[cryptome] Re: 1st British Bitcoin Exchange due to open

  • From: "Douglas Rankine" <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Apr 2015 22:05:33 +0100

Hi Peter & Aftermath,
I do apologise for the delay in not replying to your postings...but I am
away on holiday for a couple of weeks to a place where there is no
telephone, television or internet, so I will be incommunicado. Our house
project a la France beckons...

Rather than give a quick reply, I would prefer to do them the justice they
deserve...and give them some more thought to one or two of the points which
you have both made.
In the meantime, carry on with the discussion please, I will look forward to
any further contributions when I return... :-).

-----Original Message-----
From: cryptome-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:cryptome-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Peter Presland
Sent: 11 April 2015 14:31
To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [cryptome] Re: 1st British Bitcoin Exchange due to open

Hi Doug

On 11/04/2015 11:30, Douglas Rankine wrote:

May I say, it isn't a competition between you and I, or anyone else
for that matter, rather, we are sharing information and your
contribution was very good stuff, in my opinion, I learnt quite a lot from

By 'compete', I was referring only length which facilitates proper
exploration of the multiplicity of facets that comprise an extremely complex
subject. I cannot compete on word-count and so cannot really do the subject
justice IOW. It's a time and other commitments thing, that's all.

Just a couple of points, all currencies have to "cash out" i.e. get
turned into another currency or realise their value through exchange
for goods or services. See Capital Vol 1 by K. Marx or The Wealth of
Nations by Adam Smith, for a definition of capital value. If they
don't cash out they are worth nothing, or hypothetical billions. That
is if I am understanding what you mean by cashing out.

My usage specifically excluded 'exchange for goods and services'. It is the
practical necessity (currently) of exchanging Bitcoins for $ £ etc and
vice-versa (itself a function of the paucity of goods and services currently
exchangeable for Bitcoin) which is a fundamental obstacle to wider Bitcoin
take-up - a classic 'Catch-22' IOW. The reason is simple, currency exchange
on any serious scale requires gateways - all such gateways can be (and are)
both monitored and controlled by Gatekeepers who report to said 'Financial
Authorities' - or else! Think about that - big subject with big
ramifications. Even if Bitcoin were as anonymous as cash (and I accept that
it isn't) the gatekeeper network tells the FAs pretty much all they need to
know about who is using the currency and for what purposes. That is the
current position. For goods and services exchange, it is loosely analogous
to cash but with the following (among
many) differences:

Advantage: Fee-less electronic transmission including across national
boundaries. Unlike fiat money the actual transmission does not rely on ANY
third party - official or otherwise.

Disadvantage: Exchange into and out of a tightly regulated currency is
necessary with all that implies - a problem that most users of cash do not
face (unless they want to emigrate).

OK, my 'shit-scared' characterisation is arguably a bit OTT. However, I am
still sufficiently connected to the 'Financial capitalism' world to know
that it regards maintaining and tightening control over crypto-currencies as
seriously as it views its control over existing fiat currencies and that to
do so poses a whole raft of tricky technical problems. Like I said; they're
working on it.

In fact, though a wonderful piece of mathematical invention, it is
quite useless, like all good art...to paraphrase Oscar Wilde... :-).

A couple of points to ponder:

1. The FBI + various 'authorities' probably already control a sufficient
proportion of total mined Bitcoin to manipulate its 'value' (viz-a-viz $,£
etc) in whatever fashion is judged to best serve the interests of the
existing fiat-based capitalist system.

2. Since cash is becoming increasingly embargoed (in UK/Europe anyway) for
transactions above a few K's - and with all the
printing/distribution/accounting problems of cash, I would not be at all
surprised if Bitcoin - or the technology underpinning it - did not soon to
find its way into OFFICIAL cash-replacements.

In any event, AFAIAC Bitcoin is certainly NOT useless, if only because my
Wikispooks site has received more donations in Bitcoin over the past
12 months than it has in any other currency - and I have no problem either
spending or exchanging it either. I know Big Brother is watching me; but so
what? - he's watching you too.


P.S. I notice that some peer to peer organisations are putting bit
mining into their sharing systems...without asking permission...Lots
of folks aren't very pleased about it...including me...I don't have
enough bandwidth as it is, without sharing it surreptitiously. Now,
that is something to be shit-scared of... :-).

-----Original Message-----
From: cryptome-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
On Behalf Of Peter Presland
Sent: 08 April 2015 16:51
To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [cryptome] Re: 1st British Bitcoin Exchange due to open

On 08/04/2015 15:29, John Young wrote:
Odd that Bitcoin users believe its anonymity features, as though
exchanges occur in the untappable, invisible, untrackable byways of

What better way to track bitcoin users than anonymizing bitcoins.

I can't compete with Dougie's epistle about technical Bitcoin
anonymity/Authorities matters. Suffice to say that my post was
primarily to point out a couple of misunderstandings -
misunderstandings which I now suggest evidence a lack of familiarity
with the issues and may therefore affect his speculations.

However, my 'shit-scared' characterisation had nothing to with the
alleged anonymity (or lack thereof) of Bitcoin transactions.

The thing that really bothers the financial authorities is the absence
of centralised control over issuance and all that flows from it. Since
Bitcoin issuance is known and finite, it is analogous to gold as a
currency but with none of its storage and exchange problems. How to
exercise a similar degree of control over Bitcoin value and flows,
that is their problem and they are working on it.

Bitcoin take-up remains constrained by the need to cash-out. So long
as that is so, then its use will likely remain confined to the
fringes. The financial authorities absolutely need to be able to
prevent any serious break-out from this constraint and they don't appear
to have a plan - yet.
Hence my 'shit-scared' remark.

OTOH, the Powers that drive the NSA (ie those who also pull the
strings of the ones who are 'shit-scared') have almost certainly got
the whole thing well in hand - even designed it this way :-)

Mr Nakamoto may indeed be a maverick but co-opting the technical
brilliance of mavericks (among its vast array esoteric capabilities)
is after all an NSA speciality.


Recalls the case of Crypto-AG being rigged by NSA to spy on its
crypto machines. Or Tor and Snowden implementing digital Crypto-AGs.

Still, biblical faith in unverifiable protection is as ancient as
authority warnings of enemies at the gate, in the soul, in the

Not to mention invention of money and taxes conjoined to
mortality: death taxes a great way to assure filled tills.

But no authority can survive without porn, liquor and gambling.
And heavy-handed alarms about their danger if not carefully
controlled to assure dependency on defiance of authority.

Cheating humans is supremely human.

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