Today, as human society progresses onward, Coinmap broke 5,000 global business listings, South African payment processor Payfast enabled their 30,000 merchants to accept Bitcoin, and the NY Dept. of Financial Services made financial privacy a crime, supported (at least superficially) by some leaders in the Bitcoin industry.

Let’s review…

The proposed digital currency regulation from Benjamin Lawsky, the Superintendent of 20 million/6 billion people’s financial decisions, has been on the horizon for months. New York is known for dictating how people live, and so as more people are incorporating Bitcoin into their lives, New York bureaucrats would inevitably attempt to place it under surveillance and control (with the best intentions, naturally).

According to the new mandates, you will soon be unable to lawfully purchase a Bitcoin from any company that A) has any customers in New York and B) doesn’t keep an aggregated surveillance list of all customers, including name, address, photo ID, and “other identifying information,” regardless of the amounts transacted. And if the company you’d like to buy from does satisfy New York’s rules, you will then be required to add yourself to this surveillance list, having to then trust not only the company, and not only the government, but also every other 3rd party that may obtain such information, not to abuse it.

Consider now that an Italian, wishing to buy $100 of Bitcoin from BitStamp in Slovenia, will now be forced to provide all his personal details, which will go on file with the United States government (and any 3rd parties able to obtain that file) because BitStamp has some customers in New York. The American government, not satisfied with continually carving away the freedoms of its own people, now heads abroad in search of freedoms elsewhere to slay.

Ironically, one of the most highlighted pretences for NY’s new regulations is “consumer protection.”

And indeed, these new mandates attempt to assure you of your state-sponsored safety, by requiring background checks on the company’s founders (another American myth: the presumption of innocence), requiring expensive bonds and insurance (goodbye college start-up), and forcing companies’ IT security to satisfy government standards (which should make us all feel safe). So you are assured of your safety, but then of course it is wrested back away upon compulsion to expose your personal details.

How can it be in the interest of a consumer to force them to reveal their identity, submitting personally identifying documents directly to private companies, and then indirectly to various government agencies, and then periodically to hackers and 3rd parties who otherwise inevitably obtain it? How does that protect the consumer?

Let’s be truthful, this exposes the consumer. It renders him a serf upon a farm of information production – used for purposes both benevolent and vile, without any say in the matter.

The information you expose, to anyone, does not remain solely with the recipient of that exposure. If the government forces the exposure of your personal information, will it also do you the courtesy of guaranteeing the safety of the same? It cannot.

Let’s examine the credit card industry, which is highly regulated by the same wise and benevolent agencies now groping Bitcoin. Have we already forgotten Target Corp’s breach leading to millions of peoples’ personal information being compromised? And is that an isolated incident? Or the billions of dollars in losses every year due to identity theft? This is real harm, both personal and economic, being done perpetually to the American public, because they have to divulge all their personal information to engage with each other economically.

Finally, at long last, Bitcoin provides a way to make at-distance economic exchange without surrendering personal info, and Benjamin Lawsky rides in on his white horse (taxpayer funded) to make that privacy illegal, and once again wrest society back into the dark ages of financial technology. His justification is that he may be able to freeze some criminal funds, so endangering 350 million Americans is justified, because he is protecting Americans.

The premise that such regulations foster consumer protection is absurd.  Do consumers not deserve the right to remain private if they have not been accused of a crime? And do they not deserve privacy on both sides of the transaction – buying the Bitcoin, and spending it? Do they deserve to be forced to reveal who they are, where they live, what they look like, how to get in contact with them, and in what manner they choose to make financial decisions? Is this the mark of a society that values the liberty of its citizens?

That it may make it easier for the State to fight crime if every citizen reveals who they are and what they’re doing does not justify such intrusion. This is the impetus by which evil groups come to dominate and subvert, regardless of whether they were evil to begin with. An honest America must now change its slogan from “Land of the Free” to “Papers, citizen.”

This is not consumer protection. This is explicit surveillance of private citizens who are not accused – nor even under suspicion – of committing a crime. Or, perhaps, suspicion is now assumed in all cases? A foundational legal principle of American society – the presumption of innocence – is, through such mandates, humiliated and desecrated, all by people who believe they are “advocates of the law.” Are we now presumed to be criminals, and thus must permit ourselves to be watched in whichever way the State deems appropriate, so that our activities may be blessed before we proceed?

