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As far as I understand it, Taler seems to be great for privacy and society (ensuring income is taxable). Governments can't see how you spend your money, but they can see who receives payments.

Bitcoin and others will never succeed because they are too friendly towards illicit behaviour. Taler seems to strike a genuinely interesting and ethical balance here.




The underlying assumption is that governments don't care about how you spend money. This is patently untrue, because "liberal" governments explicitly use taxation as global social modification schemes, for all sorts of things beyond income redistribution - from minimizing percieved vices (alcohol, tobacco) to minimizing environmental footprint, etc.

The idea that this sort of activity is able to be decoupled from surveillance is one of the more unfortunate delusions in politics.


Those schemes don't usually depend on knowing what each particular citizen bought; the tax is imposed on the product, not on the person, so you'll pay it even if you use a perfectly anonymous currency.

That said, I do agree that governments care about the contents of the purchase; around here, all sales must be invoiced with certified software, and a copy of all invoices issued must be delivered monthly to the IRS by businesses. As the buyer, you can opt to remain anonymous, but they're trying to push people into not doing so.


Why did you specify liberal governments (is this not something all governments do?), and put it in quotes?


I would guess because Taler's tagline is "Electronic payments for a liberal society!"


Other less liberal governments will simply ban something they consider sinful instead of try to make money off it while letting their populace (who they are supposed to care about) slide into hell (if the thing is truly sinful). Historically this doesn't work so well in the US, but in other places like Singapore it works better.


Not true at all. Conservative governments often desire things like trade protection tariffs. They may ban 'immoral' things rather than merely tax them differently, but they are still very interested in controlling the flow of money.


And which sort of "liberal" do you mean classic 19 century free-trade ones, American Liberals, uk style Liberals??


I find it fascinating that you think taxation can be generally described as "ethical" without serious qualication; what about taxation by an unethical government, like a dictatorship or a government that uses the money to murder people?

Is cash also unethical because the government doesn't have absolute surveillance on cash spending?

What the project claims is a "liberal" tool can very easily become a very unethical tool of oppression.


>Bitcoin and others will never succeed because they are too friendly towards illicit behaviour.

I doubt various governments can do a whole lot about it, which means it's likely to succeed eventually.


I'd like you to define "succeed" and, indeed, "it", so that you're making a testable claim here. Do you mean the present Bitcoin blockchain, or something else?


> Bitcoin and others will never succeed because they are too friendly towards illicit behaviour.

Bitcoin will never (fully) succeed because it's too complex for the general public.


Bitcoin will never succeed in its current form because its capabilities are limited in a number of ways by design, even if the problem of public's level of expertise goes away. One of such limitations is, even if there are subdivisions down to a "satoshi", "satoshi" level of payments are not currently (and I believe that will not ever be) possible. That is because of another limitation, that is the centralized nature of the ledger which acts as a bottleneck.


Where is the center of the ledger?


I think they're referring to the scalability problem where the number of transactions and size of the blockchain grow to a point where running a full node is prohibitively expensive and leads to a smaller number of miners verifying transactions.

http://radar.oreilly.com/2015/01/blockchain-scalability.html




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