Bitcoin as a viable currency?

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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#181  Postby purplerat » Mar 22, 2018 5:50 pm

minininja wrote:
purplerat wrote:
minininja wrote:
purplerat wrote:
That's not at all accurate. Using bitcoin does not require that you run a node or host anything. Using bitcoin can, and I'd venture to guess for most is, as simple as being aware of a small subset of hashes which happen to be valid within the blockchain.

If you want to claim that those who merely use bitcoin are responsible for what is on the blockchain as a whole elsewhere that's a whole other mess you are wading into.

Ok, I've slightly simplified by leaving out the fact that every individual doesn't have to host the whole thing, but that can only work if there are individuals that do host the whole thing. You're just shifting the problem onto someone else and the basic point still stands.

It's not the same basic point unless you think that having money in a bank that engages in illegal activity like money laundering makes you complicit in that crime.

For that analogy to work all banks would have to be committing the crime and they would never be able to stop committing it. If that were the case I'd also suggest that system was fundamentally flawed.

I'll just say fair enough and leave it at that as going down the analogy rabbit hole is just about always fruitless.

Rather I'd just go back to the fundamental question of whether a record of illegal activity (i.e. data) should itself be illegal? If so, for what purpose?
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#182  Postby purplerat » Mar 22, 2018 5:52 pm

minininja wrote:
purplerat wrote:
newolder wrote:
...
As the researchers note, “Since all blockchain data is downloaded and persistently stored by users, they are liable for any objectionable content added to the blockchain by others,” which is likely true under many countries’ laws. The researchers continue, “Consequently, it would be illegal to participate in a blockchain-based system as soon as it contains illegal content.”
...

gizmodo source

Again though, that could be applied to all metadata that any internet user downloads.

Precisely what metadata?

Like if you download some silly cat picture. Are you sure there isn't a link to child porn embedded in the metadata? Do you think you should be responsible if it turns out there is? And even if you do know it's there but you just don't care because you think the cat picture is really funny and you won't ever go to the kiddy porn link, should that be criminal?
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#183  Postby newolder » Mar 22, 2018 5:54 pm

The blockchain may contain illegal stuff, readable by anyone who is part of the scheme. None of my pound coins, £5 notes, or bank account details do. Is this the difference you seek, purplerat?
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#184  Postby purplerat » Mar 22, 2018 5:58 pm

newolder wrote:The blockchain may contain illegal stuff, readable by anyone who is part of the scheme. None of my pound coins, £5 notes, or bank account details do. Is this the difference you seek, purplerat?

Why are you asking me that? I'm not comparing it to currency but rather computer code/data, which is what it is. Are you so confident that you can say the same about every bit of data on every device you own?
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#185  Postby minininja » Mar 22, 2018 6:00 pm

purplerat wrote:
I'll just say fair enough and leave it at that as going down the analogy rabbit hole is just about always fruitless.

Rather I'd just go back to the fundamental question of whether a record of illegal activity (i.e. data) should itself be illegal? If so, for what purpose?

There's plenty of reasons for data to be illegal. To prevent distribution of child abuse images for one. Privacy rights, data protection so organisations can't use personal data about you against you. To make it difficult to learn how to make home-made bombs. But I don't expect you to be persuaded by these since you've already stated that the first one doesn't concern you.
[Disclaimer - if this is comes across like I think I know what I'm talking about, I want to make it clear that I don't. I'm just trying to get my thoughts down]
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#186  Postby newolder » Mar 22, 2018 6:02 pm

purplerat wrote:
newolder wrote:The blockchain may contain illegal stuff, readable by anyone who is part of the scheme. None of my pound coins, £5 notes, or bank account details do. Is this the difference you seek, purplerat?

Why are you asking me that? I'm not comparing it to currency but rather computer code/data, which is what it is. Are you so confident that you can say the same about every bit of data on every device you own?

The topic title asks the question. I don't use stored computer data as a method of currency exchange.
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#187  Postby purplerat » Mar 22, 2018 6:08 pm

minininja wrote:
purplerat wrote:
I'll just say fair enough and leave it at that as going down the analogy rabbit hole is just about always fruitless.

