[cryptography] (off-topic) Bitcoin is a repeated lesson in cryptography applications - was "endgame"

Benjamin Kreuter brk7bx at virginia.edu
Sun Feb 26 11:40:14 EST 2012

On Sun, 26 Feb 2012 11:00:15 -0500
"Bill St. Clair" <billstclair at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 26, 2012 at 10:08 AM, Benjamin Kreuter
> <brk7bx at virginia.edu> wrote:
> > On Sun, 26 Feb 2012 08:48:05 -0500
> > dan at geer.org wrote:
> > Money and government go hand in hand.  Governments need money in
> > order to manage taxes, fees, fines, and so forth; yet money becomes
> > valuable because of the legal structure that surrounds it, which is
> > as true for gold as it is for fiat currency.  Even if you could
> > become completely self sufficient, to the point of not have to
> > trade with anyone, you would still need to pay taxes and fees
> > (property taxes, hunting license fees, etc.), and you will need to
> > make those payments in a manner that is accepted by the government
> > (i.e. the money issued by the government).  Barter systems, de
> > facto currencies and so forth only work on small scales.
> You've just made a very good argument for eliminating money, at least
> government issued money. Yes, governments just love to assess taxes,
> fees, and fines. No, I have no need of any of that.

I do not follow your argument -- how does eliminating government issued
money stop governments from collecting taxes and fees?  Governments
whose currencies fail sometimes switch to the currencies issued by
other governments; there are quite a few nations that use US Dollars
instead of issuing their own money.

You may not like the idea of fines or fees, but how would you propose
courts manage disputes between people?  Suppose I fail to maintain my
house, and a piece of it falls off and damages your house -- should you
have to pay for my negligence?  If I raise cattle and you write
software, what should I give you -- a cow perhaps?  Perhaps I should
pay for a repairman to come and fix things -- but what if you do not
like the person I choose?  We have judges and courts to help us resolve
these sorts of disputes, and money is a great way to ease these sorts
of disputes.

You may disagree with the taxes you pay, the fines that are issued, and
so forth -- but would you really want to have a tax collector come and
rate the quality of your work, and then take the products of that work
as a form of tax payment?  Do you want to see people imprisoned,
enslaved, tortured, etc. instead of paying fines?  I also disagree with
the laws in this country, but the solution is not "do away with money"
or "switch to Bitcoin."

-- Ben

Benjamin R Kreuter
UVA Computer Science
brk7bx at virginia.edu


"If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there
will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public
opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even
if laws exist to protect them." - George Orwell
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