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Author Topic: Silk Road: anonymous marketplace. Feedback requested :)  (Read 143765 times)
anisoptera
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June 06, 2011, 09:36:21 PM
 #381

I would prefer not to continue our previous discussion until you have answered the question I posed to you directly, anisoptera.

Someone else answered it exactly how I would have answered it so I didn't bother, but I'll repeat their answer.

Silkroad could not exist without Bitcoin. There are sites like Silkroad that do not use Bitcoin, but they aren't Silk Road because they don't use Bitcoin. Only Bitcoin offers the features required for a Silk Road.

So the only remaining answer to your question is Bitcoin - but a Bitcoin which made Silk Road(s) impossible would not be Bitcoin. It would be some other currency that made arbitrary moral decisions about the acceptability of transactions. At that point we might as well be using Flooz.

In other words, your question is completely unanswerable because it's a false dichotomy.

Now answer my question. What would be the purpose of a "regulated Bitcoin"? That is, what would be the functional difference between (I'll use the US here) the USD, which is a regulated, centralized, electronically transferrable currency issued by a central authority, and US-Bitcoin, the centralized, regulated, electronically transferrable currency issued by a central authority with a blockchain?

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June 06, 2011, 09:37:26 PM
 #382

I would prefer not to continue our previous discussion until you have answered the question I posed to you directly, anisoptera.

You mean this?

If you had to choose one service to survive, dooming the other one to failure, would it be Bitcoin, or Silkroad?

It's a bullshit question and you know it.

Silk Road cannot survive without Bitcoin (or some other pseudonymous decentralized currency).

Bitcoin will survive whether or not Silk Road fails.

Bitcoin will not survive if there is a central authority that can stop Silk Road from processing payments.
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June 06, 2011, 09:39:19 PM
 #383

I do not accept your answer, anisoptera.  I have nothing more to say to you, because it is obvious where your true loyalties lie.
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June 06, 2011, 09:44:03 PM
 #384

As for the userbase statement, I'll bet you 5 BTC that if a poll were made in the general bitcoin forums about the motives driving individual interest in the bitcoin movement, the individuals interested in Bitcoins for black transactions would be outnumbered by the users interested in Bitcoins for either personal profit or ideological reasons by at least 3 to 1.  This thread sees a tremendous disparity of idealogy in favor of the black market simply because it is a thread about the black market Bitcoin economy, which uninterested parties aren't even going to take the time to read, much less post in.

That's irrelevant. I am not talking about these forums (how long do we really think all bitcoin users will be posting on these forums) but about potential for growth in the next 1-5 years. There IS a huge potential for BTC to be taken up to facilitate black/grey transactions, not as much other transactions (barring some huge collapse of some fiat currency).

But this whole discussion is irrelevant since I haven't heard any viable proposal of regulating bitcoins. You don't think a similar unregulated currency would pop up within a week? Even with internet gambling, the only reason it was able be regulated was because there were bank accounts to freeze. (Even there, arguably the bigger deal was that there was an incredible amount of money laundering going on, to the extent of actually buying banks to facilitate online poker transactions in the US).

Even if you do not accept my assertion, that as distasteful as it may be for some, black markets represent the greatest uptake potential of BTC (and not just drugs, but paying informants, bribes, weapons dealing, and prob even more unsavory market deals etc etc) there is simply no way to work around it.

and I don't nec think BTC will INCREASE this actual activity, it will just shift from cash and other payment methods towards BTC. In fact for some activities, it is likely to decrease overall levels of violence, etc just as any de facto decriminalization of an activity tends to.

If gov't really wants to capitalize on this, then will regulate and tax drugs and make it EASIER to buy drugs with your credit card at your local corner store much the way itunes has capitalized on music even in the realm of easy digital piracy.
anisoptera
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June 06, 2011, 09:48:19 PM
 #385

I do not accept your answer, anisoptera.  I have nothing more to say to you, because it is obvious where your true loyalties lie.

"You didn't fall into my incredibly transparent and ill-thought-out trap by giving me the answer I wanted, and I can't defend my incredibly flimsy position, so I'm going to make a thinly-veiled "You just want to buy drugs" comment to discredit you."

Hint: the point of bitcoin is not to eliminate entities called "banks".