Rather I'd just go back to the fundamental question of whether a record of illegal activity (i.e. data) should itself be illegal? If so, for what purpose?

There's plenty of reasons for data to be illegal. To prevent distribution of child abuse images for one. Privacy rights, data protection so organisations can't use personal data about you against you. To make it difficult to learn how to make home-made bombs. But I don't expect you to be persuaded by these since you've already stated that the first one doesn't concern you.

It's not that they don't concern me but rather that I don't think such prohibitions on merely possessing information has ever proven to be very useful while, on the other hand, such fears have repeatedly been used to limit the exchange of information.

If the bitcoin blockchain contains information about where to find child porn wouldn't it be more useful to take that information and try to find those who are abusing kids rather than shut it down to avoid somebody having a wank?
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#188  Postby purplerat » Mar 22, 2018 6:11 pm

newolder wrote:
purplerat wrote:
newolder wrote:The blockchain may contain illegal stuff, readable by anyone who is part of the scheme. None of my pound coins, £5 notes, or bank account details do. Is this the difference you seek, purplerat?

Why are you asking me that? I'm not comparing it to currency but rather computer code/data, which is what it is. Are you so confident that you can say the same about every bit of data on every device you own?

The topic title asks the question. I don't use stored computer data as a method of currency exchange.

If you want to be pedantic about the topic title then yes, legal issues like this could present an issue to the viability of bitcoin as a currency. However, at this point I wouldn't list it as the top concern for anybody concerned with it being a literal currency.
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#189  Postby minininja » Mar 22, 2018 6:36 pm

purplerat wrote:
minininja wrote:
purplerat wrote:
minininja wrote:
I think it more highlights issues with a system to which anyone can contribute and in which all contributions are necessarily permanent and universal.

You mean like the internet?

No, not at all. Certainly with the internet anyone can contribute, but content can be deleted, servers can be shut down, and even if someone somewhere decides to keep and host their own copy of some particular bit of information, everyone who uses the internet is not required to host everything that's ever been on it, locally.

In theory that sounds great but you know in reality that's not the way it works. Nothing that gets on the internet is ever truly deleted and while nobody hosts "everything" locally just about everybody connected to the internet is likely hosting something they aren't aware of that may very well be illegal. From that standpoint, the same arguments for criminalizing information applies to both. And it's certainly not like people haven't tried to make the same argument against the internet in general that is now being applied to blockchain.

This is just not correct. Plenty of data on the internet has been permanently deleted and always can be unless individuals take it upon themselves to purposefully keep and/or host their own copies, which if it is illegal data is then their own responsibility. Precisely how do you think people are inadvertently hosting illegal content by accessing the internet? The whole point about blockchain is that it's a fundamentally different technology, with every part of it being permanent and distributed. Actually theoretically you can remove earlier parts of a blockchain but it requires a centralised decision and significantly increases security risks - undermining the purpose of blockchain on its own terms.
[Disclaimer - if this is comes across like I think I know what I'm talking about, I want to make it clear that I don't. I'm just trying to get my thoughts down]
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#190  Postby newolder » Mar 22, 2018 6:37 pm

Another issue related to the topic title: The scalability issue still rages across the 'net. 7 transactions per second isn't going to get too far into a global market and block size changes seem to be problematic.
The bitcoin scalability problem refers to the discussion concerning the limits on the amount of transactions the bitcoin network can process. It is related to the fact that records (known as blocks) in the bitcoin blockchain are limited in size and frequency.[1] Bitcoin's blocks contain the transactions on the bitcoin network.[2]:ch. 2 The on chain transaction processing capacity of the bitcoin network is limited by the average block creation time of 10 minutes and the block size limit. These jointly constrain the network's throughput. The transaction processing capacity maximum is estimated between 3.3 and 7 transactions per second.[3] There are various proposed and activated solutions to address this issue. Business Insider in 2017 characterized this debate as an "ideological battle over bitcoin's future."

