th November, which is a bit over a week from now, members of the Bitcoin community will be testifying in front of the US Senate in two committee hearings...

Waste of time. A decentralized currency doesn't need that.
You are talking bullshit (as usual I guess - hence the high ignore ratio ?).
As of today, world is **not** decentralized or distributed like Bitcoin. So it is obvious that a bridge between the two worlds is necessary.

If the bridge we have is a good bridge is a matter for another discussion. But I myself am satisfied with it. For now.

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November 10, 2013, 05:10:24 PM
 #19

Bitcoin exists exactly to solve the problem they created. Going to speak with them is useless, if it would be useful then we would not need bitcoin, we would just go there and tell them "ehi what about stop printing money like there is no tomorrow, what about the current financial system being totally fucked, what about frozen money, what about trillions and trillions of debts, what about bailing out banks with people money etcetc"

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November 10, 2013, 05:11:05 PM
 #20

You are talking bullshit (as usual I guess - hence the high ignore ratio ?).

Wrong guess.


As of today, world is **not** decentralized or distributed like Bitcoin. So it is obvious that a bridge between the two worlds is necessary.

U r wrong again.
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November 10, 2013, 05:12:54 PM
 #21

Bitcoin exists exactly to solve the problem they created. Going to speak with them is useless, if it would be useful then we would not need bitcoin, we would just go there and tell them "ehi what about stop printing money like there is no tomorrow, what about the current financial system being totally fucked, what about frozen money, what about trillions and trillions of debts, what about bailing out banks with people money etcetc"

+21000000

The complete title of this thread should be "Bitcoin at the US Senate tries to lick some arses".
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November 10, 2013, 05:34:30 PM
 #22

Cooperating with the state.
Giving them useful information when you aren't forced to?

It amazes me the bitcoin community isn't unequivocally against this, bitcoins ability to get around the draconian rules states enforce is the entire reason it has potential. Why help the enemy? Because you believe doing so helps bitcoin appear more "legitimate" in your eyes? The currency stands on it's own, it doesn't need a stamp from the state of legitimacy or regulation.

Not that I think the states attempts to regulate it will be successful, never the less I give my sincere "fuck you guys" to everyone attending.
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November 10, 2013, 05:55:23 PM
 #23

Going to speak with them is useless

that's the point
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November 10, 2013, 06:00:31 PM
 #24

I would make it clear that it is very possible that Bitcoin represents a paradigm shift in how people will understand and use money.
People will eventually value it because of its underlying characteristics which are superior to fiat currencies.
It is global in nature and therefore it will be very difficult or even impossible for any single government to control.
Capital will flee to those jurisdictions who are most Bitcoin friendly.
Governments will likely have to shift from income to sales taxes for their revenue.
I may suggest that if the US Treasury/ Federal Reserve has fewer gold reserves than suspected then it may be wise and more cost effective for them to buy "a few" bitcoins as opposed to gold to back their Federal Reserve Notes.

I would also stress the Honey Badger aspect of Bitcoin in a non-threatening way. It is what it is and ultimately will evolve in a truly free market manner.
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November 10, 2013, 06:05:19 PM
Last edit: November 10, 2013, 06:34:36 PM by Bitware
 #25

TBF reps... please keep in your minds the following:

Quote from: Thomas Jefferson - 3rd President of the United States of America
"I believe banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies!

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, 1st by inflation, then by deflation, the banks & corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

"The issuing power of money should be taken away from the banks and restored to The People to whom it properly belongs."

Quote from: James Madison - 4th President of the United States of America
“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance.”

Quote from: Andrew Jackson - 7th President of the United States of America
"Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out!"

Represent well, TBF.
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November 10, 2013, 06:23:09 PM
 #26

I would like to attend this meeting, even if I have to sit quietly in the back. Is there information on how I might be able to do that? I,d also like to help any way I can (I'm near DC)

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November 10, 2013, 06:33:49 PM
 #27

I would be prepared to dismantle absurd accusations, or beliefs, that bitcoin is involved in criminal activity, or that bitcoin is maintained by so called dangerous hackers.

Its not going to be easy to get that across, and I personally believe we would be better off saying as little as possible at this point.
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November 10, 2013, 06:52:40 PM
 #28

They can't understand it themselves like the member here did?

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November 10, 2013, 06:56:17 PM
 #29

They can't understand it themselves like the member here did?

A significant percentage of Bitcoin users don't understand Bitcoin, let alone the masses who haven't even tried.

Still around.
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November 10, 2013, 07:11:30 PM
 #30

Quote from: Thomas Jefferson - 3rd President of the United States of America
"I believe banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies!

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, 1st by inflation, then by deflation, the banks & corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

"The issuing power of money should be taken away from the banks and restored to The People to whom it properly belongs."

Quote from: James Madison - 4th President of the United States of America
“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance.”


Aren't these arguments for the nationalization of currency issuance?

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November 10, 2013, 07:15:57 PM
 #31

They can't understand it themselves like the member here did?

A significant percentage of Bitcoin users don't understand Bitcoin, let alone the masses who haven't even tried.
Yet I do. This means that I'm smarter than the members of the US Senate, correct?

"The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks"
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November 10, 2013, 07:16:55 PM
 #32

I would like to attend this meeting, even if I have to sit quietly in the back. Is there information on how I might be able to do that? I,d also like to help any way I can (I'm near DC)

Aren't congressional hearings publicly accessible in the US. In the Netherlands everyone can attend hearings by parliament (as long as there is enough room).
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November 10, 2013, 07:34:27 PM
Last edit: November 10, 2013, 09:03:33 PM by Bitware
 #33

Quote from: Thomas Jefferson - 3rd President of the United States of America
"I believe banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies!

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, 1st by inflation, then by deflation, the banks & corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

"The issuing power of money should be taken away from the banks and restored to The People to whom it properly belongs."

Quote from: James Madison - 4th President of the United States of America
“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance.”


Aren't these arguments for the nationalization of currency issuance?

Yes.

I believe privatization/partnership is how we got where we are to begin with.  I believe in governments and national currencies, just not our current left-right paradigm of boxed choices and representation that's highly corruptible, most policy nor 3rd party interest/debt-based fiat through a private cabal of international bankers.

I do not believe Bitcoin will replace national currencies, but may move governments to reform, or at least compete. Naturally, competition should either reform current banking ways and means or destroy it, but the governments may have to reform as well, then possibly coin their own money for the benefit of The People. I believe Bitcoin can teach many good lessons to governments and peoples from information not previously as easily-available nor openly visible as it is today. That trust should not necessarily be at issue. That systems can and are being designed and implemented to minimize or remove risk and corruption.

We need a world currency where no one nation, nor group of nations are at an advantage over any others.

That said, those quotes were posted to remind TBF representatives of the core of who and what they are going up against...

People who lie, cheat, steal and kill to get their way.
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November 10, 2013, 07:37:14 PM
 #34

Assume the presumed is true: "China is increasing their BTC holdings and they intend to eventually use this position to help destabilize USD as the world's reserve currency", the goal of this hearing is a forgone conclusion: they will (*one could argue, try to) take Bitcoin out, much like they took Gaddafi out.

*While they might not be able to take Bitcoin out completely, they can surely reduce its usefulness, hamper widespread adoption and drive its value down.

Thoughts?

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November 10, 2013, 07:37:54 PM
 #35

They can't understand it themselves like the member here did?

A significant percentage of Bitcoin users don't understand Bitcoin, let alone the masses who haven't even tried.
Yet I do. This means that I'm smarter than the members of the US Senate, correct?

I'm afraid so...
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November 10, 2013, 07:55:03 PM
 #36

The senate will be making a choice:

  • Try to profit from it
  • Try to ban it

And this hearing might have some influence on which path they will walk.
We as a community should think hard about which we want them to try first.
In the long term we all hope that, if Bitcoin works as we hope it does, governments will lose power either way...
But which scenario gives Bitcoin a higher probability of creating value (either for you personally or for society) sooner rather than later?
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November 10, 2013, 08:03:50 PM
 #37

Bitcoin Foundation shouldn't even exist..
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November 10, 2013, 08:10:39 PM
 #38

The senate will be making a choice:

  • Try to profit from it
  • Try to ban it

And this hearing might have some influence on which path they will walk.
We as a community should think hard about which we want them to try first.
In the long term we all hope that, if Bitcoin works as we hope it does, governments will lose power either way...
But which scenario gives Bitcoin a higher probability of creating value (either for you personally or for society) sooner rather than later?

You forgot one other choice:

- Go home thinking that bitcoin is a computer amateurs toy that will go away in a year or two
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November 10, 2013, 08:15:36 PM
Last edit: November 27, 2013, 01:28:32 PM by Bitware
 #39

The senate will be making a choice:

  • Try to profit from it
  • Try to ban it

And this hearing might have some influence on which path they will walk.
We as a community should think hard about which we want them to try first.
In the long term we all hope that, if Bitcoin works as we hope it does, governments will lose power either way...
But which scenario gives Bitcoin a higher probability of creating value (either for you personally or for society) sooner rather than later?

You forgot one other choice:

- Go home thinking that bitcoin is a computer amateurs toy that will go away in a year or two

Impossible.

Their money changer, money trust and robber baron controllers know better.

They see exponentially-increasing numbers of normal people converting wealth from traditional securities/paper to Bitcoin, away from their cabal.

They see the peasants learning... and stirring restlessly.
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November 10, 2013, 08:34:45 PM
 #40

You can also post ideas here, of course. Although I think Patrick prefers to use the Foundation forum, I read both.

Hi Mike,

Well, here is my suggestions...

I think one of the biggest issue at the moment is a wide spread misconception about what exactly is Bitcoin. As evidenced by this forum, there is a mass of people which are not aware that Bitcoin is just a software which allows people to use a medium of exchange defined as BTC. There are many people projecting their expectation and insecurities over the concept of the Bitcoin software.

If I was called to testify, I would ensure to be prepared to explain how exactly the Bitcoin software works in every detail, but with simple explanations. In other words, I would really teach the enquirers as best I could about the Bitcoin software. I would even do live demonstrations to let the audience to understand better what exactly the Bitcoin software can do.

I believe that providing the most accurate information to people in position of power always results in good outcomes. Misinformation can lead to wrong decisions and serious failures. It is important to ensure the enquirers understand that:

- BTC is NOT a currency (the enquirers need to be assured that BTC is a digital medium of exchange which is evaluated against national currencies, mainly the USD. This is very important because it will shape the future decisions to create laws regarding the utilization of BTC in the financial market. So they have to learn that BTC has to be regulated as medium of exchange, not as currency.)

- Bitcoin was NOT developed to undermine the utilization of fiat currencies or replace money transmission business (this is one of the more common misconceptions about the Bitcoin software. People believe that Bitcoin was made to replace business like Visa, Paypal, Western Union, etc. This is, of course, a delusional belief. The Bitcoin software could never replace such business because it not offer the necessary structure required to operate such business. So it is important the enquirers understand that the Bitcoin software was initially developed to offer an alternative way to transmit money. I would tell the enquirers that any financial institution today could use the Bitcoin software to transmit money, including any departments of the federal government such as the IRS.)

- Bitcoin do NOT facilitate criminal activities (this must be explained in very precise details because is directed correlated to national security. The enquirers must to know that transactions generated by the Bitcoin network are not under control of one single entity, but it is recorded in a single virtual ledger which is quite difficult to tamper. So there is a way to keep track of how much money is transmitted in the Bitcoin network.)
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November 10, 2013, 08:51:44 PM
 #41

I would like to attend this meeting, even if I have to sit quietly in the back. Is there information on how I might be able to do that? I,d also like to help any way I can (I'm near DC)

11/18/13 02:30PM Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies

 SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building  

http://www.aoc.gov/capitol-buildings/dirksen-senate-office-building

These hearing are normally open to the public but you may wish to call ahead.

U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs:

340 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC, 20510
(202) 224-2627

Good... good.  Judging by the meeting title they will be focusing on a small and trivial application of the technology.  By the time they fully grasp the implications of of the more profound applications of cryptocurrency, it will be far to late to be able to take any action to prevent its growth (if its not too late already).
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November 10, 2013, 08:52:30 PM
 #42

- Bitcoin was NOT developed to undermine the utilization of fiat currencies or replace money transmission business (this is one of the more common misconceptions about the Bitcoin software. People believe that Bitcoin was made to replace business like Visa, Paypal, Western Union, etc. This is, of course, a delusional belief. The Bitcoin software could never replace such business because it not offer the necessary structure required to operate such business. So it is important the enquirers understand that the Bitcoin software was initially developed to offer an alternative way to transmit money. I would tell the enquirers that any financial institution today could use the Bitcoin software to transmit money, including any departments of the federal government such as the IRS.)

I don't agree with this but making them believe so is the right thing to do

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November 10, 2013, 08:53:43 PM
 #43

Bitcoin Foundation shouldn't even exist..
This is also correct.

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November 10, 2013, 09:25:43 PM
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Bitcoin Foundation shouldn't even exist..
This is also correct.

Why the Bitcoin foundation should not exist?
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November 10, 2013, 09:27:31 PM
 #45

Bitcoin Foundation shouldn't even exist..
This is also correct.

Why the Bitcoin foundation should not exist?
Why should it exist?

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November 10, 2013, 09:33:54 PM
 #46

Bankers funnel millions into the coffers of lawmakers and lobbyists to do their bidding and get laws written that are favorable to them. There are many companies that use Bitcoin as a foundation of their business, and consumers that do not want to have banking extract wealth from them by inserting itself into their money storage and payments, and it is reasonable for a lobbying group to exist that can collectively represent their interests too.
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November 10, 2013, 09:55:09 PM
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You can also post ideas here, of course. Although I think Patrick prefers to use the Foundation forum, I read both.
...
- Bitcoin was NOT developed to undermine the utilization of fiat currencies or replace money transmission business (this is one of the more common misconceptions about the Bitcoin software. People believe that Bitcoin was made to replace business like Visa, Paypal, Western Union, etc. This is, of course, a delusional belief. The Bitcoin software could never replace such business because it not offer the necessary structure required to operate such business. So it is important the enquirers understand that the Bitcoin software was initially developed to offer an alternative way to transmit money. I would tell the enquirers that any financial institution today could use the Bitcoin software to transmit money, including any departments of the federal government such as the IRS.)
...

You make some good points here. Still, I have to say that fiat based businesses is doing just fine replacing them self these days. While that is not a good argument at the Senate, I hope bitcoin has what it takes to replace them if the time comes.
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November 10, 2013, 09:56:10 PM
 #48

It's Foundation and Empire!  Azimov was right!
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November 10, 2013, 09:58:02 PM
 #49

I like many think that attendance of such hearings is a big mistake.

But if you are going to go and talk to the US government about Bitcoin, please reassure us that you don't intend to get involved in discussions about tainting coins or tying coins to government sanctioned identities.

If the "core" team goes anywhere near that I'm sure I will not be the only one abandoning Bitcoin, or doing everything in my power to support a fork which removes anything of that kind.

Honestly, it is much better not to engage with the government about these things - not necessarily because government is evil and we must all be anarchist, but because the whole point of Bitcoin is to have no centre, and therefore no spokespeople.

Bitcoin speaks for itself.


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November 10, 2013, 10:02:33 PM
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To the people bashing this you are either just mindless anarchists or just flat out dumb.

What the Bitcoin Foundation is trying to do is get the US powers that be to understand bitcoin and not stiffen bitcoin businesses in the US.

Unfortunately the US is a land of laws, and bitcoin can attempt to explain laws that should be put in to place that won't stop adaptation.

Bitcoin can go on without the US saying so, but it can also become successful quickly if the US adapts sensible laws.