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June 06, 2011, 09:54:11 PM
 #386

If gov't really wants to capitalize on this, then will regulate and tax drugs and make it EASIER to buy drugs with your credit card at your local corner store much the way itunes has capitalized on music even in the realm of easy digital piracy.
But they won't - nor do I think they have the initiative or the savvy to incorporate the tremendously beneficial changes that Bitcoins could usher in for this country, when it would be so much easier just to attack the people involved.  I consider Bitcoins and the United States too mutually incompatible in terms of ideologies to function together without compromises on both sides.  For this reason, Bitcoins presence here, in one of the world's largest economies, is ultimately doomed.

To those of you who believe that they won't find a way to stop us here, you sorely underestimate the dogged, blind ruthlessness that this country brings to bear when enforcing its ideologies.  Look at our jails, stuffed to capacity with good natured minor marijuana offenders if you need any evidence of this fanaticism.  As a citizen of the united states, I find all of this deeply disappointing - Bitcoins will thrive elsewhere, but I will not be able to partake in the movement for much longer without extensive risk to myself.

And you black marketeers, while you aren't the ultimate reason for Bitcoin's eventual local failure, you have the honor of being the first straw man they've set ablaze in what is - for now - strictly a PR war.

And anisoptera?  Spark up another doobie.  I've invented a new name for your kind on these boards - I'm calling you "Roadies" from here on out.
anisoptera
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June 06, 2011, 09:54:27 PM
 #387

You don't think a similar unregulated currency would pop up within a week? Even with internet gambling, the only reason it was able be regulated was because there were bank accounts to freeze.
Exactly - the US government used its power over the financial institutions in the US to control the world economy in some way. It was able to prevent financial transactions between two independent parties from taking place because it did not find those transactions acceptable.

Quote
(Even there, arguably the bigger deal was that there was an incredible amount of money laundering going on, to the extent of actually buying banks to facilitate online poker transactions in the US).

The money laundering charges were just how the DOJ finally got something to go on, since online poker isn't actually illegal in the US.

The reason they cracked down on this so hard was because of corporate (casino) interests.


But yeah. Bitcoin would totally be better off regulated. We need someone to monitor our transactions and tell us when we're doing something wrong.

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anisoptera
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June 06, 2011, 09:55:33 PM
 #388

And anisoptera?  Spark up another doobie.

Roll Eyes

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June 06, 2011, 09:57:17 PM
 #389

This is going to stun you, but I'm actually a long haired hippie, and I'm definitely pro-decriminalization.
anisoptera
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June 06, 2011, 09:59:57 PM
 #390

This is going to stun you, but I'm actually a long haired hippie, and I'm definitely pro-decriminalization.

Oooh. Decriminalization. Long hair. Well, that lets all the air out of my arguments.

Which weren't about drugs. At all. And if you actually don't understand that, and aren't just trolling me, I'm really sorry for you.

Do you also think that free speech should be limited because the KKK might say something bad?

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June 06, 2011, 10:01:30 PM
 #391

You don't think a similar unregulated currency would pop up within a week? Even with internet gambling, the only reason it was able be regulated was because there were bank accounts to freeze.
Exactly - the US government used its power over the financial institutions in the US to control the world economy in some way. It was able to prevent financial transactions between two independent parties from taking place because it did not find those transactions acceptable.

So, uh, yeah, see that's why I like bitcoin, because it eliminates their power to do that. You can't argue for regulation with one hand and then with the argue cry frustration about what happens when you allow that regulation.

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The money laundering charges were just how the DOJ finally got something to go on, since online poker isn't actually illegal in the US.

The reason they cracked down on this so hard was because of corporate (casino) interests.

Nah, casinos gave up that canard a while ago. I think it was just as motivated by the fact that UIGEA created the incentives to essentially create giant black holes of fradulent transactions where anything could have been going on.

Bitcoin is, by its very nature, a giant black hole (spare me the discussion of a transparent block chain), so whether or not the silk road exists, it is a tremendous threat to the surveillance state. Again, how do you propose to regulate bitcoin? Pretend that I agreed with all your assertions 100% and was just saying okay, that sounds great, but how do we do it?
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June 06, 2011, 10:02:58 PM
 #392

also, an interesting thing I just thought of.

In the US, the supreme court has ruled that money is speech. Corporations are allowed to give freely and anonymously to political causes, because money is speech; corporations have personhood; and people have the First Amendment right to free speech.