Is this not exactly the financial censorship for which Bitcoin was intended as the antidote?

Some don’t seem to think so.

Bitcoin “visionaries,” Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, responded to the announcement with the following,

“We are pleased that Superintendent Lawsky and the Department of Financial Services have embraced Bitcoin and digital assets and created a regulatory framework that protects consumers. We look forward to New York State becoming the hub of this exciting new technology.”

Cameron and Tyler, this is shameful.

Lawsky has “embraced Bitcoin?” Really? Dozens of diktats which mandate State surveillance and censorship is the very antithesis of Bitcoin. This is not an embrace, it is the chaining of a generation’s most important invention to the failed financial infrastructure for which Bitcoin was an explicit refutation.

But let’s not hastily cast the Winklevii among Bitcoin’s true enemies. After all, Occam’s Razor might suggest that the brothers simply don’t want regulatory scrutiny brought down upon them (as they’re trying to get their fund approved), and thus feel compelled to not only comply with these absurd mandates, but to advocate on behalf of them. But then what does that say about our great nation? That industry leaders cower before the Superintendent and lend their reputational support, so as not to draw ire? Does this sound American to you? What does the American ideal (and the Bitcoin ideal), stand for if not stalwart resistance to this very encroachment of the state into private industry?

But it’s worse. To all Bitcoin industry entrepreneurs and advocates – this new regulation makes private ewallets illegal. Read this sentence again!

If you spend your time, money, and creative energies building a platform in which users may securely deposit and store their digital assets, you must now require them to send you personally identifying information. You must take their name. You must take their address. You must get a photo ID of this person verified against government checklists. You must watch their transactions and decide whether they are suspicious. You must package all this information into a database to which State agencies are permitted unlimited oversight and privilege. 

But even before initiating your Orwellian spy list, you must submit yourself to a process of applying for a State-sponsored license. You must bribe the government with money or they will shut you down (called a bond or licensing fee). You must invite State-approved IT security forces to review your system. If they wish to insert a snippet of code into your software, you shall comply or be tried for money laundering and conspiracy to commit all manner of crimes (think I’m making this up?).

Please, how can anyone involved in Bitcoin morally support this?

You are being forced to spy on your users, and report private information to Government agents, with neither accusation nor even suspicion of a crime. How can you advocate the innovation that Bitcoin brings and simultaneously support such a decree? Do you have no line in the sand? At what point do you stand up like someone who knows right from wrong and assert your opposition to one of the most corrupt organizations on the planet? Not today, you say?

Are you listening Jeremy Allaire? Are you listening Armstrong and Ersham? Are you listening Winklevii and Andreessen? You are leaders of the industry – well, where are you leading it? Don’t want to bring negative attention upon yourselves? Fine, I understand that. But why are you going out of your way to publicly endorse this anachronistic legislation? Doing so means your explicit approval of all Bitcoin users being under perpetual surveillance. By what moral perversion do you justify such advocacy? [Decided to edit Allaire out after his post on Aug 13th, https://www.circle.com/2014/08/13/thoughts-new-york-bitlicense-proposal/ If you're reading this, Allaire, thank you for the opinion you expressed.]

Further, it will now be mandated that any bright engineer obtain a State License before releasing his new digital currency, and may only then innovate in a State approved manner. No digital ledger system may be published for the world to view without State approval, according to the NYDFS. “Controlling, administering, or issuing a Virtual Currency” is now a government-approved, and thus government-censored, enterprise. Industry leaders, do you really support this?

This would mean Satoshi Nakamoto himself would have committed a crime if his genius released Bitcoin today (unless he explicitly barred New Yorkers from using it). To do it “lawfully,” he would have been required to register, obtain approval, and make his identity known to all. You approve of a background check on Satoshi Nakamoto? You approve of him being forced to put up a bond before he’s permitted to release the genesis block?

Bitcoin would not have been released legally if this legislation existed in 2008. Why do you support it being released in 2014? This is the “fostering of innovation” now levied by NYDFS, and you are supporting it. Cryptocurrency innovation (aka business) must first be approved and anointed by the State of New York. Is that your idea of monetary progress for a world so desperately in need of it?

How can you support this?