Regardless, bitcoin will live whether the US attempts to thwart it or not.
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November 10, 2013, 10:03:40 PM
 #51

I would like to attend this meeting, even if I have to sit quietly in the back. Is there information on how I might be able to do that? I,d also like to help any way I can (I'm near DC)

11/18/13 02:30PM Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies

 SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building  

http://www.aoc.gov/capitol-buildings/dirksen-senate-office-building

These hearing are normally open to the public but you may wish to call ahead.

U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs:

340 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC, 20510
(202) 224-2627

Excellent, THANK YOU! (sent a tip for your help with this 0.003)

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November 10, 2013, 10:03:55 PM
 #52

On the 18th November, which is a bit over a week from now, members of the Bitcoin community will be testifying in front of the US Senate in two committee hearings...

Waste of time. A decentralized currency doesn't need that.


+1

Centralized Regulation is the antithesis of Decentralized.   
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November 10, 2013, 10:10:37 PM
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To the people bashing this you are either just mindless anarchists or just flat out dumb.

What the Bitcoin Foundation is trying to do is get the US powers that be to understand bitcoin and not stiffen bitcoin businesses in the US.

Unfortunately the US is a land of laws, and bitcoin can attempt to explain laws that should be put in to place that won't stop adaptation.

Bitcoin can go on without the US saying so, but it can also become successful quickly if the US adapts sensible laws.

Regardless, bitcoin will live whether the US attempts to thwart it or not.

You accuse us of being dumb, but actually I think that is a naive position. Yes, you can enter into a dialogue with state power to negotiate a set of rules for Bitcoin. What happens when they say that (a) all ownership of bitcoin must be registered with a government department (b) all buying and selling must be through regulated exchanges - thus exchanging in a localbitcoins style transaction is illegal, (c) such buying and selling through regulated exchanges is subject to KYC, AML and all stolen bitcoins will be illegal to transact with (and confiscated by the government, no doubt).

Maybe you understand and accept all that, and you just don't see its awful implications. This will just be the beginning. Given the chance, they will cripple bitcoin any way they can to try to remove its obvious superiorities over their fiat currencies. This is not about individuals being evil or in conspiracies, it's the inevitability of incentives.

I'm going to (indulgently) quote something I myself wrote on another thread:
Quote
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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November 10, 2013, 10:29:07 PM
 #54

To the people bashing this you are either just mindless anarchists or just flat out dumb.

What the Bitcoin Foundation is trying to do is get the US powers that be to understand bitcoin and not stiffen bitcoin businesses in the US.

Unfortunately the US is a land of laws, and bitcoin can attempt to explain laws that should be put in to place that won't stop adaptation.

Bitcoin can go on without the US saying so, but it can also become successful quickly if the US adapts sensible laws.

Regardless, bitcoin will live whether the US attempts to thwart it or not.

You accuse us of being dumb, but actually I think that is a naive position. Yes, you can enter into a dialogue with state power to negotiate a set of rules for Bitcoin. What happens when they say that (a) all ownership of bitcoin must be registered with a government department (b) all buying and selling must be through regulated exchanges - thus exchanging in a localbitcoins style transaction is illegal, (c) such buying and selling through regulated exchanges is subject to KYC, AML and all stolen bitcoins will be illegal to transact with (and confiscated by the government, no doubt).

And how is entering a discussion going to make this happen faster?  They will do this whether they (the powers that be) want to or not.  By offering dialogue at least it leaves open discussion to not let this happen.  Just sitting back and not being proactive and pretending the government is not interested is not going to achieve anything.

And again, even if they did deem something like localbitcoins illegal, it is not enforceable.  

You can also post ideas here, of course. Although I think Patrick prefers to use the Foundation forum, I read both.

Hi Mike,

Well, here is my suggestions...

I think one of the biggest issue at the moment is a wide spread misconception about what exactly is Bitcoin. As evidenced by this forum, there is a mass of people which are not aware that Bitcoin is just a software which allows people to use a medium of exchange defined as BTC. There are many people projecting their expectation and insecurities over the concept of the Bitcoin software.

If I was called to testify, I would ensure to be prepared to explain how exactly the Bitcoin software works in every detail, but with simple explanations. In other words, I would really teach the enquirers as best I could about the Bitcoin software. I would even do live demonstrations to let the audience to understand better what exactly the Bitcoin software can do.

I believe that providing the most accurate information to people in position of power always results in good outcomes. Misinformation can lead to wrong decisions and serious failures. It is important to ensure the enquirers understand that:

- BTC is NOT a currency (the enquirers need to be assured that BTC is a digital medium of exchange which is evaluated against national currencies, mainly the USD. This is very important because it will shape the future decisions to create laws regarding the utilization of BTC in the financial market. So they have to learn that BTC has to be regulated as medium of exchange, not as currency.)

- Bitcoin was NOT developed to undermine the utilization of fiat currencies or replace money transmission business (this is one of the more common misconceptions about the Bitcoin software. People believe that Bitcoin was made to replace business like Visa, Paypal, Western Union, etc. This is, of course, a delusional belief. The Bitcoin software could never replace such business because it not offer the necessary structure required to operate such business. So it is important the enquirers understand that the Bitcoin software was initially developed to offer an alternative way to transmit money. I would tell the enquirers that any financial institution today could use the Bitcoin software to transmit money, including any departments of the federal government such as the IRS.)

- Bitcoin do NOT facilitate criminal activities (this must be explained in very precise details because is directed correlated to national security. The enquirers must to know that transactions generated by the Bitcoin network are not under control of one single entity, but it is recorded in a single virtual ledger which is quite difficult to tamper. So there is a way to keep track of how much money is transmitted in the Bitcoin network.)

+1 
This is exactly what I am talking about. 

The only real post of substance here other than people who really seem to have no idea how the world works and are stuck inside their little bitcoin bubble.
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November 10, 2013, 10:33:05 PM
 #55

Waste of time. A decentralized currency doesn't need that.


+1

Centralized Regulation is the antithesis of Decentralized.   
My point exactly. Don't really need the foundation either.

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November 10, 2013, 10:39:41 PM
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And how is entering a discussion going to make this happen faster?  They will do this whether they (the powers that be) want to or not.  By offering dialogue at least it leaves open discussion to not let this happen.  Just sitting back and not being proactive and pretending the government is not interested is not going to achieve anything.

And again, even if they did deem something like localbitcoins illegal, it is not enforceable.  

By entering into a dialogue with the US govt. about it, you are tacitly accepting that they have any authority to make such rules. They don't. Bitcoin is not American, for a start. As much as I'm concerned about what governments think and do (I believe they can create huge problems for Bitcoin adoption), I'm even more concerned about the extent to which the general population will be swayed by their governments' propaganda. As you say, many possible rules they could make up are theoretically unenforceable. I mostly worry that people will fall into line though, especially with concepts like coin tainting, as apparently the masses have already been thoroughly and effectively brainwashed into believing that there is such a crime as "money laundering".

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November 10, 2013, 10:46:32 PM
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Quote
By entering into a dialogue with the US govt. about it, you are tacitly accepting that they have any authority to make such rules.
They do, like it or not.  If you fail to understand this you are living in a bubble.

And I disagree that by accepting to communicate is any indication of accepting they have authority - not sure why you think this.

If anything, they can explain how they DON'T have the authority to stop bitcoin (see localbitcoins) and why it would be in their best interest to not stifle and come up with sensible legislation.

Quote
Bitcoin is not American, for a start.
Definitely, but they can control Bitcoin in America to a limited extent.

Quote
I'm even more concerned about the extent to which the general population will be swayed by their governments' propaganda.
Yet another reason why entering into a dialogue is essential.  If we (the bitcoin foundation) is able to adequately debunk the often touted myths then job well done.  If not, then nothing lossed and they will do what they have set out to do.

If nobody steps up to the plate they will continue regardless.

Discussion can only help - I do not see how it can hurt.

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November 10, 2013, 10:53:51 PM
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Quote
By entering into a dialogue with the US govt. about it, you are tacitly accepting that they have any authority to make such rules.
They do, like it or not.  If you fail to understand this you are living in a bubble.

Quote
Bitcoin is not American, for a start.
Definitely, but they can control Bitcoin in America to a limited extent.

So what authority do you think they have? They shouldn't have authority over me at all (in theory) since I neither live nor have citizenship of the US - and nevertheless their laws impact on my freedom to transfer my money between different countries and bank accounts, which is already abhorrent.
But that aside, do you really think they have ethical authority over private transfers of wealth between individuals?

Be aware I'm not making the argument that all taxation is unethical (I'm not taking a position on that, don't want to go down that road).

And leave out these ad-hominems "dumb", "living in bubble" etc. Argue the point.


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November 10, 2013, 11:02:38 PM
 #59

So what authority do you think they have? They shouldn't have authority over me at all (in theory) since I neither live nor have citizenship of the US - and nevertheless their laws impact on my freedom to transfer my money between different countries and bank accounts, which is already abhorrent.
But that aside, do you really think they have ethical authority over private transfers of wealth between individuals?

Be aware I'm not making the argument that all taxation is unethical (I'm not taking a position on that, don't want to go down that road).

And leave out these ad-hominems "dumb", "living in bubble" etc. Argue the point.


You make a good point, I concur. They should not have any authority over it. It's technically never going to be a bitcoin in america, rather on the internet  Roll Eyes

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November 10, 2013, 11:09:32 PM
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They don't even care about foundation members. The Foundation is a way to make rich its "founders". That was obvious from the day 1 when they violated their own by-laws.

How did they do that?
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November 10, 2013, 11:19:52 PM
 #61

You can also post ideas here, of course. Although I think Patrick prefers to use the Foundation forum, I read both.

Hi Mike,

Well, here is my suggestions...

I think one of the biggest issue at the moment is a wide spread misconception about what exactly is Bitcoin. As evidenced by this forum, there is a mass of people which are not aware that Bitcoin is just a software which allows people to use a medium of exchange defined as BTC. There are many people projecting their expectation and insecurities over the concept of the Bitcoin software.

If I was called to testify, I would ensure to be prepared to explain how exactly the Bitcoin software works in every detail, but with simple explanations. In other words, I would really teach the enquirers as best I could about the Bitcoin software. I would even do live demonstrations to let the audience to understand better what exactly the Bitcoin software can do.

I believe that providing the most accurate information to people in position of power always results in good outcomes. Misinformation can lead to wrong decisions and serious failures. It is important to ensure the enquirers understand that:

- BTC is NOT a currency (the enquirers need to be assured that BTC is a digital medium of exchange which is evaluated against national currencies, mainly the USD. This is very important because it will shape the future decisions to create laws regarding the utilization of BTC in the financial market. So they have to learn that BTC has to be regulated as medium of exchange, not as currency.)
Please explain the functional difference between "currency" and "medium of exchange".

Quote
- Bitcoin was NOT developed to undermine the utilization of fiat currencies or replace money transmission business (this is one of the more common misconceptions about the Bitcoin software. People believe that Bitcoin was made to replace business like Visa, Paypal, Western Union, etc. This is, of course, a delusional belief. The Bitcoin software could never replace such business because it not offer the necessary structure required to operate such business. So it is important the enquirers understand that the Bitcoin software was initially developed to offer an alternative way to transmit money. I would tell the enquirers that any financial institution today could use the Bitcoin software to transmit money, including any departments of the federal government such as the IRS.)

If you think that Bitcoin was not meant to replace the functioning of businesses like Western Union, perhaps you could explain the very first sentence of the very first thing ever written about Bitcoin by Sastoshi Nakamoto (the whitepaper):
Quote
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.

Quote
- Bitcoin do NOT facilitate criminal activities (this must be explained in very precise details because is directed correlated to national security. The enquirers must to know that transactions generated by the Bitcoin network are not under control of one single entity, but it is recorded in a single virtual ledger which is quite difficult to tamper. So there is a way to keep track of how much money is transmitted in the Bitcoin network.)
I would like to hear these "very precise details". If like me, you consider that the transfer of cash is itself not a criminal act, so that money laundering is not a real crime, that's one thing; but to say that cash does not "facilitate" criminal activities is a bit of a stretch... There is no difference with Bitcoin, since it functions (at least for now) just like cash, except on the internet. My point is that trying to argue with the US govt. that "Bitcoin does not facilitate criminal activities" will be a completely losing proposition, since they do believe that there is such a crime as "money laundering", and to the extent that one does believe in such a thing, Bitcoin is an excellent way to do it, obviously.

The subtext of all your comments is that you (and many others here) think that the US government can be persuaded to look at Bitcoin in a friendly way. Indeed they can, but only if it is bent to their will.

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November 10, 2013, 11:31:46 PM
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Quote
By entering into a dialogue with the US govt. about it, you are tacitly accepting that they have any authority to make such rules.
They do, like it or not.  If you fail to understand this you are living in a bubble.

Quote
Bitcoin is not American, for a start.
Definitely, but they can control Bitcoin in America to a limited extent.

So what authority do you think they have? They shouldn't have authority over me at all (in theory) since I neither live nor have citizenship of the US - and nevertheless their laws impact on my freedom to transfer my money between different countries and bank accounts, which is already abhorrent.
But that aside, do you really think they have ethical authority over private transfers of wealth between individuals?

Be aware I'm not making the argument that all taxation is unethical (I'm not taking a position on that, don't want to go down that road).

And leave out these ad-hominems "dumb", "living in bubble" etc. Argue the point.



It's up for debate what authority they should have.  But they can thwart businesses from accepting it if Bitcon remains symbolic to pedo/terrorist/drug users.  

A few examples, they can shut down BitPayCoinbase (which have been instrumental to bitcoins recent success), and every other company residing in the US.  This will only force businesses to move outside of America.  I don't think the Senate is naieve enough to think they can completely control bitcoin if/when they understand it.

But I regress, why do you think it is bad for communication with the Senate?  What harm can be done in reality, and how would you argue against my statement that only good can become of this - with the stipulation that if no communication was made they would already do what they are set out to do?

Things that will likely happen and become legislation specifically for Bitcoin (and already has in the bitcoin-sphere) is the continuance of AML/KYC laws.
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November 10, 2013, 11:39:37 PM
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It's up for debate what authority they should have.  But they can thwart businesses from accepting it if Bitcon remains symbolic to pedo/terrorist/drug users.  

A few examples, they can shut down Coinbase, and every other company residing in the US.  This will only force businesses to move outside of America.  I don't think the Senate is naieve enough to think they can completely control bitcoin if/when they understand it.

But I regress, why do you think it is bad for communication with the Senate?  What harm can be done in reality, and how would you argue against my statement that only good can become of this - with the stipulation that if no communication was made they would already do what they are set out to do?

We're rehashing old ground now. What you say in the first sentence, I already said in post 58. And my answer to your question "what harm can be done" is in post 61: "By entering into a dialogue with the US govt. about it, you are tacitly accepting that they have any authority to make such rules."

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November 10, 2013, 11:42:45 PM
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It's up for debate what authority they should have.  But they can thwart businesses from accepting it if Bitcon remains symbolic to pedo/terrorist/drug users.  

A few examples, they can shut down Coinbase, and every other company residing in the US.  This will only force businesses to move outside of America.  I don't think the Senate is naieve enough to think they can completely control bitcoin if/when they understand it.

But I regress, why do you think it is bad for communication with the Senate?  What harm can be done in reality, and how would you argue against my statement that only good can become of this - with the stipulation that if no communication was made they would already do what they are set out to do?

We're rehashing old ground now. What you say in the first sentence, I already said in post 58. And my answer to your question "what harm can be done" is in post 61: "By entering into a dialogue with the US govt. about it, you are tacitly accepting that they have any authority to make such rules."