So if money is speech, and speech is supposed to be free of regulation by the government... why does Bitcoin need regulation?

Bitcoin is, by its very nature, a giant black hole (spare me the discussion of a transparent block chain), so whether or not the silk road exists, it is a tremendous threat to the surveillance state. Again, how do you propose to regulate bitcoin? Pretend that I agreed with all your assertions 100% and was just saying okay, that sounds great, but how do we do it?

I wasn't arguing with you. Smiley I'm not the one begging for regulation.

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June 06, 2011, 10:04:21 PM
 #393

opps sorry anisoptera. totally read your response as coming from goldenmaw which was REALLY confusing me Smiley

I am still interested both in how you think this regulation occurs goldenmaw and how in our surveillance/police state that is, as you mentioned, stuffed to the gills with people incarcerated for growing or smoking a plant, you are going to convince the powers that be that they should embrace and regulate this new emerging technology and that it is not a threat to their power.
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June 06, 2011, 10:07:39 PM
 #394

Oooh. Decriminalization. Long hair. Well, that lets all the air out of my arguments.

Which weren't about drugs. At all. And if you actually don't understand that, and aren't just trolling me, I'm really sorry for you.
I have been completely serious about every single thing I have said to you.  You want bitcoins strictly for their purchasing power in black market goods.  There is a whole world of virtue besides this, and you aren't a part of it.  
Quote
Do you also think that free speech should be limited because the KKK might say something bad?
Speaking of strawman arguments.

I can't think of any better ways to state the things I have said to you.  Our interest in bitcoins stem from terminally disparate sources.  We will never reach agreement or meaningful conclusion like this.  Pretend I am bowing out of the argument because I have been defeated.  It matters not at all.  What will come, will come, and your anarchistic fantasies won't stop it.  It is too soon for your ideals in my country.
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June 06, 2011, 10:07:53 PM
 #395

...and this was such a nice thread before this nonsense...

Now, people looking for info, will have to go through all this dick waving.
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June 06, 2011, 10:11:49 PM
 #396

opps sorry anisoptera. totally read your response as coming from goldenmaw which was REALLY confusing me Smiley

I am still interested both in how you think this regulation occurs goldenmaw and how in our surveillance/police state that is, as you mentioned, stuffed to the gills with people incarcerated for growing or smoking a plant, you are going to convince the powers that be that they should embrace and regulate this new emerging technology and that it is not a threat to their power.

Now, this is interesting!  Firstly, any hypotheticals I put forward here are hinged on an indefensible and indeed unlikely premise, and another one that defies one of the most obvious design goals of bitcoin - that the federal government could be tempted to abandon the banking establishments with the lure of how easy it would be for a governing body to track and control the movement of bitcoins for the purposes of maintaining a healthy and stable government, were they to be centralized.  

The next thing I lay down is that, the currency of a country's populace must be taxable for that country to survive.  Period.  We, the people, must be taxed, or we can have no government.  "Hooray!",  say the Anarchists, until their murder and pillage by some stronger and better armed Anarchists.  We need our government to be capable of protecting us from harm and to safeguard our well being.

That established, all that would be required for the taxation and regulation of bitcoin usage is to do the unthinkable and centralize it, requiring communication with federal servers to track and verify bitcoin exchanges.  What if the miners connected to these servers in one massive, publicly driven pool?  This would afford Bitcoins all of the benefits of Bitcoin usage except for the purchasing of illegal goods and services.  Banking establishments - the real enemy, here - would simply be written out of the picture, as safeguarding one's life savings is as easy as stashing an encrypted CD containing one's bitcoin wallet, freeing my country from the shackles of bondage that is rapidly annihilating our middle-class.  Inflation, thanks to the powerfully designed preventative measures inherent in Bitcoin's structure, might well still become a thing of the past under such a scenario, although some unconscious part of me suspects that the deflationary measures are in a twisted way hinged on their exchangeability with the inflating USD.  I can't put that worry to words just yet, so don't ask.

Finally, the decentralization of how bitcoins are "printed", coupled with the grotesque difficulty involved in counterfeiting, would revolutionize the stability of what I'll now call the "US-B".  Really, this situation contains all the benefits of the Bitcoin except the inherently anarchistic ones - most notably the traits that the folks I've argued with all afternoon in this thread value the most.


