Senator Schumer Says Bitcoin Is Money Laundering

from the apparently,-he's-unfamiliar-with-cash dept

A few months back, we explored Bitcoin, and the growing attention it was receiving. The distributed currency has certainly been getting a lot of attention lately (causing the exchange rate to skyrocket). Of course, as with any such thing, there was bound to be some sort of backlash from political circles, and this one was extremely predictable. Last week, Gawker wrote a story about Silk Road, the online drug marketplace that users can only access via TOR and where the only currency accepted is Bitcoin. To be honest, the story sounds a little too good, and too “Hollywood” to be real, but perhaps it is real. I find it a little difficult to believe that it has all that many users, given the complex nature of getting it to work.

Either way, Senator Chuck Schumer, who can grandstand with the best of them, apparently got handed that article and saw an opportunity to publicly demand that something must be done about Silk Road. It seems clear from his remarks that Senator Schumer has never heard of TOR:

“Literally, it allows buyers and users to sell illegal drugs online, including heroin, cocaine, and meth, and users do sell by hiding their identities through a program that makes them virtually untraceable,” Schumer said at a news conference Sunday. “It’s a certifiable one-stop shop for illegal drugs that represents the most brazen attempt to peddle drugs online that we have ever seen. It’s more brazen than anything else by lightyears.”

Lightyears? Really? In another report he claims that Silk Road and other drug sites are “flooding our streets” with drugs. Except… they’re not. There are probably a small handful of people using things like Silk Road today, and they’re almost certainly doing it for home use, rather than to “flood the streets.” But, that doesn’t make for as good a form of grandstanding.

As for “the program that makes them virtually untraceable,” he seems to ignore the fact that Hillary Clinton (his former co-Senator from the state of New York) has talked up the value of software like TOR, which makes identities untraceable, as an important tool for freedom of expression around the world. Thankfully, Schumer doesn’t seem to go quite as far as directly blaming TOR, though he doesn’t appear to separate TOR from Silk Road, despite them being two different things. Also, lightyears? Really?

What he does go after, however, is Bitcoin:

“It’s an online form of money laundering used to disguise the source of money, and to disguise who’s both selling and buying the drug,” said Schumer.

Um. You know what else is a form of currency that is used to disguise the source of money? Cash. And, last I checked, it’s still legal tender. Blaming the semi-anonymous nature of Bitcoin is severely misplaced. In fact, in the original Gawker article, there’s an update at the end (perhaps Schumer didn’t get that far, or never reloaded) where it points out that Bitcoin really isn’t quite that anonymous, and quotes a Bitcoin developer as noting that trying to buy drugs via Bitcoin “is pretty damned dumb.”

But, according to Schumer, it’s “a form of money laundering.”

This will get interesting. No matter what you think of Bitcoin (and I’m certainly not sold on the concept), it’s pretty clear that governments will attack such forms of currency if given the chance. A silly story about something like Silk Road opens up just such a chance. My guess is that Schumer won’t actually do anything about Bitcoin right now (the focus appears to be mainly on Silk Road), but it won’t be long before we see more politicians seeking ways to “do something” about Bitcoin by falsely painting it as something evil, just because some people use it for illegal purposes.

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109 Comments
E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

but it won’t be long before we see more politicians seeking ways to “do something” about Bitcoin by falsely painting it as something evil, just because some people use it for illegal purposes.

That is the point isn’t it? We should outlaw any new technology if it allows some people to use it for illegal purposes. That is the reason the US even has a gun debate today. Because some people use guns to kill people, we should not be allowed to own guns.

Same for DVRs, VCRs, Modchips etc, because some people use them for illegal purposes we should ban the use of them for all people.

Why bother enforcing laws and punishing those who actually commit crimes when we can ban the technology that allows for crimes to take place to begin with.

We would have a whole lot fewer piracy and money laundering problems if we just banned the internet. After all, the majority of child porn is transferred over the internet. Same for piracy and money laundering. Just get rid of the internet and all these problems would simply vanish.

While we are at it, we should probably ban the private ownership of automobiles because some people use them in drive by shooting, to run people over and for quick getaways from burglaries.

We should also ban the use of motor fuels and other flammable substances because people can use them for arson.

Don’t even get me started on the use of the written word. People use that all the time to communicate criminal activity. No one should be allowed to communicate through written means.

Also gatherings of people. We should ban people from gathering together in a single space because they might be colluding to commit crimes. Gatherings should be limited to 2 people max, but that should only be done with competent police supervision to prevent any kind of collusion to commit crime.

Finally, we need to ban privacy in all its forms so that people will have no avenue to hide their crimes or plans and means to commit crime. If people have no privacy they will have no time to commit crime.

Problems of the world have been solved.

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m quite handy with a pointy stick and a fist-sized rock.

But alas, the government has outlawed them, and has announced plans to utilize thermonuclear vaporization to make sure there aren’t any of either, anywhere on the planet. They say a little collateral damage is unavoidable, but that I shouldn’t worry, I won’t notice or feel a thing. And as an added bonus, it gets rid of all the nukes, guns and missiles on Earth too!