Alas, what conclusion can be drawn from Lawsky’s proclamation other than the following: Bitcoin shall be tossed into the same unethical regulatory mess that currently governs the legacy banking system. It shall comply with the same mandates, be governed in the same way, by the same people. It shall be censored with the same prejudices, and serve as an Orwellian tool of law enforcement in the same corrupt and deleterious manner.

Its protection of privacy, illegal. Its advocacy of neutrality, ignored. Its efficiencies, minimized. Its decentralized, market-based governance forced to revert to centralized, State-based coercion. Why? Because the men with guns say so and the men with the businesses don’t really want to make a fuss about it.

“Examinations of licensees will be conducted whenever the superintendent deems necessary.”

- NY Dept. of Financial Services

Consider whether this quote is more befitting of legislation in The United States of America, or Soviet Russia? Is it befitting of Bitcoin? Are we all inspired to build a system in which “examinations will be conducted whenever the superintendent deems necessary?” Is that what we’re bringing to the world? More of that?

I don’t expect those who make their living through coercion to understand or appreciate this distinction. But I do hope that respectable people, good citizens, men of character, honest Bitcoin innovators and businessmen, take it to heart in both their words and actions. If you don’t want to speak out against this nonsense for fear of retribution, fine, that is understandable. But if you speak out in advocacy of the very injustices from which Bitcoin is trying to lead society, I’d advise you to check whether you’re veering dangerously close to incompatibility with a free and open financial system, and consider whether you will end up on the right side of history.

Let’s hope the builders of this most important technology don’t continue to embarrass themselves by forgetting what they’re building. Fortunately, a technology like Bitcoin will lead humanity in its own direction, despite the most eloquent proclamations from kings of any country, or the cowed grovelling of their entranced subjects.

To those of you out there speaking and struggling for freedom, thank you.

In liberty,

-Erik Voorhees

Erik Voorhees
Erik Voorhees
Erik Voorhees is among the top-recognized serial Bitcoin advocates and entrepreneurs, understanding Bitcoin as one of the most important inventions ever created by humanity. Having been a featured guest on Bloomberg, Fox Business, CNBC, BBC Radio, The Peter Schiff Show, and numerous Bitcoin and industry conferences, Erik humbly suggests that there is no such thing as a “free market” when the institution of money itself is centrally planned and controlled. This blog is about the human struggle for the separation of money and state, and about Bitcoin as the instrument by which it will happen.
  • Blue Meanie
    http://altchain.org

    Erik, impressive essay. Yes these new laws are designed to squash Bitcoin. Don’t listen to the shills.

    Clearly NYS does not have the authority to dictate the security of the world, but the US certainly has the power to enforce it’s concept of security to the world. So the question remains, why is New York State dictating the policy of the entire country? Clearly this is another episode of Financial Elites vs. People of the United States and we all know who one last round.

    What do we do now?

    July 18th, 2014 0:45
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    01
    • Gubatron

      ignore them, keep on trucking, and not do business in NYC.

      July 18th, 2014 3:42
      Reply
      02
    • Howard
      http://bitcoin.org.gr

      Question: are they really dictating the policy for the entire country? Aren’t these regulations only exclusive to those operating in New York?

      Very well written article by the way. Enjoyed reading it.

      July 18th, 2014 4:13
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      03
      • Erik Voorhees
        Erik Voorhees

        It’s worse than “the entire country.” These laws would apply to any bitcoin company that has at least one customer in New York. This means all companies, whether in NYC, US, or Antarctica. I think we can expect lots of companies to start blocking New York users entirely.

        July 18th, 2014 19:25
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        • Blue Meanie
          http://altchain.org

          It’s safe to say they are holding New Yorkers hostage.

          Erik, how do you expect this to pan out? So if a NYer logs into my exchange and provides a fake ID, then the FBI is going to come after me? It’s like the financial elites of NYC are putting the onus of enforcement of THEIR concept of financial order on the entire country. There are significant 10th Amendment issues to consider.

          The backstory is NYC is practically bankrupt and they simply can’t compete with the rest of the country. If they lose their precious ‘world financial center’ NYC will start looking like Detroit. A recent program they rolled out : http://startup.ny.gov/

          July 18th, 2014 19:41
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          • Erik Voorhees
            Erik Voorhees

            I think if you take reasonable steps to block New Yorkers, you would be okay. If one happens to sneak through your system, the “crime” shifts more to them, and I doubt much trouble would come your way. New business idea: API-based software that detects if you’re a New Yorker (through various metrics such as rudeness or an affinity for bagels).

