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

Jeffrey Walton noloader at gmail.com
Sun Feb 26 13:44:11 EST 2012

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:
>> Well put, James.  Warren Buffet's arguments are, to my eye,
>> aligned with yours.  He argues that gold has no intrinsic
>> value, unlike farmland or a company like Coca Cola.  In that
>> way, his evaluation is as instrumentalist as is yours, to the
>> extent that I understand the both of you.  His discussion of
>> gold, per se, is getting some press.  See
>> 2011 shareholder letter
>> www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2011ltr.pdf
>> What I would add to your analysis of fiat currency is to agree
>> that nails, moonshine liquor, and antibiotics are replacements
>> for fiat currency, but I must also note that the modern economy
>> is all but totally dependent on large enterprises which, because
>> of their largeness alone, simply cannot engage in barter.
> It is not just about big business, it is also about maintaining a
> functioning government.  There is too much specialization in society
> for courts to assign damages in terms of nails, whiskey, cattle, rice,
> or whatever else.  How does the government assess a fine in terms of
> barter?
> 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.
Its interesting to note the government does not always accept its own
money: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2010/07/15/14723646.html.

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