Charlie Stross: Bitcoin should die in a fire


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Wonder if Charlie read the White House NSA panel’s report and their recommendations:

(2) Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate the financial systems …

Let’s read that again:
(2) Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate the financial systems …

Wow. “to change the amounts held in financial accounts

Welcome to big government, Charlie!

Also, the argument that an anonymous medium of exchange can be used for ill is a nice argument for the abolishment of cash money because, hey, the government should be able to see everything you buy, right?

You think our wonderful investment bankers aren’t paying their fair share of taxes? Bitcoin is pretty much designed for tax evasion.

So the problem isn’t the entire industry that’s breaking existing laws, but that a new player might make that slightly easier for them? Wut?


Well, they aren’t breaking existing laws, the existing laws themselves are broken. Hedgies get to code the bulk of their earnings as capital gains (“carried interest”) and therefore pay a much smaller tax rate (15%) than if it was coded (appropriately) as normal W-2 compensation (30%+). With BitCoin, though, nobody’s reporting anything, so you’re now looking at people essentially paying 0% taxes instead of even 15%.


I’m really sick of libertarians. I live with Ayn Rand fans. Ah, the virtues of selfishness.


I realise Bitcoin is an inanimate object, but the expression “x should die in a fire” needs to die in a fire. Seriously, I’m sick of hearing it.


Heh. “Dunning-Krugerrands”


Hey, someone picked up or simultaneously invented “Not Safe For Lunch”! And I’m pretty sure I used it last for a picture of Fournier’s Gangrene I’d been inadvertently exposed to.

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The NSA is out of control, and we desperately need to rein them in (abolishing them would be a good start). But I’m afraid there simply is not a technological solution to your concern.



They all suffer from arrested development and generally do not have the ability to think things through in any fashion.
I mean, it sort of makes sense there are more of them given our culture change to nano-second attention spans, I got mine attitudes, etc…


Yes, people who advocate voluntary, non-violent interactions are bad. I mean how can it hold an ethical candle to other ideologies in which tyrannies of the majority and government enforcers are used to turn preferences into law.

Of course wanting my preferences enforced isn’t greedy, I know this because I know what’s best for others. If libertarian philosophy were widely embraced there might be bad outcomes unlike other ideologies, the status quo must be protected at all costs! -Clutches pearls-


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political theory

He’s really being too generous there. It’s more like a cynical lobbying arm masquerading as something more intellectually substantial. Like the piece though. He points out some of the obvious problems and motivations involved in this kind of thing. Increasingly I’m reminded that ‘techie’ liber-randroids are some of the lowest forms of human we must endure. Nothing worse than these new money, Silicon Valley, psycho-nerds with inferiority complexes. That’s a recipe for bad news man…


You realize that the government has already seized other people’s bitcoins at gunpoint, right? Bitcoin in no way protects you from government changing the amount of money in your account. Dream on.


Doing things at gunpoint is a bit different than doing them from one’s desktop computer.

Surely I don’t have to explain the difference.

Except that torture probably has a lower success rate than decryption.

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Right, nothing worse than people who advocate against using state violence to force people into power structures that don’t have their best interest in mind.

Disclaimer: I’m not a libertarian.


So you’re arguing that government grabbing your money online is worse than government arresting you at gunpoint to grab your money? Really?

Besides, big government can hack systems and install malware to steal your Bitcoins too. Haven’t you been reading the Snowden news? It’s just easier for them to grab your wallet by grabbing your computer.

I agree, I should just shut up and let my betters decide what’s best. You’ve convinced me with your insightful comment.


[Libertarians are against money][1].

Maybe you meant to write “proprietarian”. These folks want to co-opt anarchism and associate “freedom” and “liberty” with the freedom to own and exploit the labor of others.