            July 19th, 2014 16:39
            06
        • gustavo choua
          http://GustavoChoua

          Really liked you article, I´m from Argentina, and the only thing I can conclude is the NYDFS is moved by the Big Guys from the Financial Business, and of course is guarding their backs

          July 21st, 2014 21:56
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          07
    • Eastside

      Nice article Eric. But you wrote:

      “The American government, not satisfied with continually carving away the freedoms of its own people, now heads abroad in search of freedoms elsewhere to slay.”

      FYI our government has been heading abroad to massacre foreign peoples for a long, long time now. We learned it from our British forefathers who learned it from the vikings who learned it from cave dwelling people who practiced inbreeding and who ate each other when times were tough.
      : )

      August 1st, 2014 3:50
      Reply
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      • Erik Voorhees
        Erik Voorhees

        The US government has indeed by killing foreigners for a while, but I feel the destruction of liberty itself abroad by the US Government is a newer phenomenon. It’s done primarily through the soft pressure the US government can place upon any other entity via the financial system. The banking network, to the extent the US dictates its rules, is the aparatus by which this tyranny spreads.

        August 3rd, 2014 3:06
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  • bc
    http://me

    Wow. You make me want to be a better bitcoiner.

    Keep it up, please.

    July 18th, 2014 0:48
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    • dawie

      Spreading this blog like wildfire… Inspiring is an understatement.

      July 22nd, 2014 19:08
      Reply
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  • Miss Satochi

    Thank you

    July 18th, 2014 0:51
    Reply
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  • Jon

    Wow! Amazing reply. Once thought to be a friend of Bitcoin, Lawsky is now the enemy. These regulations are not going to fly. There will have to be a compromise or else innovation will be squashed.

    July 18th, 2014 3:40
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  • ounce.me
    https://ounce.me

    Erik, you are a powerful writer chap. You hit all the right points… the most poignant being:

    “[c]onsider whether you will end up on the right side of history.”

    What a tragedy that human beings could feel entitled to dictate the lives of others in this manner. I hope we breed these lunatics right out of the gene pool.

    July 18th, 2014 3:52
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  • Joel Hampton
    http://www.spendr.io

    Your message is intelligent and inspirational. Thanks for everything you’re doing and keep up the great work.

    July 18th, 2014 7:29
    Reply
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  • BLKSwan

    That was brilliant. Thank you.

    July 18th, 2014 8:27
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  • Jon Matonis
    http://www.bitcoinfoundation.org

    Brilliant and thoughtful essay, Erik. The next steps taken by this industry will be critical.

    July 18th, 2014 9:24
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    17
  • freekoolaid
    http://freekoolaid.com/2014/03/03/the-paper-plantation-and-bitcoin/

    Thankfully these degenerates don’t have the power, capability or aptitude to enforce their delusions of grandeur this time.
    I will enjoy watching their fall from power as their pyramid scheme of paper collapses and they become more aggressive for taxes like the vampires they are vying at our wallets like its our blood as the people escape from their clutches into bitcoin.
    This is where the gun in the room is shown and the state exposes its nature as the predator and ruler as it becomes aware its power is being challenged.
    Stay safe people.

    July 18th, 2014 10:56
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  • bobby

    You knew this would come one day! The human ego and desire to control has not vanished yet. I guess you are surprised not because of the regulation itself but rather by its endorsement by the Winklevoss brothers and the like. Obviously the Winklevii and Andreessen are in Bitcoin for the money and the excitement of riding a new trend and as such they need to play nice to the regulators.

    This is obviously the beginning of the war – freedom vs governance or in other words natural trend vs man made framework. However, as you have pointed before, Bitcoin is like the hydra, it is antifragile (something that gains from disorder, Nassim Nicholas Taleb). So let’s celebrate and enjoy the wild ride, while Bitcoin becomes even more resilient.

    This regulation could drive away Bitcoin businesses from NY and other businesses would avoid NY customers. In case they succeed to impose similar regulation in other states, then Bitcoin innovation will be driven away from the US. This seems to be quite welcomed by China and Russia and therefore will be extremely hard to impose such standards upon the whole world population in a coordinated manner. But even then Bitcoin will continue to grow underground until the shaking financial system collapses and makes way for the better, more honest technology. This is a natural trend and no one can stop it.

