Fight Ring Announcer:
“Ladies & Gentlemen, our main event tonight is for all the marbles. The Bitcoin Title is on the line with winner take all. The contestants:”
The challenger, wearing the white shorts, fighting well above his weight class, and only appearing because of widespread blockchain support and voted in as challenger by acclamation: Bitcoin. With a record of 1 win 2 losses (Mt.Gox & Moolah) some say this could be the Challenger’s last fight.
The Challenger is well known on the blockchain as a tenacious fighter, Ladies & Gentlemen, and tonight’s fight will be no disappointment.
In the dark shorts, weighing in grossly overweight – although heavily disseminating disinformation – is the defending Champion: Sam Regulation. He has a record of 99 wins 0 losses, and all by TKO’s.
The Champion is well known on the circuit for his unique style of making all the rules, and applying special techniques – such as fines and imprisonment – in his subjugating terminal compliance finish.
The referee for tonight’s match is appointed by the Defending Champion, is his best buddy and is guaranteed to rubberstamp the outcome. Since the Defending Champion makes all the rules, and Rule One is the Defending Champion must always win – we hereby declare the Defending Champion the automatic Bitcoin Title Match winner.
One of the rationales advanced by the Regulators is protection of the consumer. Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) are the holy grail. There is some basis for this position. The United Nations estimates that “all criminal proceeds are likely to have amounted to some 3.6 per cent of GDP (2.3 – 5.5 per cent) or around US$2.1 trillion in 2009”
The stated intent of KYC and AML is also to protect the world’s financial system. Okay, but at what cost – and what degree of implementation is really necessary?
Bitcoiners do have some persuasive ideology:
- better personal privacy with anonymous transactions
- lowest per transaction costs in history
- deregulation and total absence of government regulation
- low cost cross border transfers including global remittance
- ZERO chargebacks and irreversible payments
- secure, trusted networks and infrastructure
Unfortunately, this model is at direct odds to the KYC & AML imperatives laid out by the Regulators.
Historical footnote – Freedom Fighters & Terrorists
One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. It wasn’t that long ago, in 1776, that the British considered the colonists as rebellious upstarts. They were the terrorists of today, while the Brits were the freedom fighters. Turn the coin over, and observe that the colonists claimed to be freedom fighters, and the establishment were the terrorists. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.
Fast forward to 2014 and you have the establishment regulators versus the terrorist bitcoiners. Shouldn’t it be a mutually satisfactory middle ground instead of a title match?
Post Match Roundup
At times the pendulum swings one way, and at other times swings back the other, perhaps too much for its own good in either extreme. Today in a “Yes We Scan” world with the NSA controlling the cloud, invading privacy on a scale never known before in history – and apparently beyond the capability of its Master to control – it would appear at first blush that indeed it is time for more privacy, time for greater freedom and realization of real liberties for the individual. It’s time for bitcoin.
There is a balance
Somewhere in an ideal world there is a balance. A balance of live and let live while truly protecting the interests of those who need it. The great struggle between government regulation and the Rights and Freedoms of those they supposedly represent continues agelessly.