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Maybe we need to question whether the government should have the power to unilaterally block a transaction. Just because they’ve been able to in the past doesn’t mean we have to artificially limit technology to let them keep that power.

In the same way they used to be able to tap your phone, but now we can encrypt our calls and make that much more difficult. That doesn’t mean encryption should be illegal.




> Maybe we need to question whether the government should have the power to unilaterally block a transaction. Just because they’ve been able to in the past doesn’t mean we have to artificially limit technology to let them keep that power.

> In the same way they used to be able to tap your phone, but now we can encrypt our calls and make that much more difficult. That doesn’t mean encryption should be illegal.

The government has the power to unilaterally block any transaction in any domain, so long as they deem the transaction to have occurred in or whose parties are under their jurisdiction. I think that, generally speaking, it is rare for the government to cede jurisdiction over a domain once acquired.


> The government has the power to unilaterally block any transaction in any domain, so long as they deem the transaction to have occurred in or whose parties are under their jurisdiction.

The government cannot block cash or barter transactions. Instead, they can declare certain kinds of transaction illegal and then use the courts to punish anyone who engaged in an illegal transaction.

It’s a subtle but important distinction— to do anything against you, the government needs to present some sort of a case to judge and jury, and you have an opportunity to argue your side.


The government can freeze access to your assets unilaterally without your input if they deem it necessary. They can even take your cash and charge it with crimes! That's not even including things like the US government OFAC list which you could end up on without due process.

But to your point, thankfully we (mostly) have due process with our government (in US at least); the same cannot be said of dealing with corporations. I certainly see your point. One large fear I have around money being a number in a database is that your access to the monetary system is more easily revoked, whomever the controlling authority may be.


I think that AML[1] laws were just an example. The point is that the validators have the power to block transactions. This could be due a government request, or because you posted something that Facebook (or one of the other affiliated companies) doesn't like. The actual reason is immaterial; the important thing is that currency is worthless without the ability to spend it.

[1] anti-money-laundering


No, we really don’t need to question that. Financial laws exist for a good reason. Nor should some private company have more power than a sovereign nation just because.


No, we really don’t need to question that.

The main reason we do need to ask the question is that Bitcoin is currently effective at preventing governments from blocking Bitcoin transactions. Even if financial laws exist for a good reason, they don't supercede the "natural laws" of cryptography that determine which actions are possible. So the question isn't whether Facebook should have the power to do X. The question is whether Facebook should be allowed to do X, given that Bitcoin is already permitted to do so.


Would you say the same thing about privacy, or speech?

It is bad that there are private companies, that allow me to engage in free speech, anonymously, without the government knowning my every move?


No I wouldn’t because that would be dumb


Assertions aren’t proof, and no one said there shouldn’t be any financial laws. Do you have anything to add other than an unsupported opinion?


Nope, I feel that my opinion reflects both the conventional wisdom and the expert consensus, which would be a waste of my time to reiterate. It’s the people arguing a multinational corporation ought to be able to circumvent the laws of sovereign democracies that have ‘splainin to do




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