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One of the consequences of a public transaction chain is the great potential for witch hunts. Here's one of the first examples, but it surely won't be the last.

The scary thing of these kinds of witch hunts is that law enforcement is listening / reading / conducting hunts of their own. And they will be prone to the same mistakes as these readers.

That brings the frontrunners of Bitcoin in a predicament.

On the one hand they are often libertarians and very happy with the succes of Bitcoin. On the other hand, getting in early gives them some windfall gains, and law enforcement will go after them, since many of the real criminals using Bitcoin will remain elusive to them.

A little tidbit that will hit any of them sooner or later: did they properly file their taxes on the Bitcoins they mined? Trammell just admitted holding 800K$ worth of Bitcoins. Where did they come from? (Mining, I know, but those lawsuits will get hairy, because lack of knowledge.)

> Trammell just admitted holding 800K$ worth of Bitcoins.

Well, no. He admitted to holding an amount of Bitcoins that would now be worth 800k. At the time he transferred them they were worth a 20th of that amount.

That's a positive thing, because it only grows trust between members of community.

I don't think so; witch hunts didn't exactly grow trust between people in the middle ages. Witch hunts grow mob feelings between people against whoever happens to get crushed by their collective paranoia that day.

I think the parent poster meant that the witch hunts in the 21st century related to bitcoin only grow trust in the bitcoin community that witchhunts are destined to fail.

More people see that having financial privacy is a good thing, and trust in bitcoin grows.

Pedant's note: Contrary to popular belief, witch hunts were rare in the Middle Ages. They took off in popularity during the Renaissance.

Annoying meta-pedant note: You presumably mean that witch hunts mainly occurred in puritanical areas, at a time in which the Renaissance was occurring elsewhere in the world.

I thought the parent was being sarcastic.

If/When bitcoin grows as large as some think/hope it will, there won't be "a bitcoin community" anymore than there is a "USD community". Sure, you'll have communities of various sorts surrounding different aspects of the currency, like you do with any other currency, but for the most part the users of it won't really have any real sense of "community membership". I pay for things with paypal on occasion, but I don't have any sense of a "paypal community".

Unless you are the one being hunted and have to stop your life to explain yourself and hope they get it before someone on FBI believes on it.

I think if you have much influence, people should know at least who you are. The same applies to any kind of influence, but with fiat currencies it is much easier to hide it in certain positions.

This could also have a maybe unintended consequence of increasing equality, because some people, knowing who has the most bitcoins, might act to decrease the influence they feel is too large by, for example, choosing alternative product or service to use or buy. We see this effect already with people feeling that corporations like Google have grown too big and some go out of their way to not use their services.

Until Zerocoin gets kicking. Zerocoin is no longer to be integrated into bitcoin but released as an altcoin.

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