And that ends that fantasy.  The more I think about this, the more damned Bitcoin seems in my country.  That scenario can't happen - power structures loathe change as buildings loathe earthquakes.  The banks have my country by the balls, and Bitcoin's pseudo-anonymity can't stop it.  
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June 06, 2011, 10:34:07 PM
 #397

...and this was such a nice thread before this nonsense...

Now, people looking for info, will have to go through all this dick waving.

I don't think ani has a dick.

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anisoptera
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June 06, 2011, 11:40:17 PM
 #398

You want bitcoins strictly for their purchasing power in black market goods.  There is a whole world of virtue besides this, and you aren't a part of it.

No. I don't. One of the primary attributes of bitcoins I do value just happens to be the same one that provides them with black market purchasing power.

Quote
the decentralization of how bitcoins are "printed", coupled with the grotesque difficulty involved in counterfeiting, would revolutionize the stability of what I'll now call the "US-B".

So you think that a government would regulate and legitimize a currency that they do not have the power to issue?



And I'm the dreamer here?

I don't think ani has a dick.

Smiley

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June 06, 2011, 11:46:44 PM
 #399

opps sorry anisoptera. totally read your response as coming from goldenmaw which was REALLY confusing me Smiley

I am still interested both in how you think this regulation occurs goldenmaw and how in our surveillance/police state that is, as you mentioned, stuffed to the gills with people incarcerated for growing or smoking a plant, you are going to convince the powers that be that they should embrace and regulate this new emerging technology and that it is not a threat to their power.

Now, this is interesting!  Firstly, any hypotheticals I put forward here are hinged on an indefensible and indeed unlikely premise, and another one that defies one of the most obvious design goals of bitcoin - that the federal government could be tempted to abandon the banking establishments with the lure of how easy it would be for a governing body to track and control the movement of bitcoins for the purposes of maintaining a healthy and stable government, were they to be centralized.  

The next thing I lay down is that, the currency of a country's populace must be taxable for that country to survive.  Period.  We, the people, must be taxed, or we can have no government.  "Hooray!",  say the Anarchists, until their murder and pillage by some stronger and better armed Anarchists.  We need our government to be capable of protecting us from harm and to safeguard our well being.

That established, all that would be required for the taxation and regulation of bitcoin usage is to do the unthinkable and centralize it, requiring communication with federal servers to track and verify bitcoin exchanges.  What if the miners connected to these servers in one massive, publicly driven pool?  This would afford Bitcoins all of the benefits of Bitcoin usage except for the purchasing of illegal goods and services.  Banking establishments - the real enemy, here - would simply be written out of the picture, as safeguarding one's life savings is as easy as stashing an encrypted CD containing one's bitcoin wallet, freeing my country from the shackles of bondage that is rapidly annihilating our middle-class.  Inflation, thanks to the powerfully designed preventative measures inherent in Bitcoin's structure, might well still become a thing of the past under such a scenario, although some unconscious part of me suspects that the deflationary measures are in a twisted way hinged on their exchangeability with the inflating USD.  I can't put that worry to words just yet, so don't ask.

Finally, the decentralization of how bitcoins are "printed", coupled with the grotesque difficulty involved in counterfeiting, would revolutionize the stability of what I'll now call the "US-B".  Really, this situation contains all the benefits of the Bitcoin except the inherently anarchistic ones - most notably the traits that the folks I've argued with all afternoon in this thread value the most.


And that ends that fantasy.  The more I think about this, the more damned Bitcoin seems in my country.  That scenario can't happen - power structures loathe change as buildings loathe earthquakes.  The banks have my country by the balls, and Bitcoin's pseudo-anonymity can't stop it.  

You are in a dream world. This is why your country, any many others like it, are damned. Welcome to an earthquake technology.

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June 06, 2011, 11:48:53 PM
 #400

You are in a dream world. This is why your country, any many others like it, are damned. Welcome to an earthquake technology.

I said it was a fantasy.  Damned is such a great word for it.  The way my country is organized has it so barricaded against the emergence of Bitcoins that I'm starting to think that it would take nothing short of an armed nerd revolution to see it through.

Worse still is the sheer number of users in the relatively tech-savvy USA who stand to lose a great deal when the hammer finally falls.
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