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Market in everything with an anticapitalist twist:

Somewhere in another dimension, Murray Rothbard is smiling.

Jeff Garzik, a member of the Bitcoin core development team, says in an email that bitcoin is not as anonymous as the denizens of Silk Road would like to believe. He explains that because all Bitcoin transactions are recorded in a public log, though the identities of all the parties are anonymous, law enforcement could use sophisticated network analysis techniques to parse the transaction flow and track down individual Bitcoin users.

"Attempting major illicit transactions with bitcoin, given existing statistical analysis techniques deployed in the field by law enforcement, is pretty damned dumb," he says.

so the only appeal to Bitcoin, anonymity, doesnt really exist?

Bitcoin is not anonymous like Tor is not anonymous.

Which is to say, unlike all the alternatives, it is possible to be anonymous & untraceable if you take the right measures, and it's easy to blow your anonymity. (Anonymity is a chain; you are only as anonymous as the weakest link.) With Tor, you need to avoid cookies, use end-to-end encryption, not visit identifying webpages like your Facebook URL or homepage, etc. With Bitcoin, you need to use fresh addresses for transactions, route all transactions through 'coinmixes' (like the nodes in Tor or in anonymous remailers; my understanding is that Silk Road does this already) possibly multiple times in random chunks, etc.

So in other words, you have to be a technical wizard, be especially diligent in backing up your wallet and ensuring that you don't mistakenly delete or compromise it, and at the end of the day hope and pray that the federal government doesn't bust up the party.

This story keeps getting better and better.

I know I accidentally delete stuff all the time of my computer. Once I accidentally picked up my computer and threw it at the wall while trying to kill a mosquito. Another time I licked my electric socket and I still have weird flash backs about that that that that that that.

That can't be possible. You're perfect - a unique snowflake. The rest of us wish we were so infallible. Don't ever change.

The Silkroad website is unique. It won't even open unless you go via Tor. Clearly, they are self selecting smart users- those that will use other precautions too and not get caught.

Bitcoin's never claimed to be totally anonymous by default. The selling point is the potential to be anonymous by adding one extra step, like going through Tor or Freenet, or the following the steps they give on their wiki here:

If you really just learned that Bitcoin isn't anonymous, you aren't paying attention. Even to the comment threads here at MR.

Thinking of Bitcoin as a plan to enrich early adopters is actually what caused me to buy. That, and I needed 2.5 grams of powder MDMA and a mail order bride. It's gonna be crazy weekend.

Deflation? The idea that I might never spend any money becuase my money is gaining 2% a year in value? lol, why do people act as if this is some economic truth and the only people who believe that are economically illiterate. If you gave me a credit card with a 2% interest rate I'd be borrowing like crazy off that to dump into profitable investments.

I don't think you know what some of these terms mean.

It doesn't seem like Adam Cohen understands the idea of fiat money.

When the federal reserve "prints money", it doesn't just mail million-dollar checks to random Americans. It does one of two things. It either (a) purchases some other asset [generally US treasury bonds] on the free market, thereby injecting more cash into the system than there had been before, or (b), loans money to a bank, who will then loan it to other people who will then spend it.

Importantly, the people on the other end of those transactions did not just get free money. They either sold an asset for cash, or they borrowed cash that they will eventually repay (with interest).

No, that's not important. 100% of US dollars could have been created through helicopter drops and they would still be valuable.

Not for much longer. . .

The Assignats, Continental Dollars, Reichmarks and Z$ will all be welcoming their big-daddy Fiat brother soon enough in the fiat currency afterlife. . .

"Somewhere in another dimension, Murray Rothbard is smiling."

Silk Road seems to be more directly based on the ideas of Samuel Edward Konkin III, specifically counter-economics.

I didn't think much of that BitCoin critique, and even less of the site's registration requirement even to view comments. The rush to mine BitCoins parallels the Gold Rush, and is now at a stage where mining future coins is barely profitable unless you have free electricity and hardware or the price continues to increase. If--a big if--the value of BitCoins holds, the early adopters and speculators will be wealthy -- why exactly is that a severe problem? Are we not capitalists?

Cohen's argument that deflation would be "crippling" is one possible outcome. Alternatively, the value of BitCoins could stabilize with a small spread reflecting a preference for BitCoin over conventional currency for certain transactions. It seems to me all BitCoin needs to survive is for a preference to develop for certain transactions, not all transactions. Excluding illicit transactions (which everyone seems to be focused on as if cash doesn't have the same features), there are micropayments, purchasing goods, services, and information in small enough quantites that trust issues and reversibility are not major concerns, and where avoiding merchant fees adds to margins. Microbusinesses, or ad hoc businesses, where setting up as a merchant represents a barrier to entry, for example.

If such a market grows faster than the supply of BitCoins it's deflationary, but isn't that just a constraint on the maximum exchange rate? At a certain exchange rate it will be cheaper to accept PayPal, credit cards, or ACH with a three-day float, in which case the value of BitCoins will fall until they are again preffered by some. This is a spread that could be maintained by arbitrage, is it not?

Convertiblity is a problem at the moment, but things are just getting started, right? If BitCoins prove to have legs, how long before the first BitCoin S&L, BitCoin invoice terms, receivables, etc.

I would like to see Bitcoins appreciate at roughly the price of inflation -- that is, they become a stable currency.

Unfortunately, a lot of the Bitcoin community gets a big thrill out of the value bouncing all over the place.

The stupidness of the community is really the biggest obstacle to Bitcoins gaining acceptance.

Actually the biggest obstacle is that right now there's almost nowhere to spend it, it's inconvenient to buy it, and the only real advantage to holding is highly speculative.

Let's say your assertion that the Bitcoin community loves to see the value bounce is true; but how can the community make it bounce? Wishing for something is one thing; making it actually happen is another.

"Whether it's The French Connection or Hoosiers or Unforgiven, or, hell, you name it...."

That's right, getting beyond about 3 or 4 (interesting) movies Hackman's been in is not easy.

Three or four??? Good grief!

Bonnie and Clyde
Downhill Racer
I Never Sang for My Father
The Conversation
Night Moves
No Way Out
Mississippi Burning
Crimson Tide
The Royal Tenenbaums

That's at least a dozen.

What I love about Hackman is that he's ALWAYS good no matter how bad the movie he's in. He is always the one who you watch most closely. He's been in some clunkers, but even those are worth watching when he's on screen.

I find it hilarious that so many librarians complain about low pay. The overwhelming majority of them would be working in call centers if they weren't in libraries. Where else can a bachelor's in history and what I call a "vocational master's" get you $60,000 a year after you build some seniority? Not to mention that the benefits as public employees are unparalleled. I mean, I get 42 paid days off every year!

I wrote a book a couple of years ago, and was often overwhelmed by the task of organizing the massive amount of data and information in a coherent fashion. I sought advice from everyone I knew and many I didn't, including one of my favorite bloggers (Tyler), who kindly responded with some suggestions from earlier MR posts.

The most helpful bit came from a post on academic publishing, along these lines: get something done every day. What kills you is not days that you don't get enough done, it's the days that you get nothing done. While seemingly obvious, it's very calming for obsessive types who are easily paralyzed into inaction. I have found this to be an extremely useful approach to life in general and remind myself of it almost every day.

This shows which they last very much lengthier and thus saving you income which could otherwise are actually utilized to purchase new ones.e5

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