And I have already stated that I do not think that is a logical assumption.  

Let me put it in a different context:  How will doing nothing i.e. not communicating with them help Bitcoin in any way?  Don't you think communication will at least give us a chance to "argue" our POV?  If they listen/agree or not what difference does it make?

All in all, they will do whatever they want, because they can.  Attempting to educate them is a step towards steering them in the right direction.
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November 10, 2013, 11:43:45 PM
 #65

By entering into a dialogue with the US govt. about it, you are tacitly accepting that they have any authority to make such rules. They don't. Bitcoin is not American, for a start. As much as I'm concerned about what governments think and do (I believe they can create huge problems for Bitcoin adoption), I'm even more concerned about the extent to which the general population will be swayed by their governments' propaganda. As you say, many possible rules they could make up are theoretically unenforceable. I mostly worry that people will fall into line though, especially with concepts like coin tainting, as apparently the masses have already been thoroughly and effectively brainwashed into believing that there is such a crime as "money laundering".

The USA federal government have the authority to make whatever rules is necessary to regulate whatever happens inside their political borders. Whatever a person accept or not, the USA federal government can and will rule over a software being used by USA citizens, mainly when this software use an algorithm which was developed by themselves.
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November 10, 2013, 11:48:50 PM
 #66

I would like to attend this meeting, even if I have to sit quietly in the back. Is there information on how I might be able to do that? I,d also like to help any way I can (I'm near DC)

Call your congressman's office and ask. The congress reps are really approachable.

Edit: Rassah -- glad to see you are on the right track.

Hardforks aren't that hard. It’s getting others to use them that's hard.
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November 11, 2013, 12:22:10 AM
 #67

Please explain the functional difference between "currency" and "medium of exchange".

A currency can be literally converted to another currency, while a medium of exchange cannot be converted to a currency. This happened many times during periods of fast inflation in the Brazilian economy. The Brazilian central bank had to convert the currency in circulation for another, otherwise there would not be enough currency in circulation to keep the Brazilian economy stable. Thus, BTC cannot be converted to another currency because it supply and circulation are not under the control of a central authority.

Moreover, BTC cannot be literally hold by an individual, while a currency can be hold in form of banknotes and coins. No person hold any BTC, but only a private password which allows them transfer some digits from one imaginary point to another. Without a computer with access to the Internet, that process is impossible to be reproduced.

Quote
If you think that Bitcoin was not meant to replace the functioning of businesses like Western Union, perhaps you could explain the very first sentence of the very first thing ever written about Bitcoin by Sastoshi Nakamoto (the whitepaper):
Quote
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.

The first sentence is describing the Bitcoin software allows payments being made using the Internet without the need of a financial institution to validate the transactions.

Which part you did not comprehend?

Quote
I would like to hear these "very precise details". If like me, you consider that the transfer of cash is itself not a criminal act, so that money laundering is not a real crime, that's one thing; but to say that cash does not "facilitate" criminal activities is a bit of a stretch... There is no difference with Bitcoin, since it functions (at least for now) just like cash, except on the internet. My point is that trying to argue with the US govt. that "Bitcoin does not facilitate criminal activities" will be a completely losing proposition, since they do believe that there is such a crime as "money laundering", and to the extent that one does believe in such a thing, Bitcoin is an excellent way to do it, obviously.

The subtext of all your comments is that you (and many others here) think that the US government can be persuaded to look at Bitcoin in a friendly way. Indeed they can, but only if it is bent to their will.

If you think that conceal or disguise money obtained from illicit trade is not a crime, then I am sure you are not properly informed about the current legislation of many countries.
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November 11, 2013, 12:35:09 AM
 #68

I don't know how these Senate hearings go down, but I would be very conservative about what I would be willing to talk about.
If a discussion starts to stray into issues like crime, money laundering, hacking and the like, I would constantly refuse to have an opinion about it as I can not not talk on behalf of others.
This is not something bitcoin can or should answer for.

That might be something worth preparing for.
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November 11, 2013, 12:54:50 AM
 #69

Maybe it's nice to point out that bitcoin is independent from any sovereign states that the governments do clearly understand that they should not attempt any take over.

Take over means, influence the code and the institutions bridging fiat and bitcoin.

That said it is wise to lay open the issue of privacy and also the surveillance.
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November 11, 2013, 01:03:49 AM
 #70

I knew some of the bitcoin crowd were rather extreme in their views but the niavity shown by posts in this thread defies belief. Bitcoin wasn't created to take down fiat currencies or visa or paypal. They are all different things with different pros and cons. Bitcoin has nothing whatsoever to do with the rights and wrongs of the current financial system other than giving power back to individuals over their own money. Which is an awesome thing to do.

It's a financial instrument, an awesome technology, that's completely new and hence existing regulations don't cover it.

These kinds of meetings are required to ensure that when regulations and laws are updated, they are updated with an understanding of bitcoin and not without.

So do you want a bitcoin where it's entirely black market, (more) rife with scammers, and usable only by the technical elite and criminals, or do you want it to give power to real people, people who want to send money to their friends or relatives, who want to accept payment without hassles and political interference, who can't access bank accounts or credit cards, and so on?

If you want it to be black market and exclusive, tell the 'Feds' where to go, but that makes no sense at all. They aren't all against you and they aren't all out to kill bitcoin. It's the attitudes like some of you have demonstrated here that do give bitcoin a bad name, that do make people want to throw it back at you. You sound like petulant teenagers telling mum and dad you hate them before running up to your room.

Bitcoin isn't yours. It doesn't belong to you. It belongs to everyone. So don't spoil it for the rest of us. Whoever is speaking on behalf of bitcoin needs your support, not your petulant rants.

TL;DR - grow up, man up, look around and smell the coffee. Bitcoin needs to fit into the regulatory climate so it can become mainstream. Only then can it truly throw the financial shackles off much of the world. And lord help us it bloody needs it.
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November 11, 2013, 01:12:12 AM
 #71

Will this be broadcast anywhere such as CSPAN? 
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November 11, 2013, 01:49:40 AM
 #72

Man, if simply meeting with the government regulators is going to totally kill bitcoin, I'm out. Anyone want my 10BTC? It obviously has no chance to stand up to any government, and will be worthless in... What, one or two weeks?

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November 11, 2013, 01:52:06 AM
 #73

Man, if simply meeting with the government regulators is going to totally kill bitcoin, I'm out. Anyone want my 10BTC? It obviously has no chance to stand up to any government, and will be worthless in... What, one or two weeks?

Sure, I'll have it. Address in my sig. Cheers.
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November 11, 2013, 02:03:17 AM
 #74

Three points:

  • Governments can change in the manner that businesses threatened by the open source software development model adapted. The long-term benefits far outweigh immediate negative reactions.
  • Dollar supremacy is waning. Should other nations (Europe, China, Russia, etc.) mark their assets (esp. gold) to unleveraged markets, US debt would implode virtually overnight. Bitcoin stands to be a beneficiary of that event, as it has no debt foundation and does not recognize borders; likewise, it allows access to an international market simply by holding.

    Having XBT on the books would offset declining assets, particularly those held by the Federal Reserve and numerous other governmental agencies. While Bitcoin may be a risky asset, there is a certain catastrophe looming - any option to mediate that should be pursued.
  • The nascent Bitcoin economy has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of full-time jobs and independent contractors that do not require relocation outside of the US. This could also attract and renew international interest in American investment.

The fact that Bitcoin will thrive with or without the USG may be too confrontational, but it is a relevant item as well.
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November 11, 2013, 02:41:41 AM
Last edit: November 11, 2013, 03:26:51 AM by TheButterZone
 #75

Every time an inch of liberty is ceded, the totalitarians take googolplex light years. It will take illegal acts such as perjury and bribery to determine whether the exercises of economic liberty using bitcoin are eventually made multiple felonies (despite having no victims but we the future defendants), or not.

The Foundation vs The Establishment (which could very easily turn bitcoin against itself by paying untraceable BTC bribes and kickbacks to lawmakers to make BTC entirely "black market" i.e. eliminate their legal competition): which do you think has deeper pockets?

Saying that you don't trust someone because of their behavior is completely valid.
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November 11, 2013, 03:11:56 AM
 #76

1. Bitcoin is a unique asset class that allows Americans to diversify investments and therefore may allow America to better weather financial storms.  The 2008 financial crisis showed how the banking industry companies are tightly coupled and have a poorly understood interactive complexity.  These are the exact attributes identified by Charles Perrow in his seminal work "Normal Accidents" as creating a system that is prone to significant negative events.  Bitcoin's worldwide scope and weak connections to the traditional financial industry make it an independent system that is likely to remain unaffected by systemic financial industry crises.

1a. Banks today make most of their money in fees.  They are profiting from the financial difficulties or careless mistakes make by working Americans.  Bitcoin does not levy these fees.


2. Bitcoin is a worldwide phenomenon and so government intervention is limited in its possible scope.  Excessive regulation will simply drive companies elsewhere.  Excessive paperwork and registration fees (for MSB certification) is ALREADY driving legitimate bitcoin companies out of the USA (Tangible Cryptography, etc).  Regulation is difficult and possibly unconstitutional due to the unique digital nature of the system -- given that a Bitcoin has no intrinsic value is transferring one simply "speech"? (etc)  I'm sure Patrick knows these details much better than I, but the point is to throw out some FUD about the efficacy and value of any bill passed -- because nobody wants to author a stupid bill -- not to make an authoritative determination.

2a.  The MSB framework may make sense for a billion dollar company handling a trust-and-debt-based currency, but does not make sense for a cryptographically secure asset based system capable of micro-payment transfers.  To remain competitive in this critical emerging industry, a bill should be passed in the same philosophy as the one legalizing "kickstarter" projects.  This bill should create a single federal MSB registration system covering companies that wish to handle digital currencies below a certain value threshold.


3. The silk road headlines giving a USD value on the bust tremendously exaggerate the quantity of drugs because many of the coins were earned when Bitcoin was 1/50 or less of its current value ($300 vs $5).

3a. Arm yourself with lots of statistics about USD drug trade.

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November 11, 2013, 03:14:14 AM
 #77

Just make sure the Senators understand that possibilities for untraceable bribes and kickbacks exist with Bitcoin, and we'll never have any more problems from Washington again.
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November 11, 2013, 03:20:55 AM
 #78

Quote from: Augusto Croppo link=topic=329932.msg3543874#msg3543874

The USA federal government have the authority to make whatever rules is necessary to regulate whatever happens inside their political borders.

::le sigh:: Categorically false. The USA federal government has only the authority granted to it by the Constitution. Sadly, very few Americans understand this any longer. Even so, you will find very few elected officials that actually claim that they are not bound by the limits of the Constitution - no matter how tyrannical they act in fact.

Anyone with a campaign ad in their signature -- for an organization with which they are not otherwise affiliated -- is automatically deducted credibility points.

I've been convicted of heresy. Convicted by a mere known extortionist. Read my Trust for details.
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November 11, 2013, 03:28:11 AM
 #79

Quote from: Augusto Croppo link=topic=329932.msg3543874#msg3543874

The USA federal government have the authority to make whatever rules is necessary to regulate whatever happens inside their political borders.

::le sigh:: Categorically false. The USA federal government has only the authority granted to it by the Constitution. Sadly, very few Americans understand this any longer. Even so, you will find very few elected officials that actually claim that they are not bound by the limits of the Constitution - no matter how tyrannical they act in fact.

Might makes right.
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November 11, 2013, 04:25:19 AM
 #80

- BTC is NOT a currency (the enquirers need to be assured that BTC is a digital medium of exchange which is evaluated against national currencies, mainly the USD. This is very important because it will shape the future decisions to create laws regarding the utilization of BTC in the financial market. So they have to learn that BTC has to be regulated as medium of exchange, not as currency.)

Surely a currency IS a medium of exchange, thats its very definition.  Given that one can exchange Bitcoins for an increasingly wide range of items from electronics to holidays to ordering a pizza, or simply exchanging to other currencies of course via the many exchanges all over the world, it would be hard to convince the Senate that Bitcoin wasn't becoming a currency.



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November 11, 2013, 04:38:33 AM
 #81

Maybe in manner to which the Senate is accustomed you could obfuscate, stall and at eleventh hour produce a fait accomplit.

Produce an impenetrable 3000 page document on the night before the discussion, thump it on the desk when you arrive and say "What didn't you know, all the rules are in the book? So sorry, that's just the way it is now. Get back to us when you understand Bitcoin Law. (bring coders)."


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November 11, 2013, 05:00:37 AM
 #82

This thread revealed one thing Silly Bitcoin dislikes more than bitcointalk.org - the Bitcoin Foundation.



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November 11, 2013, 07:14:29 AM
 #83

They don't even care about foundation members. The Foundation is a way to make rich its "founders". That was obvious from the day 1 when they violated their own by-laws.

How did they do that?

From https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=114911.0:

Quote
I kindly ask any founder of The Bitcoin Foundation to publish addresses that were used to accept the fees. Especially I'm interested in those that were used to accept payments for Industry Memberships.

They were unable to prove they paid for the membership.
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November 11, 2013, 07:28:54 AM
 #84

Guys, do u remember the native Americans? They did have agreements with US govt. How many of them really worked? None.

U r going to repeat the history mistake.
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November 11, 2013, 09:17:41 AM
 #85

Guys, do u remember the native Americans? They did have agreements with US govt. How many of them really worked? None.

U r going to repeat the history mistake.

It doesn't really matter.
We already have government controlled digital currencies. Allowing government control of bitcoin would be unacceptable and lead to several forks.
There is no point going down that road. There is no need for it.
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November 11, 2013, 09:33:23 AM
 #86

Guys, do u remember the native Americans? They did have agreements with US govt. How many of them really worked? None.

U r going to repeat the history mistake.
This is why there should be no damn foundation.

"The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks"
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November 11, 2013, 09:47:16 AM
 #87

Please explain the functional difference between "currency" and "medium of exchange".
A currency can be literally converted to another currency, while a medium of exchange cannot be converted to a currency. This happened many times during periods of fast inflation in the Brazilian economy. The Brazilian central bank had to convert the currency in circulation for another, otherwise there would not be enough currency in circulation to keep the Brazilian economy stable. Thus, BTC cannot be converted to another currency because it supply and circulation are not under the control of a central authority.
Moreover, BTC cannot be literally hold by an individual, while a currency can be hold in form of banknotes and coins. No person hold any BTC, but only a private password which allows them transfer some digits from one imaginary point to another. Without a computer with access to the Internet, that process is impossible to be reproduced.
You define a currency as something that can be converted into another currency, and claim that a medium of exchange cannot be converted into a currency. Well, Bitcoin clearly can be converted into various currencies and are being converted every second.
The idea that Bitcoin "cannot be held" is nonsensical. Of course it can be held, either by taking control of a private key, or it can also be held in the form of a physical coin if you have some fetish for physical representation.
Let's ignore the fact that, say, Wikipedia defines currency as a medium of exchange, because I was interested in the functional difference you were trying to make (endless arguments about definitions being uninteresting).
If you're arguing that Bitcoin cannot be a currency because it's not physical, that's not going to convince anybody.


Quote
Quote
If you think that Bitcoin was not meant to replace the functioning of businesses like Western Union, perhaps you could explain the very first sentence of the very first thing ever written about Bitcoin by Sastoshi Nakamoto (the whitepaper):
Quote
A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
The first sentence is describing the Bitcoin software allows payments being made using the Internet without the need of a financial institution to validate the transactions.
Which part you did not comprehend?
You stated that Bitcoin was not meant to replace businesses like Western Union. That sentence describes precisely that. Have you really failed so completely to understand the most elementary point of Bitcoin?