    In Liberty,
    @bbelev

    July 18th, 2014 13:09
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  • panoterm
    http://www.panoterm.ro/contact-en/

    ”If we restrict liberty to attain security we will lose them both.” Benjamin Franklin

    July 18th, 2014 13:17
    Reply
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  • Reginald Vel Johnson

    Wow, cry some more bitbitch.

    July 18th, 2014 14:06
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  • Q

    A state can’t even enforce its sales tax rules on out of state entities selling to its residents. I’m skeptical that there is any sort of legal framework that would allow for prosecution of any exchange that was not located in New York.

    July 18th, 2014 16:44
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  • james smith

    succinctly put. this is murica trying to wrap its tentacles around the cryptos. it really is time to become a citizen of some other country.

    July 18th, 2014 17:34
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  • DaBlockchain
    http://DaBlockchain

    Its like the standoff in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I think all the actors have chosen their roles.

    Very inspiring E. Voorhees!

    I hope the politicians understand that Bitcoin cannot be turned off and will not go away.

    July 18th, 2014 17:41
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  • Jasterly

    I recently read this letter and checked out a talk from you at the 2013 bitcoin conference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2YllvbJo6g

    I feel this writing has great significance and your dialog/speech is something I will finally be able to use to connect these understandings with my peers.

    I do not generally enjoy other speakers and authors who speak and write on the topic of bitcoin. What you talk of is quite refreshing in this regard.

    However you talk about the “government” and what “it” might do in regards to this or that. I truly worry about how long it will take us to “think” beyond this paradigm. Please keep in mind, we are headed for a global and universal holistic view. The “government” is not a person nor a single entity. We must not speak or think of it as this.

    WE created this society, and only we can change it. There is no fight to be had and no enemy to conquer but the belief that there ever was. We must learn to blame OURSELVES for this “mess”.

    You speak very well to the level of everyone, yet I don’t think this is above any one’s comprehension, its simply habit that we all think/speak competitively.

    Bitcoin has no enemy but our own ignorance to a wholistic (or at least globalistic) view, and since people will obviously be listening to you with great sincerity, please don’t forget we need to speak and learn about this new paradigm of collective responsibility and owness of our past “mistakes”.

    July 18th, 2014 20:26
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    • Erik Voorhees
      Erik Voorhees

      I appreciate your kind words, but I’m not quite sure what you mean when you say “we are headed for a global and universal holistic view.” What does that mean? Government exists, much as a cancer does, and neither cancer nor government will just go away if we try to “think beyond it.” We need to address it, reveal why it’s so toxic, and take steps to minimize or eliminate it. Bitcoin is simply the most technologically and economically potent system we’ve had for this minimization.

      July 19th, 2014 16:37
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      • Jasterly

        Please excuse my ‘poor’ writing, I seem to use language differently than
        others,

        A global and universal holistic view refers to the ever dissolving limited
        beliefs that some of us never knew we had such as nationalism. This dissolution reaches as high as quantum theory and beyond (bohm, nash). But to stay relevant to the topic we all have an inherent belief in non cooperative
        strategies ruling all. This seems to me to be a misuse of “the bargaining problem” that is corrected in “ideal money” with a quotation on cooperative strategies. The government DOES exist and in fact intelligent peoples intend it to as Szabo points out, only that we wish it to function under the principles of least authority.

        Government is not the illness you see, but rather government today is ill. And
        through writings such as Szabo’s on the origin’s of money we can begin to understand ourselves in a way that allows us to access the “cure”, or at least head in its direction.

        But fighting the government, or any divided enemy, is not a cure and it does not lead to healthy government nor a healthy society. It is a symptom of our sickness. This is crucial you see, because when we understand this we can then begin to see that a sick government is really a symptom of a sick society. And depending on what this sickness is, which can only be known by putting it into the proper context, the cure might be something TOTALLY different than (for example) an uprising vs the controlling powers.

        Protesting the government in a form of “us vs them”, no matter how massive, can never bring about the change we seek. Protesting is simply solidifying the divide between government and people. Its a false division, because if we are looking correctly it was always in fact the peoples that set these governments up. Thinking of it differently than this is what gives away our power.

        It is OUR government you see, and we set it up this way, and we gave powers to
        certain individuals. There is nobody to fight. Not realizing this, is the sickness.

