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Author Topic: Bitcoin Common Law System  (Read 8440 times)
rebuilder
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February 23, 2011, 07:21:28 PM
 #21


But isn't the point of a law system to enforce the rules upon those who don't want to follow them? To prevent behaviors that the majority (or at least those in power) deem unacceptable? To have an opt-in law system is, frankly, silly as the only people that will pay attention to it are the ones who will follow it. Without the ability to extend the reach of the law system to those who don't want to be a part of it, the law system just creates busywork, friction, and annoyances.

Not necessarily. If you want to take advantage of voluntary arbitration, you will state that you will only do business under the condition that other parties will accept some set of rules and a method of arbitration. If they refuse, you take that as a sign they're not trustworthy and refuse to do business with them. Someone else may do business without any prior agreement regarding arbitration, but in doing so they accept they have no real recourse against being scammed, except to try to pit their word against that of the scammer.

Overall I'm starting to think arbitration is not the big issue here. It's proving you've been wronged that needs to be figured out. For physical goods, registered shipping is a good start. What about other types of trade? If someone was to claim an exchange operator was acting dishonestly, what kind of proof could they provide for their claims? What kind of transparency could an exchange provide to make it possible for users to make their case if dispute arises?

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February 23, 2011, 07:28:02 PM
 #22

Ah, you're talking arbitration. That's very different from a set of laws. You're talking guidelines that two (or more) parties could use to settle disputes they have regarding Bitcoin transaction. Just a semantic problem then, sorry.

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February 23, 2011, 07:37:34 PM
 #23

Guys, do any of you have any legal qualifications or at least studied law a little bit? Have any of you ever drafted a contract? Have any of you ever initiated a lawsuit? Defended lawsuit? Have someone of you ever talked to a solicitor or lawyer? Have any of you presented an argument to a judge?

I've just read so much nonsence on last few pages than I am having trouble coming up with any coherent argument or seeing any sense in what was said.

I do not mean to offend anyone, sorry. Simply a bit overwhelmed by naivety of some posts.


I'd be interested in hearing any concrete objections you could voice. I get the feeling we're not exactly on the same page here. I'm envisioning something very simple and limited in scope. Maybe the terminology used makes it sound more complex than it is?

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February 23, 2011, 07:45:30 PM
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Guys, do any of you have any legal qualifications or at least studied law a little bit? Have any of you ever drafted a contract? Have any of you ever initiated a lawsuit? Defended lawsuit? Have someone of you ever talked to a solicitor or lawyer? Have any of you presented an argument to a judge?

I've just read so much nonsence on last few pages than I am having trouble coming up with any coherent argument or seeing any sense in what was said.

I do not mean to offend anyone, sorry. Simply a bit overwhelmed by naivety of some posts.


I'd also like to see what you say the nonsense is. I know I was confused. I don't pretend to have any background in legal systems. My only experience with the legal system (outside of traffic tickets) was being in the middle of a bankruptcy, and having a friend who is a paralegal.

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February 23, 2011, 11:43:23 PM
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I was just thinking about private law the other day. Bob Murphy has some good articles on it, this being one http://mises.org/daily/1874. Also, For A New Liberty and The Ethics of Liberty are two good books by Murray Rothbard that discuss state-less law.

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February 24, 2011, 12:08:15 AM
 #26


I do not mean to offend anyone, sorry. Simply a bit overwhelmed by naivety of some posts.


Naive? Is saying "we don't know until the laws are worked out" over time naive?

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February 24, 2011, 02:03:00 AM
 #27


I do not mean to offend anyone, sorry. Simply a bit overwhelmed by naivety of some posts.


Naive? Is saying "we don't know until the laws are worked out" over time naive?

Well, what do you even mean by "law"? Laws, outside of scientific usage, are rules set down by a higher authority that you are to follow. Fundamental in law is that it is enforced.

While it is true that "we don't know the until the laws are worked out", it is also true that there are no laws until some group of us decides on what they are, and threatens anyone breaking them with punishment, which we will deliver. A law is simply not a law unless there is some thug ready to hand out punishment and the community at large agrees that they are not going to stop him.