Quote
Quote
I would like to hear these "very precise details". If like me, you consider that the transfer of cash is itself not a criminal act, so that money laundering is not a real crime, that's one thing; but to say that cash does not "facilitate" criminal activities is a bit of a stretch... There is no difference with Bitcoin, since it functions (at least for now) just like cash, except on the internet. My point is that trying to argue with the US govt. that "Bitcoin does not facilitate criminal activities" will be a completely losing proposition, since they do believe that there is such a crime as "money laundering", and to the extent that one does believe in such a thing, Bitcoin is an excellent way to do it, obviously.
The subtext of all your comments is that you (and many others here) think that the US government can be persuaded to look at Bitcoin in a friendly way. Indeed they can, but only if it is bent to their will.
If you think that conceal or disguise money obtained from illicit trade is not a crime, then I am sure you are not properly informed about the current legislation of many countries.
I don't blame you for not completely understanding my point here (I also take it that you are not a native speaker of English, and these are very dense arguments, so my hat off to you for keeping up at all). My point, summarised: (1) money laundering is not a real crime, it's a made-up crime invented by governments to keep control over people. (2) You claimed that Bitcoin does not facilitate crime, but if we are talking about money laundering, Bitcoin obviously does facilitate it, so you are flat out wrong in this point as you were in all the other points.

Sorry but I have to call you out on it, what you wrote was basically nonsense from start to finish.

Here is a recap of a few things you said:

Bitcoin is not a currency. - not so much nonsense, just meaningless sophistry.

Bitcoin will not replace companies like Western Union. - nonsense. Once a bitcoin economy exists in sending and receiving country's economy, WU becomes obsolete.

Bitcoin does not facilitate crime. - Nonsense, of course it facilitates crime just as it facilitates productive enterprise. Just as cash does both of those things.

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November 11, 2013, 09:49:59 AM
 #88

Why is a foundation representing something that cannot be represented? Seriously, what makes you guys speak for the rest of us?

<helo> funny that this proposal grows the maximum block size to 8GB, and is seen as a compromise
<helo> oh, you don't like a 20x increase? well how about 8192x increase?
<JackH> lmao
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November 11, 2013, 10:12:42 AM
 #89

You should present a chart with a giant middle finger and say nothing.

Bitcoin combines money, the wrongest thing in the world, with software, the easiest thing in the world to get wrong.
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November 11, 2013, 12:09:41 PM
 #90

You define a currency as something that can be converted into another currency, and claim that a medium of exchange cannot be converted into a currency. Well, Bitcoin clearly can be converted into various currencies and are being converted every second.

Nope. When a currency is converted to another, the previous currency is eliminated. What you describe is not defined as conversion, but as exchange. A conversion of BTC to any currency would imply the BTC had to be eliminated. This, of course, is not what happens.

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The idea that Bitcoin "cannot be held" is nonsensical. Of course it can be held, either by taking control of a private key, or it can also be held in the form of a physical coin if you have some fetish for physical representation.

Nope. No one holds any BTC. The encrypted digits which are the BTC never leave the block chain. The private key only allows a person to transfer the BTC from a certain address to another. There is no way to any person hold any BTC outside the block chain.

Nope. Physical coins only carry a private key which is not BTC, it is just a password which allows someone to transfer BTC from one address to another.

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Let's ignore the fact that, say, Wikipedia defines currency as a medium of exchange, because I was interested in the functional difference you were trying to make (endless arguments about definitions being uninteresting).

I am not arguing that a currency is not a medium of exchange, I am arguing that BTC is ONLY a medium of exchange.

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If you're arguing that Bitcoin cannot be a currency because it's not physical, that's not going to convince anybody.

Nope. That is not my argument. As I already said, BTC is not a currency because it cannot be converted into another currency.

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You stated that Bitcoin was not meant to replace businesses like Western Union. That sentence describes precisely that. Have you really failed so completely to understand the most elementary point of Bitcoin?

Nope. The sentence do not describe that the Bitcoin software was developed to replace any business like Western Union. If you think that is what the sentence means, you are certainly projecting a delusional expectation over the meaning of words which are very easy to understand.

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I don't blame you for not completely understanding my point here (I also take it that you are not a native speaker of English, and these are very dense arguments, so my hat off to you for keeping up at all). My point, summarised: (1) money laundering is not a real crime, it's a made-up crime invented by governments to keep control over people. (2) You claimed that Bitcoin does not facilitate crime, but if we are talking about money laundering, Bitcoin obviously does facilitate it, so you are flat out wrong in this point as you were in all the other points.

(1) Money laundering is not a crime. (2) Money laundering is a crime.

You are contradicting yourself with confusing statements.

So, money laundering is a crime or not?

Quote
Sorry but I have to call you out on it, what you wrote was basically nonsense from start to finish.

Here is a recap of a few things you said:

Bitcoin is not a currency. - not so much nonsense, just meaningless sophistry.

Nope. I already explained why is not a currency. I could provide more examples if necessary.

Quote
Bitcoin will not replace companies like Western Union. - nonsense. Once a bitcoin economy exists in sending and receiving country's economy, WU becomes obsolete.

Nope. There is no such thing as "Bitcoin economy" and the Bitcoin software was not designed to replace business like Western Union.

Quote
Bitcoin does not facilitate crime. - Nonsense, of course it facilitates crime just as it facilitates productive enterprise. Just as cash does both of those things.

I do not think so. However, it is useless explain to you why do not facilitate crime since you cannot even understand why money laundering is considerate a criminal activity by many legislations.
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November 11, 2013, 12:19:45 PM
 #91

Why is a foundation representing something that cannot be represented? Seriously, what makes you guys speak for the rest of us?

They are not speaking for the rest of us, they are speaking for themselves, which includes the main developer of the Bitcoin software. They are, however, offering the opportunity to anyone provide suggestions to improve the debate they will have with USA federal government. By the way, they can and they will represent the Bitcoin software, whatever you like or not.
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November 11, 2013, 12:25:05 PM
 #92

Foundation mission...
Quote
Our Vision: A Peer-to-Peer Organization

We are determined to keep Bitcoin rooted in its core principles: non-political economy, openness and independence. While we aim to advance standards and security, we remain strong advocates of the liberating power of decentralized money. Our goal is to act as both an organizing body for Bitcoin and simultaneously be inclusive of the general Bitcoin community. Only then will our mission succeed.

I dislike the concept of the foundation as ulimiately they are promoting their own views and not that of the entire community. In my view they are essentially functioning as politicians and when was the last time you heard of a politician who actually looked out for those they supposedly represent. So much for the principles of "non-political economy, openness and independence".
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November 11, 2013, 01:27:21 PM
 #93

Foundation mission...
Quote
Our Vision: A Peer-to-Peer Organization

We are determined to keep Bitcoin rooted in its core principles: non-political economy, openness and independence. While we aim to advance standards and security, we remain strong advocates of the liberating power of decentralized money. Our goal is to act as both an organizing body for Bitcoin and simultaneously be inclusive of the general Bitcoin community. Only then will our mission succeed.

I dislike the concept of the foundation as ulimiately they are promoting their own views and not that of the entire community. In my view they are essentially functioning as politicians and when was the last time you heard of a politician who actually looked out for those they supposedly represent. So much for the principles of "non-political economy, openness and independence".

They are functioning as a lobby and/or advisory group. I'm not sure you have much understanding of how governments work. You have to engage in politics to get things done when it comes to the law or regulation, by definition.

So how do you want to do it?

You have an incredibly diverse set of people interesting in Bitcoin and covering pretty much all extremes. So the Foundation is doing what it can to ensure Bitcoin itself is accepted by the world at large and not stopped in its tracks. Yes it can go on without the US, but that's not exactly helpful to Bitcoin or to anyone in the US>

You may not like politics or politicians (few do), or the various lobby groups (few do), but this how things are done.

Independence does not mean you stick you head in the sand and go la-la-la to the real world. That's stupidity and arrogance, not independence. What you want is light touch regulation only where it's required. We may all disagree over what that means but some regulation is unavoidable - not of Bitcoin itself but of areas such as KYC of exchanges.

So what the foundation need to do is show the potential for Bitcoin to expand the wider economy, to benefit US businesses, that it is a technology. Conversely, that making it difficult to use could push it more towards the black market, other countries may massively benefit to the US' cost, and so on.
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November 11, 2013, 01:47:51 PM
 #94

I don't understand where some of you guys are coming from. If bitcoin can be regulated or controlled, bitcoin is literally a failure.
The combination of encryption, distributed networking and mathematical truths is supposed to make this impossible.
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November 11, 2013, 02:07:04 PM
 #95

You may not like politics or politicians (few do), or the various lobby groups (few do), but this how things are done.
Pathetic.
Isn't that the one thing we're trying to change, here, by letting people have some serious and real voting power through bitcoins?

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November 11, 2013, 02:21:55 PM
 #96

Reading stuff like this http://www.mail-archive.com/cryptography@metzdowd.com/msg12325.html,
We can't expect the government to suggest any useful improvements to bitcoin.
Something to be prepared for?
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November 11, 2013, 02:30:11 PM
 #97

I don't understand where some of you guys are coming from. If bitcoin can be regulated or controlled, bitcoin is literally a failure.
The combination of encryption, distributed networking and mathematical truths is supposed to make this impossible.
That is correct. It doesn't matter if the Bitcoin foundation talks with the gov. or not. The network will remain the same.
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November 11, 2013, 02:36:10 PM
 #98

Reading stuff like this http://www.mail-archive.com/cryptography@metzdowd.com/msg12325.html,
We can't expect the government to suggest any useful improvements to bitcoin.
Something to be prepared for?

I see no correlation in that post content with the subject being discussed here.
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November 11, 2013, 02:43:02 PM
Last edit: November 11, 2013, 03:04:51 PM by owenprescott
 #99

Foundation mission...
Quote
Our Vision: A Peer-to-Peer Organization

We are determined to keep Bitcoin rooted in its core principles: non-political economy, openness and independence. While we aim to advance standards and security, we remain strong advocates of the liberating power of decentralized money. Our goal is to act as both an organizing body for Bitcoin and simultaneously be inclusive of the general Bitcoin community. Only then will our mission succeed.

I dislike the concept of the foundation as ulimiately they are promoting their own views and not that of the entire community. In my view they are essentially functioning as politicians and when was the last time you heard of a politician who actually looked out for those they supposedly represent. So much for the principles of "non-political economy, openness and independence".
Quote
They are functioning as a lobby and/or advisory group. I'm not sure you have much understanding of how governments work. You have to engage in politics to get things done when it comes to the law or regulation, by definition.

So how do you want to do it?

My issue is that the foundation, in my opinion, is just repeating the same system that I was hoping Bitcoin and other new innovations might eventually free us from. Advising is great, however I don't believe we should conform to a dated political system when the "authority" is not willing to inform themselves. Think about how long human civilization has appointed representatives to speak for the people, even in a supposed democratic system the results are always inevitable. Even if the foundation has Bitcoins best interests at heart today, tomorrow those interests will shift until eventually the core philosophies have been eroded. Sometimes new definitions need to be invented, thats how innovation works. Law, politics, education and economics should adapt to new advances.

Honestly though, I have not yet considered what I "want to do" on these matters, that is something the entire community would need to reflect upon. I do however feel with the advent of social media and so on, there is a far lesser need for advisers. The general public need to be informed, not the dinosaurs who will only care if they can somehow control and manipulate it.

Quote
You have an incredibly diverse set of people interesting in Bitcoin and covering pretty much all extremes. So the Foundation is doing what it can to ensure Bitcoin itself is accepted by the world at large and not stopped in its tracks. Yes it can go on without the US, but that's not exactly helpful to Bitcoin or to anyone in the US>

That in my opinion touches at the root of my dislike for the foundation, I don't believe such an extreme set of views can ever be represented by a small group of people. Doing "what it can to be accepted" is not always a good idea, the US a doing what it can do prevent terrorism and look how that is turning out. This is one example of many.

Quote
You may not like politics or politicians (few do), or the various lobby groups (few do), but this how things are done.

Independence does not mean you stick you head in the sand and go la-la-la to the real world. That's stupidity and arrogance, not independence. What you want is light touch regulation only where it's required. We may all disagree over what that means but some regulation is unavoidable - not of Bitcoin itself but of areas such as KYC of exchanges.

Politics as a system is fine, it is the way we choose to go about conducting politics that I feel needs to change. We cannot keep looking to the same broken system hoping for acceptance and answers. I don't just see Bitcoin as a potential alternative to making transactions, but rather an opportunity to use our intelligence and creativity to reinvent how we live and our roles in society. My views are perhaps Utopian, I just look at the current political/financial systems as extra weight, while we are willing drag the excess behind us we are giving a select few a free ride at our expense.

Finally, I agree to below except one small correction:
Quote
So what the foundation need to do is show the potential for Bitcoin to expand the wider economy, to benefit US businesses, that it is a technology. Conversely, that making it difficult to use could push it more towards the black market, other countries may massively benefit to the US' cost, and so on.

So what the *community* need to do is show the potential for Bitcoin to expand the wider economy, to benefit US businesses, that it is a technology. Conversely, that making it difficult to use could push it more towards the black market, other countries may massively benefit to the US' cost, and so on.


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November 11, 2013, 03:18:15 PM
 #100

My issue is that the foundation, in my opinion, is just repeating the same system that I was hoping Bitcoin and other new innovations might eventually free us from.

How can a software "free us from" the current political system? 

Quote
Advising is great, however I don't believe we should conform to a dated political system where the "authority" is not willing to inform themselves.

They are willing to inform themselves, otherwise there would be no hearings.

Quote
Even if the foundation has Bitcoins best interests at heart today, tomorrow those interests will shift until eventually the core philosophies have been eroded.

What evidence you have which indicates this will happen?

Quote
Sometimes new definitions need to be invented, thats how innovation works. Law, politics, education and economics should adapt to new advances. Honestly though, I have not yet considered what I "want to do" on these matters, that is something the entire community would need to reflect upon. I do however feel with the advent of social media and so on, there is a far lesser need for advisers. The general public need to be informed, not the dinosaurs who will only care if they can somehow control and manipulate it.

How do you expect the "dinosaurs" inform the "general public" if there is less and less "advisers" from "Law, politics, education and economics" providing the necessary information?
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November 11, 2013, 03:26:51 PM
 #101

The Foundation often makes it appear as if they represent all of Bitcoin and they state that at their web site.  Sometimes they say they represent just their members but they only do that when they are pressed or when they are in a defensive posture like this thread.

When they say "Bitcoin", they mean the software, not the people using the software. The main developer of the Bitcoin software is paid by the foundation. I do not think they try to represent all the people which uses the "Bitcoin" software.
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November 11, 2013, 03:31:26 PM
 #102

So, FWIW, I think this guy should say something there.



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November 11, 2013, 03:34:53 PM
 #103

The Foundation often makes it appear as if they represent all of Bitcoin and they state that at their web site.  Sometimes they say they represent just their members but they only do that when they are pressed or when they are in a defensive posture like this thread.

When they say "Bitcoin", they mean the software, not the people using the software. The main developer of the Bitcoin software is paid by the foundation. I do not think they try to represent all the people which uses the "Bitcoin" software.
The word software is misleading.
Its not the software, its the combination of encryption, distributed networking and mathematical truths that makes the protocol useful.
The software is just a manifistation of the protocol, which is just a manifistation of those elements.
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November 11, 2013, 04:18:39 PM
 #104

My issue is that the foundation, in my opinion, is just repeating the same system that I was hoping Bitcoin and other new innovations might eventually free us from.

How can a software "free us from" the current political system?
The same way that cars allowed us a move on from the horse and cart, or how telephones enabled us to move on from posting letters.  

