Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.”     John Locke,    Two Treatises of Government, Of Property

October 2, 2013

A Simple Question About Motive

by Brad Warbiany

The Feds just arrested the owner of Silk Road, a black market web drug marketplace, and seized the domain name.

Now, there are obviously a lot of reasons why they’d want to catch this guy. But I was struck by the headline at the above linked article:

Feds arrest the alleged founder of Bitcoin’s largest drug market

It makes you wonder…

Is this about drugs, or is this about fighting Bitcoin?

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  1. Who can resist a BOGO? Amirite?

    Comment by thomasblair — October 2, 2013 @ 5:21 pm
  2. They don’t actually have to FIGHT bitcoin. It’s already illegal (alternative currencies are illegal in this country, as is using technical means to circumvent anti-money laundering, and anti-tax evasion efforts), they just have to enforce the law whenever they feel like it.

    And this is speaking as someone who ran anti-money-laundering (AML) for one of the largest banks in america, for six years…

    Comment by Chris — October 2, 2013 @ 11:17 pm
  3. After a quick panic of traders on Wednesday after the news came out, the exchange rate for bitcoins recovered today to close to the pre-Silk Road news level. The bitcoin economy will go on just fine without Silk Road.

    Using alternative currencies is not illegal in this country.

    Comment by Peter — October 3, 2013 @ 1:31 pm
  4. Your last statement is entirely false, if you are referring to the United States.

    18 U.S.C. § 486:

    Whoever, except as authorized by law, makes or utters or passes, or attempts to utter or pass, any coins of gold or silver or other metal, or alloys of metals, intended for use as current money, whether in the resemblance of coins of the United States or of foreign countries, or of original design, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

    The federal government has taken the position that 18usc, plus the legal tender act, the federal reserve act, and various other minor acts and regulations; prohibit the promulgation, promotion, minting, printing, or exchange of alternate currencies.

    Now… the status of purely electronic alternate currencies is unclear… But the government could, at any time, push the issue, as it has in the past with previous attempts.

    Hell… they have consent decrees with paypal, about how paypal can operate so as to NOT fall afoul of these regulations etc…

    Comment by Chris — October 3, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

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