I paint it in bleak, simplistic terms but, thats what a law is in the end. Certainly it sounds as if I dislike the very concept of law (and I do bear it some contempt) but, there are certainly a number of shall we say "evil deeds" which the law proihibits and for which, I am more than happy to turn a blind eye too (or even to cheer now and again.... ) also, being a city dweller, I must admit, there probably is some usefulness to some amount of the regulations that are used to keep things running smoothly and neighbors from each others throats.

In any case, I don't see any of us forming a band of thugs, ready to track people down and hand out justice. So.... certainly we can discuss codes of conduct and ethical behaviour, where those things intersect and diverge from the laws of various lands that we may or may not be in, but.... to actually think we are going to make any sort of law.... well... you have to have an organization to have law within it.

It would also be quite legitimate to question how one would institute social systems which encourage ethical behavior and protect its members (and/or others) from the bad actors that will crop up from time to time. Things like.... I don't know.... credit rating agencies? Bonding? Wink not law, but, in a way can serve similar ends, and are much more productive to discuss.

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February 24, 2011, 02:12:57 AM
 #28

It would also be quite legitimate to question how one would institute social systems which encourage ethical behavior and protect its members (and/or others) from the bad actors that will crop up from time to time. Things like.... I don't know.... credit rating agencies? Bonding? Wink not law, but, in a way can serve similar ends, and are much more productive to discuss.

Wikipedia said:

Quote
Law[4] is a system of rules and guidelines, usually enforced through a set of institutions.[5]

Obviously, we cannot enforce the law through violence and coercion. However, it doesn't mean that enforcement is impossible. For example, reputation destruction means the loss of economic power in the global bitcoin economy. So one must follow procedures and judgement to be considered "trustworthy".

Anybody who starts with a low reputation will be accorded with low economic power.

Think of it this way: anarcho-capitalists condemn coercion, but it doesn't mean that we think rules and guidelines shouldn't exists.

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February 24, 2011, 04:28:32 AM
 #29

But isn't the point of a law system to enforce the rules upon those who don't want to follow them? To prevent behaviors that the majority (or at least those in power) deem unacceptable? To have an opt-in law system is, frankly, silly as the only people that will pay attention to it are the ones who will follow it. Without the ability to extend the reach of the law system to those who don't want to be a part of it, the law system just creates busywork, friction, and annoyances.

This is not going to happen thankfully.  There will be no Bitcoin law. 

Who would pay to run and enforce it?  Then we would have Bitcoin tax. 

At most we could have an opt-in (and I would not need to for my purposes) credit reporting system, but even that is blown easily with people just making new addresses. 

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February 24, 2011, 04:37:54 AM
 #30

But isn't the point of a law system to enforce the rules upon those who don't want to follow them? To prevent behaviors that the majority (or at least those in power) deem unacceptable? To have an opt-in law system is, frankly, silly as the only people that will pay attention to it are the ones who will follow it. Without the ability to extend the reach of the law system to those who don't want to be a part of it, the law system just creates busywork, friction, and annoyances.

This is not going to happen thankfully.  There will be no Bitcoin law. 

Who would pay to run and enforce it?  Then we would have Bitcoin tax. 

At most we could have an opt-in (and I would not need to for my purposes) credit reporting system, but even that is blown easily with people just making new addresses. 

We already have an informal form of bitcoin law enforcment at the moment. There were vigilanties in that russian scam backup program case, they wen't after him and got most of the BTC back.

There is the case currently being dealt with by MTGOX, the accused has had their funds frozen.

Tools, protocols, and frameworks are being developed and worked on now to help solve these problems and keep scammers out.

We don't exactly need (or have) police, but if a scammer finds that no one will do any business with them and they can't use any bitcoin related services well that is enforcement enough for me, and for most people I think too.

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kiba
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February 24, 2011, 04:39:05 AM
 #31

People are still thinking of laws in term of nation-states and violent enforcement.

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February 24, 2011, 04:46:53 AM
 #32

People are still thinking of laws in term of nation-states and violent enforcement.

Exactly, and that's just not possible here. We enfource our "laws" by boycotting a person. If someone can't do business with bitcoins, they have effectively been thrown out of the bitcoin community.