Quote
Quote
Advising is great, however I don't believe we should conform to a dated political system where the "authority" is not willing to inform themselves.

They are willing to inform themselves, otherwise there would be no hearings.
You missed out a lot of the meat from that paragraph so I will assume you agreed with those sentiments Wink. True they are willing to have the hearing though, I would hope that their idea of informing themselves goes beyond talking to a select group of people however.

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Quote
Even if the foundation has Bitcoins best interests at heart today, tomorrow those interests will shift until eventually the core philosophies have been eroded.

What evidence you have which indicates this will happen?

Consider for a moment the United States Constitution and how it has changed since its conception. The banking system once had a useful function of value which has eventually eroded into the corruption that we have today. If you put any idea into the wrong hands then don't expect a positive result. I cannot forecast into the future obviously, but history I feel offers a good indication to where the foundation could potentially lead.

Quote
Quote
Sometimes new definitions need to be invented, that's how innovation works. Law, politics, education and economics should adapt to new advances. Honestly though, I have not yet considered what I "want to do" on these matters, that is something the entire community would need to reflect upon. I do however feel with the advent of social media and so on, there is a far lesser need for advisers. The general public need to be informed, not the dinosaurs who will only care if they can somehow control and manipulate it.

How do you expect the "dinosaurs" inform the "general public" if there is less and less "advisers" from "Law, politics, education and economics" providing the necessary information?
So the idea is for the advisers(The Foundation in this instance) to inform government who will then in turn inform the general public? So we expect no misinformation or propaganda in this chain of events? Anyway I did not say that advising is bad, or that lesser of them is a good idea, in fact here is a direct quote ("Advising is great"). Obviously sharing information is always a good idea, the Foundation however act as more than mere advisers by not just acting as facilitators of knowledge, but as the voice itself. Big difference.

I guess an important question to ask before arguing my point any further would be...
Do you feel that the foundation have, or intend to establish themselves as an authority on behalf of Bitcoin?
If so do you not see any potential for that authority to lead to negative outcomes?

If you say no to either of those then that is just a difference of opinion and time will tell.
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November 11, 2013, 04:26:36 PM
 #105

How about we vote to shut down the foundation ---> profit.

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November 11, 2013, 04:35:28 PM
 #106

How about we vote to shut down the foundation ---> profit.

I don't think they will shut down.  Other groups could form, such as Bitcoin users group so the Foundation is not the only game in town. 
If they don't shut down even though the majority of the community voted for that, they aren't really doing anything for the community, but rather for themselves.

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November 11, 2013, 05:25:10 PM
 #107

Whatever...

Governments will exist, money will circulate, people will have debates, binary codes will be improved.
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November 11, 2013, 05:31:18 PM
 #108

I haven't been around here long enough to say for sure but I wouldn't criticise the foundation without a good reason.
The way I see it, the only way the foundation or the developers can make any harm to the currency is to make a change to the protocol that is not backwards compatible.
Like changing the encryption scheme from binary field curves to something more mainstream
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November 11, 2013, 05:50:20 PM
 #109

Other pages:

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We are determined to keep Bitcoin rooted in its core principles: non-political economy, openness and independence. While we aim to advance standards and security, we remain strong advocates of the liberating power of decentralized money. Our goal is to act as both an organizing body for Bitcoin and simultaneously be inclusive of the general Bitcoin community. Only then will our mission succeed.

And now they are going to the US Senate...
...to get APPROVED BY U.S.Govt. stamp.
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November 11, 2013, 06:36:53 PM
 #110

Other pages:

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We are determined to keep Bitcoin rooted in its core principles: non-political economy, openness and independence. While we aim to advance standards and security, we remain strong advocates of the liberating power of decentralized money. Our goal is to act as both an organizing body for Bitcoin and simultaneously be inclusive of the general Bitcoin community. Only then will our mission succeed.

And now they are going to the US Senate...
...to get APPROVED BY U.S.Govt. stamp.

I keep hearing this from people who then have no counterpoint. What is your alternative? You want to go underground? And you're completely misrepresenting the quote as well.

If you want it underground then I'm not going to argue that point. As a technologist and an entrepreneur I think it's a poor idea and politically lead, and I think it's bad for Bitcoin and for the masses.

If you want to use Bitcoin as your tool to try and change the way we're governed then go right ahead, but you do not represent Bitcoin - you represent an ideological point of view and I'm good with that. The Foundation, and I'm not saying they are the best thing ever so don't get me wrong, are there to represent Bitcoin. They are not there to take on the government and nor is Bitcoin.

I'd also like to add that this whole anti-government/libertarianism is a very American thing. There'll be some non US citizens in this thread who think the same (since this is Bitcoin) but across the rest of the world it's really seen as quite an odd thing. Yeah democracy has faults and looking from the outside America seems particularly weird, but Bitcoin isn't the fix you're looking for.

I don't think you'll find for one second anyone here wants the US, or any country, interfering with the Bitcoin protocol or development. However, here's the thing. They already do. The way mining is currently seen, AML, KYC, exchanges, future coloured coin issues - they already interfere. So the key is trying to limit that interference to something which doesn't get in the way, so business can operate, so miners can mine without wondering about the feds knocking on the door, so people can be compliant with tax law, so more places can accept Bitcoin, so people can buy it safely, and so on.

So, stick your head in the sand or finger up at the world and carry on regardless or try and carve a path which works for everyone?
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November 11, 2013, 06:56:26 PM
 #111

Yeah democracy has faults and looking from the outside America seems particularly weird, but Bitcoin isn't the fix you're looking for.

I see...
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November 11, 2013, 07:36:58 PM
 #112

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We are determined to keep Bitcoin rooted in its core principles: non-political economy, openness and independence. While we aim to advance standards and security, we remain strong advocates of the liberating power of decentralized money. Our goal is to act as both an organizing body for Bitcoin and simultaneously be inclusive of the general Bitcoin community. Only then will our mission succeed.

And now they are going to the US Senate...
...to get APPROVED BY U.S.Govt. stamp.

I don't think acceptance would make Bitcoin independent or non-political, that suggests government would approve and keep their hand out of the pot?
Do you think this will be the case? I have to say though, perhaps the result either way would lead to the same potential results.

Quote
I keep hearing this from people who then have no counterpoint. What is your alternative? You want to go underground? And you're completely misrepresenting the quote as well.

If you want it underground then I'm not going to argue that point. As a technologist and an entrepreneur I think it's a poor idea and politically lead, and I think it's bad for Bitcoin and for the masses.


My statements (I am assuming I am one of the "people") are directed towards the foundation. I would like Bitcoin to be accepted, just not compromised or handed over to any central authority in any way, shape or form. Acceptance would mean greater value and far less risk involved, although lets not discount the possibility of the Foundation doing a bad job and swaying Bitcoin in the wrong direction. I dislike the potential outcomes that might result if the foundation become THE authority, so that is my main gripe personally.

Quote
If you want to use Bitcoin as your tool to try and change the way we're governed then go right ahead, but you do not represent Bitcoin - you represent an ideological point of view and I'm good with that. The Foundation, and I'm not saying they are the best thing ever so don't get me wrong, are there to represent Bitcoin. They are not there to take on the government and nor is Bitcoin.

I'd also like to add that this whole anti-government/libertarianism is a very American thing. There'll be some non US citizens in this thread who think the same (since this is Bitcoin) but across the rest of the world it's really seen as quite an odd thing. Yeah democracy has faults and looking from the outside America seems particularly weird, but Bitcoin isn't the fix you're looking for.

I live in the UK, and if I am not mistaken most of the World has been rioting and trying to speak out against their government.

Quote
I don't think you'll find for one second anyone here wants the US, or any country, interfering with the Bitcoin protocol or development. However, here's the thing. They already do. The way mining is currently seen, AML, KYC, exchanges, future coloured coin issues - they already interfere. So the key is trying to limit that interference to something which doesn't get in the way, so business can operate, so miners can mine without wondering about the feds knocking on the door, so people can be compliant with tax law, so more places can accept Bitcoin, so people can buy it safely, and so on.

So, stick your head in the sand or finger up at the world and carry on regardless or try and carve a path which works for everyone?

The current system does not seem to be working very well, the economic collapse, war, poverty and so on are shining examples of this. I would argue ignoring these points equates to a head in the sand, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results  Roll Eyes. I will however reserve my right to put my finger up at anyone who wants to express my views for me, Bitcoin doesn't need a savior and will get on fine without the Foundation. Smiley
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November 11, 2013, 09:05:25 PM
 #113

This won't end in a good way.
They might even corrupt our so called "foundation".

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November 11, 2013, 09:11:08 PM
 #114

This won't end in a good way.
They might even corrupt our so called "foundation".


If this does end in a bad way, just remember which group it was that thought is was a good idea to get involved with the US government; The Foundation.
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November 11, 2013, 09:13:23 PM
 #115

Also remember that we don't need a foundation and that I was right.

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November 11, 2013, 09:21:33 PM
 #116

This won't end in a good way.
They might even corrupt our so called "foundation".

I would suspect that by-n-large, the interest of the members of the foundation and those of the US govt align.  Most of the former would like to become the size of players who dominate the economy, or a footprint within it.  The latter would be happy to see that happen as it is relatively more straightforward to control such a construct.

In the 90's there was considerable consternation about the possibility for the unwashed masses to communicate with one another freely due to developments in cryptography.  As we can see now, using strong cryptography for communications did indeed become widespread, but channeled through organizations who were pliable.  I suspect that the best outcome which could be hoped for from the perspective of our leaderships would be that crypto-currency evolution follows this same basic pattern.


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November 11, 2013, 09:24:51 PM
 #117

Also remember that we don't need a foundation and that I was right.

Link please.  There were very few people who expressed some reservations when the discussion about the possibility of a foundation was first floated.  You can go back and look at the thread to discover who they were if you are interested.


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November 11, 2013, 10:20:02 PM
 #118

Also remember that we don't need a foundation and that I was right.

Link please.  There were very few people who expressed some reservations when the discussion about the possibility of a foundation was first floated.  You can go back and look at the thread to discover who they were if you are interested.


Care enough to link the thread?
Would be much appreciated.

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November 11, 2013, 10:34:44 PM
 #119

Also remember that we don't need a foundation and that I was right.

Link please.  There were very few people who expressed some reservations when the discussion about the possibility of a foundation was first floated.  You can go back and look at the thread to discover who they were if you are interested.

Care enough to link the thread?
Would be much appreciated.

Took a little while for me to find it, but here you go:

  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49841.0

It'll probably make for some interesting reading now that we have some hind-sight, but I've not bothered yet.


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November 11, 2013, 10:57:57 PM
 #120

Let them know that the USD is no longer the primary currency exchanged for BTC.

Good luck to Patrick and other representatives.
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November 11, 2013, 11:00:40 PM
 #121

Took a little while for me to find it, but here you go:

  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49841.0

It'll probably make for some interesting reading now that we have some hind-sight, but I've not bothered yet.


Thank you for your share.
The ANN thread is here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=113400.0

Hopefully we won't regret the opinions of those members, too much. At least now we have somewhere to point our fingers at, once this goes wrong.

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November 11, 2013, 11:20:58 PM
 #122

Took a little while for me to find it, but here you go:

  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49841.0

It'll probably make for some interesting reading now that we have some hind-sight, but I've not bothered yet.



Wow... The responses in that topic are completely the opposite of few responses in this topic. It was a refreshing reading.


Only the last item on this list seems good. Collecting (bitcoin!) donations to fund infrastructure is a good idea.


+1

Gavin is trying to save Bitcoin, and that is highly praiseworthy. If he wants to centralize 'power' then he should go for it. But those other efforts will take him off on spaghetti-tangents of endless debates. They are not the silver bullets that Bitcoin needs.

Why? Because in the end, it's all about the infrastructure and its peripherals; no ease, no security, no trust - no liquidity and no Bitcoin.

And, as in other economies, it's the wealthy who can make that infrastructure happen...fast and big.

Easily, the most debilitating force in Bitcoin is the legacy of the Wagner-to-the-moon effect which has permeated the minds of the early (large) Bitcoin holders. They have preferred to watch their stash dwindle to a fraction of its conversion value rather than putting it into productive use within the sphere of Bitcoin development and Bitcoin support for entrepreneurs.

Bitcoin VC/bounties is moribund...which DEinspires everyone else.

The Bitcoin wealthy have a tremendous responsibility but no obligation. Overwhelmingly, they focus on the obligation and void the responsibility. That is the mind of the opportunist, which is fine, but parading as idealists is really no fun to watch.

Corralling them into a serious fund is a tall order, but if anyone is in position to do so then it's Gavin.

-jack

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November 11, 2013, 11:21:17 PM
 #123

Took a little while for me to find it, but here you go:

  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49841.0

It'll probably make for some interesting reading now that we have some hind-sight, but I've not bothered yet.


Thank you for your share.
The ANN thread is here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=113400.0

Hopefully we won't regret the opinions of those members, too much. At least now we have somewhere to point our fingers at, once this goes wrong.

The Linux project is already about to become the backyard project of a few multinational corporations.
Its a good model but at some point in the future the community might have to be prepared to fork.
What I'm trying to figure out is if there is any way to ruin the currency without breaking the current protocol. If it is, we have a problem. Even the developers knows that
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November 12, 2013, 12:13:14 AM
 #124

Took a little while for me to find it, but here you go:

  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49841.0

It'll probably make for some interesting reading now that we have some hind-sight, but I've not bothered yet.


Thank you for your share.
The ANN thread is here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=113400.0

Hopefully we won't regret the opinions of those members, too much. At least now we have somewhere to point our fingers at, once this goes wrong.

The Linux project is already about to become the backyard project of a few multinational corporations.
Its a good model but at some point in the future the community might have to be prepared to fork.
What I'm trying to figure out is if there is any way to ruin the currency without breaking the current protocol. If it is, we have a problem. Even the developers knows that

One of the things that has been high on my mind since very soon after I studied Bitcoin was what happens in the case of a code fork?  That can actually be noted in my post on the aformentioned thread in fact.

Because I feel it likely that the existing blockchain will form a value core for whatever fork becomes dominant, I figure that I'll just wait it out.  Nobody can transfer value without a secret key, and a fork which makes that possible will probably not become the successful one.  (Though it is more possible that the successful fork will force a value transfer which would suck.)

The main problem is that sitting on BTC without spending it is quite inconsistent with an _exchange_ currency.  Bitcoin being couched as such will lose a lot of credibility and confidence in the case of an otherwise not terribly threatening event such as a code fork.

As of a day or two when I thought of it, I like to say "Bitcoin is in it's infancy...it hasn't even hit it's first code/core team fork yet."


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November 12, 2013, 12:16:03 AM
 #125

My statements (I am assuming I am one of the "people") are directed towards the foundation. I would like Bitcoin to be accepted, just not compromised or handed over to any central authority in any way, shape or form. Acceptance would mean greater value and far less risk involved, although lets not discount the possibility of the Foundation doing a bad job and swaying Bitcoin in the wrong direction. I dislike the potential outcomes that might result if the foundation become THE authority, so that is my main gripe personally.

Ok, in that case I am more understanding and I certainly agree with you in general. So if there isn't a Foundation, how do we do it? Or is it specifically 'this' foundation that's the problem? In which case I agree that it is imperfect, but I think it is a reasonable option.

Quote
I live in the UK, and if I am not mistaken most of the World has been rioting and trying to speak out against their government.

Well, except they haven't. In a handful specific countries they had uprisings for all kinds of reasons. Money was only one of them. In the US they had the 1% stuff which I'd argue has been more successful than they get credit for. We all know about the 1% now, it's passed into common parlance.