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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#191  Postby purplerat » Mar 22, 2018 6:52 pm

minininja wrote:
purplerat wrote:
minininja wrote:
purplerat wrote:
You mean like the internet?

No, not at all. Certainly with the internet anyone can contribute, but content can be deleted, servers can be shut down, and even if someone somewhere decides to keep and host their own copy of some particular bit of information, everyone who uses the internet is not required to host everything that's ever been on it, locally.

In theory that sounds great but you know in reality that's not the way it works. Nothing that gets on the internet is ever truly deleted and while nobody hosts "everything" locally just about everybody connected to the internet is likely hosting something they aren't aware of that may very well be illegal. From that standpoint, the same arguments for criminalizing information applies to both. And it's certainly not like people haven't tried to make the same argument against the internet in general that is now being applied to blockchain.

This is just not correct. Plenty of data on the internet has been permanently deleted and always can be unless individuals take it upon themselves to purposefully keep and/or host their own copies, which if it is illegal data is then their own responsibility. Precisely how do you think people are inadvertently hosting illegal content by accessing the internet? The whole point about blockchain is that it's a fundamentally different technology, with every part of it being permanent and distributed. Actually theoretically you can remove earlier parts of a blockchain but it requires a centralised decision and significantly increases security risks - undermining the purpose of blockchain on its own terms.

Blockchain technology is fundamentally new different in many ways but is also fundamentally the same in others. One of those is how metadata is captured and stored.

Do you understand how just about everything you access on the internet has unseen metadata that you are unaware of? Why do you think this could exist on a blockchain but not some other data on your computer?
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#192  Postby purplerat » Mar 22, 2018 7:06 pm

newolder wrote:The blockchain may contain illegal stuff, readable by anyone who is part of the scheme. None of my pound coins, £5 notes, or bank account details do. Is this the difference you seek, purplerat?

Just to go back to this; while you say your notes don't include anything, they could. Like if somebody wrote an url to an illicit website on your £5 note and you knew it was there would possessing that note be a crime? How about when you spend it, are you then engaging in criminal distribution?
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#193  Postby minininja » Mar 22, 2018 7:33 pm

purplerat wrote:
newolder wrote:The blockchain may contain illegal stuff, readable by anyone who is part of the scheme. None of my pound coins, £5 notes, or bank account details do. Is this the difference you seek, purplerat?

Just to go back to this; while you say your notes don't include anything, they could. Like if somebody wrote an url to an illicit website on your £5 note and you knew it was there would possessing that note be a crime? How about when you spend it, are you then engaging in criminal distribution?

Would you spend a banknote if it had a URL on it that you knew linked to child abuse images?
[Disclaimer - if this is comes across like I think I know what I'm talking about, I want to make it clear that I don't. I'm just trying to get my thoughts down]
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#194  Postby minininja » Mar 22, 2018 7:39 pm

purplerat wrote:Do you understand how just about everything you access on the internet has unseen metadata that you are unaware of? Why do you think this could exist on a blockchain but not some other data on your computer?

I don't have reason to think any of the websites I visit are deliberately hiding illegal content in their metadata, and if any of them are, I'm not deliberately passing it on to anyone and I'm also able to clear my browser history.
[Disclaimer - if this is comes across like I think I know what I'm talking about, I want to make it clear that I don't. I'm just trying to get my thoughts down]
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#195  Postby purplerat » Mar 22, 2018 7:55 pm

minininja wrote:
purplerat wrote:
newolder wrote:The blockchain may contain illegal stuff, readable by anyone who is part of the scheme. None of my pound coins, £5 notes, or bank account details do. Is this the difference you seek, purplerat?

Just to go back to this; while you say your notes don't include anything, they could. Like if somebody wrote an url to an illicit website on your £5 note and you knew it was there would possessing that note be a crime? How about when you spend it, are you then engaging in criminal distribution?

Would you spend a banknote if it had a URL on it that you knew linked to child abuse images?

Well, there's the rub. I'd have to go to the link to know for sure, which would itself be a crime. Personally, I wouldn't do that and would probably just write it off as a gag and spend it.