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kiba
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February 24, 2011, 04:59:40 AM
 #33


It is all nice and dandy (not). Until such vigilanties get onto someone with a brain and resources (whether guilty or not) and get sued into begisus out of all their worldly possessions. In real courts no less.


In effect, that is a lifetime ban from the bitcoin economy. The result of that would be to concentrate the economic power of those with a reputation at the expense of everyone else.

It's all fun and game until somebody get hurt.

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February 24, 2011, 04:33:19 PM
 #34

With all the anonymity stuff, how can you ban someone?

(I dont always get new reply notifications, pls send a pm when you think it has happened)

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February 24, 2011, 04:38:53 PM
 #35

With all the anonymity stuff, how can you ban someone?

We can't.

I theorize that trust/reputation = economic power. An anonymous person with no history have very little power. He will have to work hard.

Suppose, if there's a bunch of people deciding not to cooperate, the bitcoin economy would shift the balance of power to the very well trusted. This is a security problem.

When somebody decide to sue someone in a "real" court of law. That's going to be damaging to the international bitcoin economy just like paypal suspending mtgox's account and making it clear that paypal is not trusted.

The worst case scenario is that people will no longer deal with someone unless that someone is a friend of a friend.

Like I said, it's all fun and game until somebody get hurt.

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February 25, 2011, 01:38:14 AM
 #36

With all the anonymity stuff, how can you ban someone?

Working on that.

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February 26, 2011, 07:19:07 PM
 #37

The way "laws" work is by every honest member agreeing to not associate with or do business with anyone who has earned a bad reputation.  Doing business with those who have a bad reputation is a way to earn a bad reputation.  No one needs to "enforce" at gun point anything for this to work. 

All that is needed is a P2P web of trust and the ability to "earn trust".  An ID can be anonymous, yet trusted if it has a known history of honest dealings.

Giving anyone or any group the "power" to enforce (point a gun) rules they came up with upon threat of force is simple tyranny.   The only way to keep a good reputation is to settle things quickly with everyone, or voluntarily submit to arbitration and then obey the decision.  Failure to submit to arbitration is like filing bankruptcy and no one will give you "credit". 

In reality, all systems of "trust" are just systems of "credit" and if you cannot get "credit" it is hard to do business.

Then you let peoples "profit" motive keep them in line.

Finally once everyone has been refunded their losses, a person should be re-enstated.  This is to motivate people to "make things right".

Rule #1) No one shall use the threat of force against anyone else in any case (except immediate self defense).

Then the "good laws" will develop organically, and the "bad laws" will simply be ignored. 

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February 26, 2011, 07:26:46 PM
 #38

Rule #1) No one shall use the threat of force against anyone else in any case (except immediate self defense).


I think the use of coercive enforcement apparatus will be allowed to be used against would-be murderers.

I also presume that that terrestrial lawsuit can be met with terrestrial lawsuit as retaliation.

Which is to basically say, the upper limit of force is established by the aggressor. Even so, the use of force will still be a rare event.

Which is to say, even if somebody scammed or stole some money from me, I won't do a terrestrial lawsuit. Such lawsuit could only occurs in the circumstance of somebody suing me in a terrestrial jurisdiction.

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February 26, 2011, 07:44:49 PM
 #39

Prior to law, moreover here the Civil Code, we must settle the Principle - on Earthling meanings, the "constitution". Under which principle we create a rule, under which principle it may be applicable, to which reasonably and extent.

Putting this to words on a first initial draft:

#1 Principle of Decentralization

No one can claim to "own the Bitcoin" or the "Bitcoin word", nor require any fee under such behalf, it belongs to everyone who uses them as a payment method for trade.

#2 Principle of Free Market

No Bitcoin market can be accepted as part of any country's financial and economical regulations. It's a currency to the World not to a specific country.

#3 Principle of Distribution

Bitcoins are naturally distributed by the miners according to the processing power they add to the mesh and by the randomness thereby generated.

...

BTW, the "enforcing system" used so far is "e-Thug like"; we've to think this over, maybe a way to "taint coins", eg. by mark stolen transaction hashes on some site.
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February 27, 2011, 04:37:07 AM
 #40

A Common Economic Protocol?

ReleaseCandidate-Alpha-0.0.1

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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