Quote
The current system does not seem to be working very well, the economic collapse, war, poverty and so on are shining examples of this.

Again, this is just cherry picking. Look at the history of man kind. In fact we live in one of, if not the most, stable and safe periods ever. Not everywhere, not everyone, and there are huge problems - but there always have been. It's the details that change, human beings are the constant. People fight wars over money, power, religion, land, food, water, nationalism, family disputes!

It's always been this way. People are corrupt. Money corrupts. Financial systems come and go. I'm not excusing any of it, and being in the UK I loath what our government are doing to everyone under 40/students, just saying that a lot of people sound very tin foil hat to me. Always strive to make things better, but you should also put the current situation into perspective. My parents lived under the genuine and real fear of a nuclear war. Before that WW2. Before that the even more deadly WW1. There was also the great depression. That's just the last 100 years. I'd much rather be living today, even with the economic problems that exist.

I can strongly recommend reading up on the Roman Republic and how it led to the Roman Empire. When you understand the politics and economics at the time, you do have this curious realisation that nothing really changes, except politicians aren't slaughtering each other in Washington and putting heads on sticks!

Bitcoin will change none of this, only shuffle the pack again. That's not to say it won't bring good to some societies but I hope you get my point.
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November 12, 2013, 12:52:09 AM
 #126

I am quickly realizing just how many conspiracy nut jobs bitcointalk.org harbours. 
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November 12, 2013, 01:15:56 AM
 #127

I am quickly realizing just how many conspiracy nut jobs bitcointalk.org harbours. 

I've actually been surprised at the number of people who are interested in Bitcoin and yet have the standard level of horror at the thought of entertaining any non-mainstream hypotheses when it comes to analyzing our world.  I suspect that a fair number of the participants here did the standard collage thing, have a good 6-fig job, and don't have any interest in rocking the boat or being seen as 'unusual' by their friends and colleagues.  That was the environment I'd been in until I quit earlier this year.  Still, having even heard of Bitcoin is in and of itself enough to cause questions about one's normalcy, or at least that has been the case until fairly recently.


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November 12, 2013, 01:28:05 AM
 #128

Senate don't give a damn, they just wanna destroy BTC Grin

there are five items on the senates agenda which make the above a ridiculous statement.

1- how can we get revenue from this
2- how can we get revenue from this
3- how can we get revenue from this
4- how can we get revenue from this
5- how can we get revenue from this
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November 12, 2013, 01:42:41 AM
 #129

Senate don't give a damn, they just wanna destroy BTC Grin

there are five items on the senates agenda which make the above a ridiculous statement.

1- how can we get revenue from this
2- how can we get revenue from this
3- how can we get revenue from this
4- how can we get revenue from this
5- how can we get revenue from this

we can only pray that they will be so shortsighted. let them try to benefit on net by taxing bitcoin while they are simultaneously losing their monopoly control over the issuance of currency, lets see who wins out on that exchange  Grin

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November 12, 2013, 03:19:41 AM
 #130

Senate don't give a damn, they just wanna destroy BTC Grin

there are five items on the senates agenda which make the above a ridiculous statement.

1- how can we get revenue from this
2- how can we get revenue from this
3- how can we get revenue from this
4- how can we get revenue from this
5- how can we get revenue from this

They can't.

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November 12, 2013, 05:27:55 AM
 #131

Senate don't give a damn, they just wanna destroy BTC Grin

there are five items on the senates agenda which make the above a ridiculous statement.

1- how can we get revenue from this
2- how can we get revenue from this
3- how can we get revenue from this
4- how can we get revenue from this
5- how can we get revenue from this
Like I said, they don't really give a damn about the people nor bitcoin. Only personal interest.

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November 12, 2013, 05:52:12 AM
 #132

On the 18th November, which is a bit over a week from now, members of the Bitcoin community will be testifying in front of the US Senate in two committee hearings...

Waste of time. A decentralized currency doesn't need that.

Obviously there isn't a need. But trying to spread understanding and such can't be seen as a bad thing, right?

Agreed.

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November 12, 2013, 08:19:57 AM
 #133

In the last fifty years i can't think of very many things that the us government hasn't made a total mess of. we put a man on the moon and that was pretty good.  Other than that im coming up short.  Maybe bitcoin will be different.  I figure it can't hurt to talk to the senate, its not like we have anything to hide.  Bitcoin does solve some serious problems with the us economy (quanitative easing) so maybe we'll get lucky.  Bitcoin has shine that i can only compare to gold fever right now so maybe the senate will be like "Omg we can all get rich!" Yes the united states senate collectively uses Omg in a sentance.

Tym's Get Rich Slow scheme: plse send .00001 to
btc: 1DKRaNUnMQkeby6Dk1d8e6fRczSrTEhd8p ltc: LV4Udu7x9aLs28MoMCzsvVGKJbSmrHESnt
thank you.
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November 12, 2013, 08:46:38 AM
 #134

The senate is going to think about it, regardless of whether the foundation or the bitcoin community complies. They can, and unfortunately are backed by the world's largest military (yes, I'm using this to prove a point). They have the authority and power to regulate it in some manner. Do we want them to make stupid, uninformed decisions? NO. That could happen if we don't rock up there. Snubbing them, will make it worse. If you also think the Bitcoin Foundation will try and introduce measures into the Bitcoin protocol to give control the US, then you are naive. It undermines the neutrality of it, and will decrease the value of Bitcoin, and even worse, create a fork.

We should be there at the hearing, be level-headed and make sure stupid decisions are not being made. The Bitcoin Foundation is perfect for this, and Patrick Murck is a wonderful candidate.

I think we should get more businesses in this thread, people like Circle who just received $9 million in funding. Do you think they want to snub the senate? No way. They have large amounts of money on the table, and are the people that are actively developing services that makes everyones Bitcoin worth more.

Tip: BTC 1LbHAZv2mbZZMTu2k4xLcg8p5q4FatgkA7. Doge DFVzezccAsdq1LQwrPTDe1nMXKrL7aEUWY. FUNK: CXfgJPSbY1C5paVwiSHnm942tJPyK9xSfy
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November 12, 2013, 09:03:15 AM
 #135

Took a little while for me to find it, but here you go:

  https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=49841.0

It'll probably make for some interesting reading now that we have some hind-sight, but I've not bothered yet.


Thank you for your share.
The ANN thread is here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=113400.0

Hopefully we won't regret the opinions of those members, too much. At least now we have somewhere to point our fingers at, once this goes wrong.

The Linux project is already about to become the backyard project of a few multinational corporations.
Its a good model but at some point in the future the community might have to be prepared to fork.
What I'm trying to figure out is if there is any way to ruin the currency without breaking the current protocol. If it is, we have a problem. Even the developers knows that

One of the things that has been high on my mind since very soon after I studied Bitcoin was what happens in the case of a code fork?  That can actually be noted in my post on the aformentioned thread in fact.

Because I feel it likely that the existing blockchain will form a value core for whatever fork becomes dominant, I figure that I'll just wait it out.  Nobody can transfer value without a secret key, and a fork which makes that possible will probably not become the successful one.  (Though it is more possible that the successful fork will force a value transfer which would suck.)

The main problem is that sitting on BTC without spending it is quite inconsistent with an _exchange_ currency.  Bitcoin being couched as such will lose a lot of credibility and confidence in the case of an otherwise not terribly threatening event such as a code fork.

As of a day or two when I thought of it, I like to say "Bitcoin is in it's infancy...it hasn't even hit it's first code/core team fork yet."

Just to clearify...

What I meant is that changing the current protocol in a non compatible way will force a fork, and the fork will win no doubt.
If it is possible to make a change on top of the current protocol that say removes anonymity, a fork is needed, and should technically work side by side with the new version.
A fork that is not backward compatible will never work imo.
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November 12, 2013, 09:21:41 AM
 #136


One of the things that has been high on my mind since very soon after I studied Bitcoin was what happens in the case of a code fork?  That can actually be noted in my post on the aformentioned thread in fact.

Because I feel it likely that the existing blockchain will form a value core for whatever fork becomes dominant, I figure that I'll just wait it out.  Nobody can transfer value without a secret key, and a fork which makes that possible will probably not become the successful one.  (Though it is more possible that the successful fork will force a value transfer which would suck.)

The main problem is that sitting on BTC without spending it is quite inconsistent with an _exchange_ currency.  Bitcoin being couched as such will lose a lot of credibility and confidence in the case of an otherwise not terribly threatening event such as a code fork.

As of a day or two when I thought of it, I like to say "Bitcoin is in it's infancy...it hasn't even hit it's first code/core team fork yet."

Just to clearify...

What I meant is that changing the current protocol in a non compatible way will force a fork, and the fork will win no doubt.
If it is possible to make a change on top of the current protocol that say removes anonymity, a fork is needed, and should technically work side by side with the new version.
A fork that is not backward compatible will never work imo.

Ya, I am thinking more along the lines of a disagreement and fracture of the development team, or a new development team which the bulk of the users consider to represent their interests more.  Say, for instance, there was a dis-agreement about whether to change the proof-of-work algorithm or something like that.  Ultimately, a protocol change implies a codebase change though.  Being open-source the decision is really made mostly by the users, and the makeup of the userbase is subject to shift around over time for various reasons.


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November 12, 2013, 11:51:13 AM
 #137

I lived in DC for 9 years and I used to go these types of hearings now and then.  Often they were late, completely distracted, and were simply told to be a certain place at a certain time.  I went to Internet hearings and it was clear some of them had never used the Internet, someone told them it was all porn, and they did not understand why anyone would be against laws restricting dangerous porn unless they were some kind of predator.  The witnesses are pre-chosen and read prepared statements.  Questions are in sound bites and are designed to get themselves noticed.  Since it is lawyers they never ask questions unless they already know the answer.

This is a bit of an exaggeration and they are all not that bad but don't expect some kind of groundbreaking revelation to come from these hearings.

It looks like Gwar is playing at my old DC hangout the night before and I am sure that will be much more interesting than the hearings

http://www.930.com/event/339667-gwar-washington/

Interesting take. So maybe it is already baked in that the Senate just want to use the hearings as a stage for sound-bites to bash bitcoin, to strut and preen and whatever other secondary hidden agenda? Lawyer-like, the Senate already know the answers they want to hear to the questions they choose to ask.

In which case, the foundation maybe walking somewhat naively into a firestorm by their own choosing. A constant stream of negative soundbites for bitcoin beginning Monday might be exactly what the recent media propaganda pump is being primed for.

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November 12, 2013, 03:32:15 PM
 #138

if BTC go up, then he kill all other legal currency, Gold, USD, RUR, Yuan, no government would not allow it,
because now is the price so high, compare it for gold, 1kg gold = 100 BTC,  realistic ?

Cлaвьcя, Oтeчecтвo нaшe cвoбoднoe,
Бpaтcкиx нapoдoв coюз вeкoвoй,
Пpeдкaми дaннaя мyдpocть нapoднaя!
Cлaвьcя, cтpaнa! Mы гopдимcя тoбoй!
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November 12, 2013, 04:00:25 PM
 #139

I think the key is to get Bitcoin in the hands of as many people as possible.  To do that the exchanges need bank accounts.
To do that we need a bitcoin country. So why not build a country?

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November 12, 2013, 04:14:50 PM
 #140

if BTC go up, then he kill all other legal currency, Gold, USD, RUR, Yuan, no government would not allow it,
because now is the price so high, compare it for gold, 1kg gold = 100 BTC,  realistic ?

It could kill those governments too.
It is getting quite realistic since the fiat currencies are designed around growth and not balance. I think they will implode.

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November 12, 2013, 04:34:43 PM
 #141

I think the key is to get Bitcoin in the hands of as many people as possible.  To do that the exchanges need bank accounts.
To do that we need a bitcoin country. So why not build a country?


Definitively possible, there are ways to make new country like
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micronation
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November 12, 2013, 04:56:27 PM
 #142

Called to ask to check if it's possible to attend a hearing on Monday. The guy on the other end said, "Oh, you mean the Crypto-currency hearing? Yeah, I think it's open to the public."

Apparently they got that question about that hearing from quite a few people already, if he could just guess like that, so hopefully it won't be too crowded.

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November 12, 2013, 05:48:37 PM
 #143

Let me add a caveat - If you want to make sure Bitcoin never becomes successful keep standing by and watching while people like TradeFortress and Theymos screw everything up.  If I was trying to set up a legitimate exchange I would be absolutely out of my mind furious after what those 2 have done.

what has theymos done?

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November 12, 2013, 07:01:43 PM
 #144

Mike,

Thanks for the information and all the hard work.

It's understandable law makers will want to try to grasp how Bitcoin will impact law enforcement and banking, as it exists outside their familiar paradigm. I do have some suggestions to emphasize.

First, emphasize Bitcoin is a global technology, very much like email. Whatever they think of it, ultimately they can't completely control it, just as they can't control email, and attempting to do so might only hurt or limit the productivity of their constituents. The US tends to see itself as the center of the world, but that's a mistaken view when it comes to this. Other countries are rapidly picking up on Bitcoin.

Second, Bitcoin can be beneficial to law enforcement and the financial system. The public block chain records transactions forever enabling forensic analysis to aid detectives. Although gold isn't used now much as a currency, central banks worldwide do hold it as a financial backstop, so it continues to play a large role. Bitcoin, as a scarce commodity, could be used similarly.

So while it may be that Bitcoin changes how we do things with regard to law and banking, this may not need be seen as a negative. After all the current track record for banks and finance isn't much to boast about.
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November 12, 2013, 08:09:31 PM
 #145

As for claiming Bitcoin makes law enforcement easier because transactions can be tracked, I think that is a mistake because it is really not true.  You have change addresses that obfuscate things.  You can also just use intermediate addresses and in court they have to prove the entire chain of custody unless they have other evidence.  To trace things you have to depend on consolidation so trying to claim it makes law enforcement easier is just rhetoric.  In some specific cases it may help and it others it may hinder.

You may not be aware long before Silk Road was taken down operators of a copycat site not so buried within Tor were arrested. If I remember correctly they were identified via use of their Hushmail account, which agents also used to introduce a trojan on their machine to aid their investigation.

People, including law enforcement, will use technology differently and with various degrees of effectiveness. Very smart (or very large) law breakers will probably find a way to do what they want to do with or without Bitcoin. Using the block chain as a potential investigation aid is not rhetoric, because the degree of accuracy of computers is very high while the tendency of humans to never make mistakes is low.
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November 12, 2013, 08:22:08 PM
 #146

Bitcoin does solve some serious problems with the us economy (quanitative easing)

Bitcoin has the potential to solve such issues to the benefit of the populace. However, the Bitcoin solution to such problems (e.g. by stopping QE Infinity) actually works against the interests of congress-critters. If QE is curbed, and sound money takes the place of the FRN, then the FED and Congress lose the power to levy the hidden tax that is inflation. No inflation masking their real costs, and the gravy train of candy handouts that seem to come at 'no' cost stops. No freebie handouts, the populace starts agitating to replace those in office.

Never confuse 'things which benefit the populace' with 'things which benefit those in the legislature'. The interests of these two classes are almost always in direct opposition.

Anyone with a campaign ad in their signature -- for an organization with which they are not otherwise affiliated -- is automatically deducted credibility points.

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November 12, 2013, 09:01:52 PM
 #147

As for claiming Bitcoin makes law enforcement easier because transactions can be tracked, I think that is a mistake because it is really not true.  You have change addresses that obfuscate things.  You can also just use intermediate addresses and in court they have to prove the entire chain of custody unless they have other evidence.  To trace things you have to depend on consolidation so trying to claim it makes law enforcement easier is just rhetoric.  In some specific cases it may help and it others it may hinder.