        I have been reading and watching Hayek lately in my studies. I understand now, a great cause of these issues comes from confusing ends with means and vice versa. I admit sir, you are better at this than me, and I often can be accused with the former root cause of confusion. But I urge you to understand what I point to (and inquire into whether it is me or general society that is confused) because the peoples will listen to you.

        Thank you for your time, in the many forms you have given us.

        Krishnamurti: “These divisions between nationalities, religions, classes, all this separation in oneself in which there is so much contradiction – why do we live that way? It breeds such turmoil, conflict, war; it brings about real insecurity, outwardly as well as inwardly. There is so much division, as God and the devil, the good and the bad, ‘what should be’ and ‘what is.”

        July 19th, 2014 19:13
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  • CoinTrader
    http://twitter.com/CoinDigest

    “…now that an Italian, wishing to buy $100 of Bitcoin from BitStamp in Slovenia, will now be forced to provide all his personal details, which will go on file with the United States government (and any 3rd parties able to obtain that file) because BitStamp has some customers in New York…”

    As far as I know, bitstamp is not registered with FInCEN, they should not accept US customers at all, unless they will have license in US.

    July 18th, 2014 22:16
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    • Erik Voorhees
      Erik Voorhees

      “Not accepting US customers” will become more of a thing in Bitcoin. We already see it in the banking system, as many international banks are very hesitant, or outright avoid, US customers. America is being ringfenced. Because it’s a free country.

      July 19th, 2014 16:32
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      • Michael

        Maybe that’s the whole point of these regulations? First NYS, then the whole of the US. Bitcoin then can’t be used in the US. After that, the EU and China adopt the same regulations and that’s the three biggest bitcoin markets gone. This is the best way for governments to destroy bitcoin: not outright ban it, but regulate it to death.

        July 19th, 2014 18:48
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        • Erik Voorhees
          Erik Voorhees

          Well that assumes the regulations actually prevent the activity. Consider how effectively regulations have prevented recreational drug use.

          July 19th, 2014 21:38
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  • William Peters

    This truly is a moment of glory. Our forefathers bear witness to the glory of the coming Bitpocalypse. New York shall be the field on which we plant our glorious standard. Come, brothers; leave your basements and abandon your fleshlights and come squinting into the harsh light of day! Open your orange-tinged mouths and cry with me that they may try to regulate our bitcoins, but they can never take our comic books and controllers! Fear not the apathy of the public, nor the inherent problems with the specifications that could never work on a global scale. Does the sparrow care from whence the seed comes, nor how it could nourish an ox? Nay! Brother Erik is right! We must undertake a glorious crusade to bring light into the darkness, and darkness upon the light.

    Please donate to 12C8HBX1b6tiAWbXGHDsBeouxPsUNikYX2

    July 18th, 2014 23:25
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    • Erik Voorhees
      Erik Voorhees

      I see you’re asking for voluntary donations instead of forcing people to pay you.

      July 19th, 2014 16:31
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  • Wilfredo Cespedes

    I always find myself feeling revitalized after listening to you and today I add reading you. The transition from the present zeitgeist to one that focuses on human needs instead of profits is slowly evolving with the thanks to people like you that recognized humanity is most productive when is free from the chains of slavery.

    July 19th, 2014 1:25
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    • Erik Voorhees
      Erik Voorhees

      I don’t expect any system to “focus on human needs.” People are self-interested, and that’s okay. But let’s at least try to avoid or minimize a system in which self-interest is given monopoly coercive power over people. The greedy businessman doesn’t bother me, so long as he doesn’t get a license to prevent competition, or a mandate to force me to use his services. It’s not a matter of greed vs. altruism, it’s a matter of coercion vs. voluntary interaction.

      July 19th, 2014 16:29
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  • AlphaDoge
    http://dogedoor.net

    Nailed it!

    Great essay. I think you have laid out this absurdity posing as “law” for the layman to see. Time to spread the news.

    I still don’t see how NYC can enforce this, or how it matters if everyone just ignores New York. This law, if implemented, sounds like a regression in New York Finances to me. Are they really wanting Digital Currency and technology businesses to leave?

    July 19th, 2014 4:26
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  • should i move to hawaii
    http://www.ivy-style.com/the-brooks-oxford-and-whats-wrong-with-90-of-american-men.html

    Hi everyone, it’s my first pay a quick visit at this site, and post is truly
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    July 19th, 2014 18:09
    Reply
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  • Morgan Turner

    What do we do now, especially those who live in NYC… This is rather disastrous, but more importantly, how do we protect innocent people from going to jail for non-crimes…?