I suppose you could say I should notify some authorities but I'd honestly be worried about getting caught up in that at all. Much more likely that it ends in a big mess for me than resulting in anything good coming of it.
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#196  Postby newolder » Mar 22, 2018 8:02 pm

purplerat wrote:
newolder wrote:The blockchain may contain illegal stuff, readable by anyone who is part of the scheme. None of my pound coins, £5 notes, or bank account details do. Is this the difference you seek, purplerat?

Just to go back to this; while you say your notes don't include anything, they could. Like if somebody wrote an url to an illicit website on your £5 note and you knew it was there would possessing that note be a crime? How about when you spend it, are you then engaging in criminal distribution?

The only things I've seen written on bank notes are numbers (up to 3 digits and probably an accounting aid). I wouldn't enter a url so discovered into a browser like I don't click links in e-mails from strangers. Why would I? It would be strange enough to see such a thing that I'd probably get it changed in a bank.
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#197  Postby purplerat » Mar 22, 2018 8:03 pm

minininja wrote:
purplerat wrote:Do you understand how just about everything you access on the internet has unseen metadata that you are unaware of? Why do you think this could exist on a blockchain but not some other data on your computer?

I don't have reason to think any of the websites I visit are deliberately hiding illegal content in their metadata, and if any of them are, I'm not deliberately passing it on to anyone and I'm also able to clear my browser history.

Websites themselves don't have to deliberately include malicious or illicit content so that's hardly a good firewall to not ending up with stuff on your computer. From my years of experience as a PC tech, I can tell you just about everybody's PC is loaded up with shit they have no clue about. And clearing your browser history is the virtual equivalent to sweeping a mess under the rug.
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#198  Postby purplerat » Mar 22, 2018 8:04 pm

newolder wrote:
purplerat wrote:
newolder wrote:The blockchain may contain illegal stuff, readable by anyone who is part of the scheme. None of my pound coins, £5 notes, or bank account details do. Is this the difference you seek, purplerat?

Just to go back to this; while you say your notes don't include anything, they could. Like if somebody wrote an url to an illicit website on your £5 note and you knew it was there would possessing that note be a crime? How about when you spend it, are you then engaging in criminal distribution?

The only things I've seen written on bank notes are numbers (up to 3 digits and probably an accounting aid). I wouldn't enter a url so discovered into a browser like I don't click links in e-mails from strangers. Why would I?

I wouldn't enter a url I found in a bitcoin transaction either.
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#199  Postby newolder » Mar 22, 2018 8:06 pm

purplerat wrote:
newolder wrote:
purplerat wrote:
newolder wrote:The blockchain may contain illegal stuff, readable by anyone who is part of the scheme. None of my pound coins, £5 notes, or bank account details do. Is this the difference you seek, purplerat?

Just to go back to this; while you say your notes don't include anything, they could. Like if somebody wrote an url to an illicit website on your £5 note and you knew it was there would possessing that note be a crime? How about when you spend it, are you then engaging in criminal distribution?

The only things I've seen written on bank notes are numbers (up to 3 digits and probably an accounting aid). I wouldn't enter a url so discovered into a browser like I don't click links in e-mails from strangers. Why would I?

I wouldn't enter a url I found in a bitcoin transaction either.

... and you couldn't exchange it for a clean bitcoin even if you wanted to.
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Re: Bitcoin as a viable currency?

#200  Postby purplerat » Mar 22, 2018 8:10 pm

newolder wrote:
purplerat wrote:
newolder wrote:
purplerat wrote:
Just to go back to this; while you say your notes don't include anything, they could. Like if somebody wrote an url to an illicit website on your £5 note and you knew it was there would possessing that note be a crime? How about when you spend it, are you then engaging in criminal distribution?

The only things I've seen written on bank notes are numbers (up to 3 digits and probably an accounting aid). I wouldn't enter a url so discovered into a browser like I don't click links in e-mails from strangers. Why would I?

I wouldn't enter a url I found in a bitcoin transaction either.

... and you couldn't exchange it for a clean bitcoin even if you wanted to.

That's not how bitcoin works.
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