You may not be aware long before Silk Road was taken down operators of a copycat site not so buried within Tor were arrested. If I remember correctly they were identified via use of their Hushmail account, which agents also used to introduce a trojan on their machine to aid their investigation.

People, including law enforcement, will use technology differently and with various degrees of effectiveness. Very smart (or very large) law breakers will probably find a way to do what they want to do with or without Bitcoin. Using the block chain as a potential investigation aid is not rhetoric, because the degree of accuracy of computers is very high while the tendency of humans to never make mistakes is low.

Saying it is a potential investigative aide sounds fine.  Saying it will aid law enforcement because all transactions are traceable is rhetoric.

It aids law enforcement in that the serial numbers on bitcoin are easier to track than the serial numbers on dollar bills, and they don't need to be marked, they come that way.  Further, no subpoena is needed to look at the block chain, as they would need to pull bank records.

It is not a BIG help, so don't oversell it.

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November 12, 2013, 09:21:25 PM
 #148

As for Theymos, he gave some kid special privileges, ran his ads, and made him think he was a big shot.  The TF went crazy and did all this stupid stuff.  I blame Theymos for causing this whole thing more than I blame TradeFortress.  I also blame the Foundation and the developers for sitting by and doing nothing while all this happens.

TradeFortress's #1 mistake was not using cold storage. Everyone will get hacked at some point in the future (or should at least assume they will) regardless of how awesome and official their security policies are. As for Theymos, you would have to assume that he knew how old TradeFortress was, or knew whether his service used cold storage or not. Far as I know, Theymos will run adds for everything (legal), since his job is to run the forum, not be the BBB and do security inspections for other businesses.
As for the foundation, Bitcoin Foundation and Bitcoin Police are two different entities. Plus the Foundation is trying hard to put on an image that they are not trying to control bitcoin or anyone in particular, and just want to educate people and promote bitcoin itself. Attacking TradeFortress would have hurt their image within the bitcoin community, even if it may have helped bitcoin itself in the long run.

Did you lose money with TradeFortress?

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November 12, 2013, 09:30:34 PM
 #149

I think the key is to get Bitcoin in the hands of as many people as possible.  To do that the exchanges need bank accounts.
To do that we need a bitcoin country. So why not build a country?


Definitively possible, there are ways to make new country like
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micronation
We should proceed this way.

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November 12, 2013, 09:38:29 PM
 #150

Forgive me if this has been discussed (thread is too long to fully read now):

I'd be prepared to address consumer protection concerns. From the Chicago Fed's recent report (pdf), it's clear that a big concern is consumer protection, probably in several areas:

1) The high exchange-rate volatility of an unbacked asset; eg, consumers who buy/hold bitcoin may not be aware of the risk. Gov thinks it needs to protect them.

2) Theft/Loss of bitcoin; again, how to ensure that consumers are either aware of the risks, or have recourse.

3) Legitimacy of bitcoin-related businesses. This is obviously being discussed to death, but the path is fairly obvious; obey money transmission regs, at both the federal and state level. Obviously most established and VC-backed businesses are (or are getting) aggressive about this.


Personally, I'd rather let the market sort out each of the above issues, ultimately resulting in more intelligent consumer demand and consequently better companies, but the reality is that gov has taken a primary consumer protection role in the economy, and they're going to want to know how they can maintain such a presence in the bitcoin ecosystem. I think making the point that bitcoin companies are doing everything they can to be compliant and to set customer expectations appropriately can help. Additionally, efforts such as DATA should indicate reasonable goodwill.

FWIW, to all the "don't even talk to the gov" folks, it's in bitcoin's best interest to get into the most hands possible, and developing a decent relationship with existing authorities is a practical way to accomplish this.


Bitcoin is the first monetary system to credibly offer perfect information to all economic participants.
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November 12, 2013, 09:39:11 PM
 #151

On another front, there are now a few new bitcoin startups choosing to domicile in Singapore due to a more favorable regulatory environment. The US still has much of bitcoin ecosystem, but it's worth observing that this may rapidly change if the US doesn't get more inline with Canada, Germany, Singapore, and others, with regard to a sensible regulatory approach (most obviously, eliminating or streamlining the onerous state-by-state money-transmission/surety-bond situation). It'd be a shame for the US to sit idlely by while legacy regulation caused the global bitcoin/crypto-currency/crypto-asset tech boom to be dominated by another jurisdiction.

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November 12, 2013, 10:22:44 PM
 #152

Saying it is a potential investigative aide sounds fine.  Saying it will aid law enforcement because all transactions are traceable is rhetoric.

That's why I didn't say they are traceable. I said they are recorded. Transaction information doesn't need to be directly traceable to a user to be useful.
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November 13, 2013, 04:45:07 AM
 #153

As for claiming Bitcoin makes law enforcement easier because transactions can be tracked, I think that is a mistake because it is really not true.  You have change addresses that obfuscate things.  You can also just use intermediate addresses and in court they have to prove the entire chain of custody unless they have other evidence.  To trace things you have to depend on consolidation so trying to claim it makes law enforcement easier is just rhetoric.  In some specific cases it may help and it others it may hinder.

You may not be aware long before Silk Road was taken down operators of a copycat site not so buried within Tor were arrested. If I remember correctly they were identified via use of their Hushmail account, which agents also used to introduce a trojan on their machine to aid their investigation.

People, including law enforcement, will use technology differently and with various degrees of effectiveness. Very smart (or very large) law breakers will probably find a way to do what they want to do with or without Bitcoin. Using the block chain as a potential investigation aid is not rhetoric, because the degree of accuracy of computers is very high while the tendency of humans to never make mistakes is low.

These market places you are refering to where not using bitcon but rather paypal, moneygram, western union.

You may have already known that, just wanted to put that out there.
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November 13, 2013, 11:47:09 AM
 #154

http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=955322cc-d648-4a00-a41f-c23be8ff4cad

The list of people appearing at the Senate banking committee has been published. Tony Gallippi from BitPay will be there, as will Chris Larsen of Ripple and the president of BIPS.
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November 13, 2013, 02:28:46 PM
 #155

http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=955322cc-d648-4a00-a41f-c23be8ff4cad

The list of people appearing at the Senate banking committee has been published. Tony Gallippi from BitPay will be there, as will Chris Larsen of Ripple and the president of BIPS.

What the hell? Did they move it from Monday the 18th to Tuesday the 19th? Or is this a follow-up meeting? (I'm going to have to change my schedule at work now)

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November 13, 2013, 02:37:56 PM
 #156

http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=955322cc-d648-4a00-a41f-c23be8ff4cad

The list of people appearing at the Senate banking committee has been published. Tony Gallippi from BitPay will be there, as will Chris Larsen of Ripple and the president of BIPS.
Creator of Ripple to represent Bitcoin?
Makes perfect sense.

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November 13, 2013, 02:41:25 PM
 #157

From the Forbes article (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/11/13/sanitizing-bitcoin-coin-validation/):

Quote
In the short term, they talk about a limited database that keeps track only of registered identities and their activities with participating companies, but it’s obvious that their ambitions are grander and that a longer term prospect is to take advantage of the transparency of the Bitcoin system to keep track of which Bitcoin is tainted by associations with black markets. Waters says that the development of that aspect will depend on “community feedback".

This is the kind of disaster we're trying to warn you about. How long will it be before pressure is brought to bear on core developers to make coin tainting part of the core software?
In a global network, who gets to decide which coins are tainted?

Please do not cooperate with this, it will be the end of Bitcoin.

Possessing money and transferring money should never have been made a crime. That act was the beginning of limitless government power over free speech and free enterprise.

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November 13, 2013, 03:10:02 PM
 #158

IT is a crypto currency hearing, not a Bitcoin hearing and the senate creates the list of witnesses.
This just proves my point. A fair number of people on this forum are smarter than the members of the senate.

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November 13, 2013, 03:16:56 PM
 #159

IT is a crypto currency hearing, not a Bitcoin hearing and the senate creates the list of witnesses.
This just proves my point. A fair number of people on this forum are smarter than the members of the senate.

Everyone knows that Bitcoiners are smarter and more attractive than most people.
How many in the senate have bitcoin?

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November 13, 2013, 03:21:31 PM
 #160

IT is a crypto currency hearing, not a Bitcoin hearing and the senate creates the list of witnesses.
This just proves my point. A fair number of people on this forum are smarter than the members of the senate.

Everyone knows that Bitcoiners are smarter and more attractive than most people.
How many in the senate have bitcoin?
Most likely none.

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November 13, 2013, 04:48:57 PM
 #161

From the Forbes article (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/11/13/sanitizing-bitcoin-coin-validation/):

Quote
In the short term, they talk about a limited database that keeps track only of registered identities and their activities with participating companies, but it’s obvious that their ambitions are grander and that a longer term prospect is to take advantage of the transparency of the Bitcoin system to keep track of which Bitcoin is tainted by associations with black markets. Waters says that the development of that aspect will depend on “community feedback".

This is the kind of disaster we're trying to warn you about. How long will it be before pressure is brought to bear on core developers to make coin tainting part of the core software?
In a global network, who gets to decide which coins are tainted?

Please do not cooperate with this, it will be the end of Bitcoin.

Possessing money and transferring money should never have been made a crime. That act was the beginning of limitless government power over free speech and free enterprise.

Good thing we have CoinJoin, DarkWallet, and some future wallet integration to look forward to. Oh, and other bitcoin-using countries that don't give a crap about this. Yes, this is annoyinng and scary, but hopefully not bitcoin-threatening.

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November 13, 2013, 04:49:43 PM
 #162

http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=955322cc-d648-4a00-a41f-c23be8ff4cad

The list of people appearing at the Senate banking committee has been published. Tony Gallippi from BitPay will be there, as will Chris Larsen of Ripple and the president of BIPS.

What the hell? Did they move it from Monday the 18th to Tuesday the 19th? Or is this a follow-up meeting? (I'm going to have to change my schedule at work now)

I see, this is a complete different hearing in front of a different Senate hearing than the original one in this post.  This hearing is the "The Present and Future Impact of Virtual Currency" before the COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND FINANCE and SUBCOMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC POLICY.

So there are hearing on Monday and Tuesday.

My first thought, too, but there are no hearings scheduled for Monday in there.

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November 13, 2013, 04:55:03 PM
 #163

Ah, found it!

Monday, Nov 18th, is the original hearing with Homeland Security guys
http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/hearings/beyond-silk-road-potential-risks-threats-and-promises-of-virtual-currencies

Tuesday, Nov 19th, is a different hearing with Banking guys
http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=955322cc-d648-4a00-a41f-c23be8ff4cad

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November 13, 2013, 05:07:54 PM
 #164

At least they did not call in Inaba(Josh) from BFL lol.
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November 13, 2013, 05:11:08 PM
 #165

At least they did not call in Inaba(Josh) from BFL lol.

They should have. It would have stalled any discussions, decisions, and legislation for at least "two weeks"TM (i.e. a year)

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November 13, 2013, 06:01:29 PM
 #166

It's going to be very interesting to see how the market reacts during this period.  One could argue they already are, it wouldn't surprise me if we see a sudden big movement in the price of Bitcoin up or down just before the hearings, and then shortly after.

It's something we see a lot in other markets like precious metals whenever there is going to be an announcement on employment figures or QE tapering, the market plays its little game around it with a sharp bounce.


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November 13, 2013, 06:21:21 PM
 #167

From the Forbes article (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/11/13/sanitizing-bitcoin-coin-validation/):

Quote
In the short term, they talk about a limited database that keeps track only of registered identities and their activities with participating companies, but it’s obvious that their ambitions are grander and that a longer term prospect is to take advantage of the transparency of the Bitcoin system to keep track of which Bitcoin is tainted by associations with black markets. Waters says that the development of that aspect will depend on “community feedback".

This is the kind of disaster we're trying to warn you about. How long will it be before pressure is brought to bear on core developers to make coin tainting part of the core software?
In a global network, who gets to decide which coins are tainted?

Please do not cooperate with this, it will be the end of Bitcoin.

Possessing money and transferring money should never have been made a crime. That act was the beginning of limitless government power over free speech and free enterprise.

Good thing we have CoinJoin, DarkWallet, and some future wallet integration to look forward to. Oh, and other bitcoin-using countries that don't give a crap about this.
I fervently hope you're right. The CoinJoin idea won't be helpful in the true nightmare scenario (which is pretty much described in the article): only greenlisted addresses can be used to buy goods and services in the USA (and in this scenario, also the EU, Russia, China and everywhere there's a decent sized economy). At this point Bitcoin would just die out as it would be offering little or nothing of interest (the greenlisting functioning as the third party, which collects fees etc, and who knows how long 'limited supply' would last). If people still saw the value in a blockchain they would just make government controlled ones.

On balance, my crystal ball says that outcome is very unlikely. But that's what the powers that be are going to be pressing for. The international part of the argument is the only thing keeping me optimistic. But think of it this way: such actions will not only dramatically suppress the growth of the Bitcoin economy, but also make all of us trying to keep using it feel like criminals.

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November 13, 2013, 07:12:19 PM
 #168


Will look for it on C-SPAN

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November 13, 2013, 07:38:11 PM
 #169

At least they did not call in Inaba(Josh) from BFL lol.
He would have probably said: You need to pre-call me 1 year earlier.  Cheesy

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November 13, 2013, 08:39:20 PM
 #170

It's going to be very interesting to see how the market reacts during this period.  One could argue they already are, it wouldn't surprise me if we see a sudden big movement in the price of Bitcoin up or down just before the hearings, and then shortly after.

I'll make sure to tweet something inoccuous while sitting in on the meeting, and make tons of profit on the resulting misdirected market move.

(I'm kidding. I don't tweet)

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November 13, 2013, 08:42:50 PM
 #171


I'll blow you kisses if I see the camera pan around  Grin

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November 13, 2013, 08:45:08 PM
 #172

I fervently hope you're right. The CoinJoin idea won't be helpful in the true nightmare scenario (which is pretty much described in the article): only greenlisted addresses can be used to buy goods and services in the USA (and in this scenario, also the EU, Russia, China and everywhere there's a decent sized economy).

This won't fly in EU, due to their already established and fervently (publicly) defended privacy laws. If all addresses must be greenlisted, and thus known, everyone paying everyone else will know where everyone else spent their received coins on. It would be a privacy nightmare that would mandate the use of coin mixers.

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November 13, 2013, 09:06:43 PM
 #173

I fervently hope you're right. The CoinJoin idea won't be helpful in the true nightmare scenario (which is pretty much described in the article): only greenlisted addresses can be used to buy goods and services in the USA (and in this scenario, also the EU, Russia, China and everywhere there's a decent sized economy).

This won't fly in EU, due to their already established and fervently (publicly) defended privacy laws. If all addresses must be greenlisted, and thus known, everyone paying everyone else will know where everyone else spent their received coins on. It would be a privacy nightmare that would mandate the use of coin mixers.
I don't see this happening.
Greenlisting billions of addresses is not worth it.

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November 13, 2013, 09:24:44 PM
 #174


"Don't hash me, bro!"

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November 13, 2013, 09:55:37 PM
 #175


Tony's in the hot seat! Tony's in the hot seat! Tony's in the hot seat! And we thought Gavin had it bad when he addressed the CIA, et al. a couple years back.

I wonder if it'll be filmed.
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November 13, 2013, 10:11:24 PM
 #176

I fervently hope you're right. The CoinJoin idea won't be helpful in the true nightmare scenario (which is pretty much described in the article): only greenlisted addresses can be used to buy goods and services in the USA (and in this scenario, also the EU, Russia, China and everywhere there's a decent sized economy). At this point Bitcoin would just die out as it would be offering little or nothing of interest (the greenlisting functioning as the third party, which collects fees etc, and who knows how long 'limited supply' would last). If people still saw the value in a blockchain they would just make government controlled ones.