    July 19th, 2014 19:09
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    • Erik Voorhees
      Erik Voorhees

      Well if you don’t want to live under oppression then don’t live in NYC. But if you must live there, speak out about tyranny whenever possible, and contribute to and advocate tools that help individuals subvert it.

      July 19th, 2014 21:37
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    July 19th, 2014 22:51
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  • targetpro

    Thank you Eric, for expressing something so well and dear to me, and that was in my heart from the beginning, but for which I didn’t have the words to describe it. You nailed it.

    July 20th, 2014 0:03
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  • roadmaster tricycle replacement parts
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    Informative article, exactly what I needed.

    July 21st, 2014 3:24
    Reply
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  • Fredericka
    http://www.speedtshirts.com

    I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across
    a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy that I stumbled across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

    July 21st, 2014 9:12
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  • Marquis

    Come on, let us talk about the solution. What could be done to fight this? Once New York figure out away to let the Money Changers screw up the system in NY, this system will be replicated around the world. There are huge powers that want this system to die.

    July 21st, 2014 20:31
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    44
  • move to hawaii
    http://www.fortressradio.com/artist-profile/164948_548976811792482_2088870501_n/

    Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with
    my zynga group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you

    July 22nd, 2014 5:49
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    45
  • Benjamin Wright
    http://benjaminwright.us

    Erik’s article above inspired me to write this blog post: http://hack-igations.blogspot.com/2014/07/bitlicens.html

    July 24th, 2014 1:18
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  • Jim Jamm

    Absolutely excellent! A couple of ideas came to me when reading your inspirational words. 1. NYDFS is making criminals out of all NY Bitcoin users and businesses. This is possibly a great development. Are people going to stop using it or press on despite the climate? My guess is both. Some will drop off and the principled and/or motivated will continue, or perhaps move or just move their operations (maybe to the decentralized net?). What I’m getting at is they likely catalyzed the underground economy rather than to impede it. 2. I think what may also happen is that we will see more open source developments. For example if you were working on an exchange but then couldn’t take the heat, what would you do? I’d post the code for others to use in the name of the movement. 3. We will likely also see more dark coins. There is too much critical mass and potential and the global market is much too large for bitcoin or crypto currencies at large to just dissolve. 4. Thanks to this action, this explicit line drawn by NYDFS we now know just who they are and what they are all about. We also know a bit more about some of these supposed leaders. I commend you for being on the right side of history (excellent and compelling point there) and for calling out these other folks to weigh in and choose. I don’t think any of this is negative, all just the necessary churn required to expose the realities of the world we actually live in. It helps us to understand what “free” currently means and what it could and should mean. I think this will be an ugly but interesting process but I’m confident that technology will liberate us. Not to diminish the equally important role of vocal thought leaders like you. Please keep inspiring. Thank you. And thank you again on behalf of our children.

    July 28th, 2014 1:27
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  • John Doe

    This is excellent – love the piece and agree 110% with what you are saying.
    One question though: when did Andreessen ever publicly endorse Lawsky’s BitLicense? I know that the Winklevii did and that is frustrating, but just curious about Andreessen. It would be a shame to wrongfully stick him on the villain side of the argument after all he has done as a bitcoin evangelist.

    July 31st, 2014 22:21
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    • Erik Voorhees
      Erik Voorhees

      To my knowledge, Andreessen has not publicly endorsed Lawsky (thankfully). However, he has made numerous comments along the generic lines of “we welcome regulatoin because it will legitimize bitcoin/we look forward to working with regulators/etc.” He has also made some comments on Snowden/NSA/online privacy that are deeply troubling, and would lead me to believe he has no qualms whatsoever with the privacy implications of the BitLicense. If you find any public comment by him regarding the BitLicense, please forward!

      August 1st, 2014 2:20
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      • John Doe

        Ok gotcha. I would just say that if we are going to start extrapolating what people might say given their previous comments, then we are no better than people like Lawsky who seems to extrapolate our needs without asking us first.

        I think that until he does make public comments about BitLicense he probably shouldn’t be included in that list of people which you say are “going out of (their) way to publicly endorse this anachronistic legislation” – would you agree?

        August 1st, 2014 17:43
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