On balance, my crystal ball says that outcome is very unlikely. But that's what the powers that be are going to be pressing for. The international part of the argument is the only thing keeping me optimistic. But think of it this way: such actions will not only dramatically suppress the growth of the Bitcoin economy, but also make all of us trying to keep using it feel like criminals.
Actually, some people are going full steam ahead with constructing exactly that nightmare scenerio, and making a buck while doing it:

http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1qk8yl/bitcoinism_is_it_time_to_boycott_all_us_bitcoin/
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November 13, 2013, 10:23:40 PM
 #177


With this as a backdrop I can't say I expect much good to come out of such a meeting

http://rt.com/usa/wikileaks-tpp-ip-dotcom-670/
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November 14, 2013, 03:23:14 AM
 #178


Word to the wise...once they put hands on you, they have to arrest you for something.  The paperwork and liability issues are easier for them, its their training.

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November 14, 2013, 03:32:13 AM
 #179

See my topic, What if Gov puts the Dollar and Bitcoin on the Silver Standard, 1 to 1?, at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=333424.0.

Smiley

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November 14, 2013, 04:58:04 AM
 #180

See my topic, What if Gov puts the Dollar and Bitcoin on the Silver Standard, 1 to 1?, at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=333424.0.

Smiley

That' can't happen,read the replies.

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November 14, 2013, 05:21:44 AM
 #181

See my topic, What if Gov puts the Dollar and Bitcoin on the Silver Standard, 1 to 1?, at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=333424.0.

Smiley

That' can't happen,read the replies.


Right, but they can peg the dollar to Bitcoin.  Just show them of a graph of how the dollar has been extremely volatile against Bitcoin and suggest that pegging the dollar to Bitcoin would eliminate that.

Are you being sarcastic?
Or are you no longer the Milly from 6 months ago who actually knew a lot of stuff?

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November 14, 2013, 05:24:18 AM
 #182

Right, but they can peg the dollar to Bitcoin.  Just show them of a graph of how the dollar has been extremely volatile against Bitcoin and suggest that pegging the dollar to Bitcoin would eliminate that.

Are you being sarcastic?
Or are you no longer the Milly from 6 months ago who actually knew a lot of stuff?

I choose to interpret that comment, not as something that would be successful, but rather as a suggestion for something that would be hilarious to watch them attempt.
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November 14, 2013, 05:26:15 AM
 #183

Right, but they can peg the dollar to Bitcoin.  Just show them of a graph of how the dollar has been extremely volatile against Bitcoin and suggest that pegging the dollar to Bitcoin would eliminate that.

Are you being sarcastic?
Or are you no longer the Milly from 6 months ago who actually knew a lot of stuff?

I choose to interpret that comment, not as something that would be successful, but rather as a suggestion for something that would be hilarious to watch them attempt.

Indeed. But I can't see that being HELPful, which is the point of this thread.

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November 14, 2013, 05:27:52 AM
 #184

Right, but they can peg the dollar to Bitcoin.  Just show them of a graph of how the dollar has been extremely volatile against Bitcoin and suggest that pegging the dollar to Bitcoin would eliminate that.

Are you being sarcastic?
Or are you no longer the Milly from 6 months ago who actually knew a lot of stuff?

I choose to interpret that comment, not as something that would be successful, but rather as a suggestion for something that would be hilarious to watch them attempt.

Indeed. But I can't see that being HELPful, which is the point of this thread.

Neither can I. Not sure why he said it.

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November 14, 2013, 06:22:27 AM
 #185

See my topic, What if Gov puts the Dollar and Bitcoin on the Silver Standard, 1 to 1?, at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=333424.0.

Smiley

That' can't happen,read the replies.


Right, but they can peg the dollar to Bitcoin.  Just show them of a graph of how the dollar has been extremely volatile against Bitcoin and suggest that pegging the dollar to Bitcoin would eliminate that.

You're right. If both the Bitcoin and the Dollar fluctuate wildly at the same time, no one will be able to tell that bitcoins are fluctuating in value, and everything will stabilize  Grin Maybe I should suggest that during Tuesday's Banking meting.

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November 14, 2013, 07:46:05 AM
 #186

From the Forbes article (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/11/13/sanitizing-bitcoin-coin-validation/):

Quote
In the short term, they talk about a limited database that keeps track only of registered identities and their activities with participating companies, but it’s obvious that their ambitions are grander and that a longer term prospect is to take advantage of the transparency of the Bitcoin system to keep track of which Bitcoin is tainted by associations with black markets. Waters says that the development of that aspect will depend on “community feedback".

This is the kind of disaster we're trying to warn you about. How long will it be before pressure is brought to bear on core developers to make coin tainting part of the core software?
In a global network, who gets to decide which coins are tainted?

Please do not cooperate with this, it will be the end of Bitcoin.

Possessing money and transferring money should never have been made a crime. That act was the beginning of limitless government power over free speech and free enterprise.

Good thing we have CoinJoin, DarkWallet, and some future wallet integration to look forward to. Oh, and other bitcoin-using countries that don't give a crap about this.
I fervently hope you're right. The CoinJoin idea won't be helpful in the true nightmare scenario (which is pretty much described in the article): only greenlisted addresses can be used to buy goods and services in the USA (and in this scenario, also the EU, Russia, China and everywhere there's a decent sized economy). At this point Bitcoin would just die out as it would be offering little or nothing of interest (the greenlisting functioning as the third party, which collects fees etc, and who knows how long 'limited supply' would last). If people still saw the value in a blockchain they would just make government controlled ones.

On balance, my crystal ball says that outcome is very unlikely. But that's what the powers that be are going to be pressing for. The international part of the argument is the only thing keeping me optimistic. But think of it this way: such actions will not only dramatically suppress the growth of the Bitcoin economy, but also make all of us trying to keep using it feel like criminals.

You are saying that they can manage to get everyone selling something online licensed?

Then their next step could be shutting down the internet.

https://tlsnotary.org/ Fraud proofing decentralized fiat-Bitcoin trading.
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November 14, 2013, 02:00:08 PM
 #187

US Senate needs to understand two important things.

1. Bitcoin is not American. This essentially means that the US can choose to welcome innovation and join the crypto-party. Silicon Valley will in this case probably replace Wall Street as the most influential industry in the world. Surely some members of the panel will not hate this idea. (Elizabeth Warren is in it, right?)

Or, alternatively, they can watch how the US becomes excluded from a brand new Eurasian centred digital economy.

2. Bitcoin can be forked. This essentially means that the US can either choose to welcome bitcoin as it is, and accept the a-political and neutral nature of it.

Or, alternatively, they can watch how they become excluded from a brand new Eurasian centred digital economy.

Quote from: Victor Hugo
All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.

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November 14, 2013, 05:18:51 PM
 #188

They can't understand it themselves like the member here did?

A significant percentage of Bitcoin users don't understand Bitcoin, let alone the masses who haven't even tried.
Yet I do. This means that I'm smarter than the members of the US Senate, correct?

I'm afraid so...

On the other hand, perhaps this epitomizes the Dunning-Krugerrand attitude of a significant percentage of Bitcoin users.  "I have spent  hundreds of hours learning about Bitcoin, so I'm smarter than anyone who hasn't".  No, you're not. 

The idea that you are smarter than anyone in the Senate will only lead you to underestimate them.   

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November 14, 2013, 08:30:10 PM
 #189

One thing I think Patrick should say at the hearing, as brazenly as he can muster, is this:
Quote
Thank you for giving The Bitcoin Foundation some influence over the government coercion that could profit us all handsomely.
Then, if he or the Foundation or both can find the wisdom in it, explain that such a plan is immoral and the Foundation has no interest in following it, and then leave.  A review of Voluntaryism might help.

The Economic Policy Journal mentioned this hearing, and I added a comment to the discussion there:
Quote
"Notice the hearing title: "Beyond Silk Road"---a very direct linkage between Bitcoin and illegal activities. Not good."

Let's challenge that directly.  What DPR was doing is *foolishly* viewed by many as immoral, and it is NOT immoral.  He was providing people with a way to break laws that are destructive, harmful, and horrible.  DPR was doing things (for the most part) that were healing our world, not harming it.  The real criminals are those who appropriate money from citizens (taxes) and pay thugs (called "police") with it to violate the rights of people who are ignoring stupid rules that were invented by elected officials to protect corporations.

The fact that most people don't see government as the largest institution of organized crime makes the author's statement true on one level - if we're just going to sit back and lament about it. But if we're going to talk to people about these issues, it provides a great opportunity to help rid our species of the parasite people call "government."

I read through this entire thread hoping to see some folks touch on this, and I think a few did, a little bit - waxwing and marcus_of_augustus - maybe a few others.  Well done, sirs.

On another issue, I think G Edward Griffin is onto something when he suggests that the most important thing for people to consider is whether the collective or the individual is more important.  For some people, because they are weak, stupid, evil, psychotic, or some combination of these things, the collective is more important.  As individuals, they would be quickly ostracized and abandoned by everyone else.  However, if they're smart enough, they will kick ass for good people until they get themselves into positions of "authority," at which point they will subtly, secretly, twist things around so that instead of helping others, they are cannibalizing them.  That's what government is.  Google "Stefan Molyneux" for more info on that.

The "foundation" is a step both toward cooperation which is excellent, and toward collectivism, which is horrible.  Some have "accused" the foundation of working for the interests of its members rather than the whole community, and this accusation embodies the evil of collectivism.  If they worked for the community rather than themselves, they would eventually lose interest and resent the community.  Bitcoin is great because it allows individuals to flourish on their own individual level or within whatever group they want to join.  Cooperation is nice, but when people start expecting a cooperative group to sacrifice, they are promoting evil.

So... is the senate paying the Bitcoin Foundation for the education, or have they (once again) bamboozled otherwise bright people into providing services for free based on the illusion that they provide some kind of value to society?

Has anyone heard of "The Bitcoin Council"?  How about "The Bitcoin Collective" or "The Bitcoin Society"?  I think we need to found those as well as several other groups.

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November 14, 2013, 09:37:24 PM
 #190

Has anyone heard of "The Bitcoin Council"?  How about "The Bitcoin Collective" or "The Bitcoin Society"?  I think we need to found those as well as several other groups.

I actually just learnt there were other "bitcoin foundations" in europe, for example.
http://www.danskbitcoinforening.dk/ is one of them.

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November 15, 2013, 02:38:14 PM
 #191

Has anyone heard of "The Bitcoin Council"?  How about "The Bitcoin Collective" or "The Bitcoin Society"?  I think we need to found those as well as several other groups.

I actually just learnt there were other "bitcoin foundations" in europe, for example.
http://www.danskbitcoinforening.dk/ is one of them.

How can there be more foundations?

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November 15, 2013, 03:02:50 PM
 #192

Has anyone heard of "The Bitcoin Council"?  How about "The Bitcoin Collective" or "The Bitcoin Society"?  I think we need to found those as well as several other groups.

I actually just learnt there were other "bitcoin foundations" in europe, for example.
http://www.danskbitcoinforening.dk/ is one of them.

How can there be more foundations?

Why do you believe that the USA is the centre of the universe?

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November 15, 2013, 03:11:53 PM
 #193

Has anyone heard of "The Bitcoin Council"?  How about "The Bitcoin Collective" or "The Bitcoin Society"?  I think we need to found those as well as several other groups.

Draw up a charter, gather the founders, pick a geography (if you like) and do it

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November 15, 2013, 03:56:09 PM
 #194

Why do you believe that the USA is the centre of the universe?
What is wrong with you? What lead you to this conclusion?
Who said that I support the current foundation, it's location and existence?

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November 15, 2013, 05:35:40 PM
 #195

One decent upside to these Senate hearings is that Sen. Rand Paul is on the Homeland Security Cmte and likely has some staffers that have better than average intelligence w/ a free market perspective. He's definitely the apex of the Liberty Crusaders in Washington DC. I'm supper happy that this issue is being brought to his attention if it hasn't already.
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November 15, 2013, 05:54:42 PM
 #196

https://twitter.com/8Atlas2/status/401407337530798082
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November 15, 2013, 06:16:00 PM
 #197

Well, the date is coming. I hope these meetings result in good news for all of us! (The bitcoiners)

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November 15, 2013, 06:52:25 PM
 #198

Why do you believe that the USA is the centre of the universe?
What is wrong with you? What lead you to this conclusion?
Who said that I support the current foundation, it's location and existence?

Your question 'How can there be more foundations?' indicates surprise that others could exist. It shows that you have not thought that there may be other areas of the world that would have their own version of the 'Foundation'

If you had stated something along the lines of 'I am glad that there are more as they may have a different view' then my response would have be different.

As to what is wrong with me then nothing, why should there be unless you think that having a different opinion than yours is somehow wrong.


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November 15, 2013, 07:01:20 PM
 #199

Well, the date is coming. I hope these meetings result in good news for all of us! (The bitcoiners)

We'll see. Im sure that if the decide something which is negative for the Bitcoin, you will see it quiet fast in the price of the Bitcoins. But, come on, we're all proud on the Bitcoin. They can't harm us Smiley

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November 15, 2013, 07:45:52 PM
 #200

Your question 'How can there be more foundations?' indicates surprise that others could exist. It shows that you have not thought that there may be other areas of the world that would have their own version of the 'Foundation'

If you had stated something along the lines of 'I am glad that there are more as they may have a different view' then my response would have be different.

As to what is wrong with me then nothing, why should there be unless you think that having a different opinion than yours is somehow wrong.


I still don't see the US relevance here.

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November 16, 2013, 05:36:24 AM
 #201

Hello everybody,

this thread has grown quite a bit  : ( :

I found http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=955322cc-d648-4a00-a41f-c23be8ff4cad ,
but where exactly is the webcast going to be broadcasted?

I tried using the contact form on their website, but it is not available.

Thank you.
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November 16, 2013, 05:52:00 AM
 #202


With this as a backdrop I can't say I expect much good to come out of such a meeting

http://rt.com/usa/wikileaks-tpp-ip-dotcom-670/

Really!

Quote
“The TPP will boost our economies, lowering barriers to trade and investment, increasing exports and creating more jobs for our people, which is my number-one priority,” Obama said during a Nov. 2011 address. The deal, he said, “has the potential to be a model not only for the Asia Pacific but for future trade agreements” by regulating markets and creating opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses in the growing global marketplace.

Let me guess. Some Canadian subcontractor is going to build the website for this beast.
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November 16, 2013, 10:30:28 AM
 #203

Your question 'How can there be more foundations?' indicates surprise that others could exist. It shows that you have not thought that there may be other areas of the world that would have their own version of the 'Foundation'

If you had stated something along the lines of 'I am glad that there are more as they may have a different view' then my response would have be different.

As to what is wrong with me then nothing, why should there be unless you think that having a different opinion than yours is somehow wrong.


I still don't see the US relevance here.

The US relevance is implicit because this 'Foundation' that is the centre of the current problem is in the US.

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November 16, 2013, 07:18:46 PM
 #204


With this as a backdrop I can't say I expect much good to come out of such a meeting

http://rt.com/usa/wikileaks-tpp-ip-dotcom-670/

Really!

Quote
“The TPP will boost our economies, lowering barriers to trade and investment, increasing exports and creating more jobs for our people, which is my number-one priority,” Obama said during a Nov. 2011 address. The deal, he said, “has the potential to be a model not only for the Asia Pacific but for future trade agreements” by regulating markets and creating opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses in the growing global marketplace.

Let me guess. Some Canadian subcontractor is going to build the website for this beast.

~are you heading to D.C.?  Grin
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