Rekrul says:

Everyone thinks that the current politicians are clueless about technology (they are) and that this will all change once younger politicians start getting into office. The problem is that once most people become older, they stop being interested in the newest technology and turn their attention elsewhere, while technology continues to advance. So it’s likely that as politicians who understand the technology of today come into office, there will be a whole host of newer things that they’ve never heard of. While they’ll know about BitTorrent and cyberlockers, they’ll struggle to grasp something like a distributed DNS system or self-encrypting drives.

In other words, politicians being clueless about the technology they want to regulate isn’t going to change anytime soon. Unfortunately…

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The younger party right now is the Tea Party. Those are the junior politicians. And yet Rand Paul(Kentucky Rep[?]) (son of Ron Paul) has recently been skewered for some quotes in regards to civil rights. Not exactly my biggest fan, but he WAS against the Patriot Act.

You’re correct in what this says about politicians. That’s why it’s all the more imperative that they stop *trying* to regulate markets that they don’t understand. Just because there’s case law saying that the Federal govn can regulate doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.

Alastair McKenzie says:

You came to the core of it delicately (” it’s pretty clear that governments will attack such forms of currency if given the chance. A silly story about something like Silk Road opens up just such a chance.) but you are absolutely right.

EVERY time people write about laundering money, buying drugs, gambling or other fringe activities (alpaca socks ffs!) they are simply pre-arming the right-wing luddites like this moron senator, with the weapons they’ll use to attack Bitcoin or any other p2p currency they can’t control.

Instead, people should be concentrating on the real benefits that would help swing popular opinion behind the currency when battle is joined. Eg The inability of central banks to print money. The absence of ‘moral hazard’ – banks and traders are on their own if they go bust. The inability of Wall St parasites to speculate when they can’t see where the money is going. Direct exchange with no banks involved.

Paul (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 lol

I will respectfully disagree, within the context of World Politics.

In the U.S. we have the Republicans who are the party of the Far Right, and we have the Democrats who are a “Leaning to the Right” party.

Proof:

Democrats run from any position that can be labeled “socialist”
Democrats run away from any position that can be labeled “business unfriendly”
Democrats brag about Welfare reforms they put in place that were in fact designed by Republicans
Democrats brag about their military achievements (those occurring under their watch).
Obama has been even more diligent at prosecuting whistle blowers than Bush, to high Democratic praise
Democrats were just as slow to warm to the Arab Spring as the Republicans
Democrats are seeking to lock down the Internet just as much or more than the Republicans

Lately, I have found it surprising that Democrats can pursue the polices they have been pushing lately, and maintain any support from anyone even slightly supportive of what we call “Leftist” ideals. (You know, them dumb things like human rights, the environment, peace, the welfare of our children, single mothers, minority rights, equality, fairness, protecting the people from corporate interests, etc.)

FUDbuster (profile) says:

To be honest, the story sounds a little too good, and too “Hollywood” to be real, but perhaps it is real. I find it a little difficult to believe that it has all that many users, given the complex nature of getting it to work.

You are downplaying this. Download the Tor Browser Bundle, unpack it, and you could be on that site in seconds. It’s not that difficult at all.

There are probably a small handful of people using things like Silk Road today, and they’re almost certainly doing it for home use, rather than to “flood the streets.” But, that doesn’t make for as good a form of grandstanding.

Probably? That’s a faith-based assumption. I take it you have no data. If not, then you’re grandstanding too, you know.

Blaming the semi-anonymous nature of Bitcoin is severely misplaced. In fact, in the original Gawker article, there’s an update at the end (perhaps Schumer didn’t get that far, or never reloaded) where it points out that Bitcoin really isn’t quite that anonymous, and quotes a Bitcoin developer as noting that trying to buy drugs via Bitcoin “is pretty damned dumb.”

The whole point of using these digital currencies is because they’re untraceable if done right. The difference between bitcoin and cash is that for cash, you’d have to have a mailing address to send the cash to.

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You are downplaying this. Download the Tor Browser Bundle, unpack it, and you could be on that site in seconds. It’s not that difficult at all.

You are correct. I was able to get to the site with only minutes of setup.

Probably? That’s a faith-based assumption. I take it you have no data. If not, then you’re grandstanding too, you know.

For the prices they are charging on Silk Road, I gather no one will be “flooding the street” with anything. Not being familiar with the street price of drugs myself, I have heard it said that the Silk Road offerings have a healthy markup (no doubt a premium charge due to the security of it all), which would make it quite difficult to then flip the stuff on the street and still turn a profit. It seems to be tailored towards retail, not wholesale.

FUDbuster (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

You are correct. I was able to get to the site with only minutes of setup.

I checked it out to. Being so open about things is perhaps not the smartest move on their part.

For the prices they are charging on Silk Road, I gather no one will be “flooding the street” with anything. Not being familiar with the street price of drugs myself, I have heard it said that the Silk Road offerings have a healthy markup (no doubt a premium charge due to the security of it all), which would make it quite difficult to then flip the stuff on the street and still turn a profit. It seems to be tailored towards retail, not wholesale.

Those prices looked like they were geared to the end user. I’m sure you could work out bulk pricing will a dealer there if you tried. But still, my point was that Mike did not appear to have any data to back up his statement.

Paul (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Data requires studies. Even if you were a heavy user of the Silk Road products, that wouldn’t be useful data. You would need their books to determine how much product they were moving. By the nature of their product, I’d guess their data would be hard to come by.

So how does one talk about or estimate their impact? Well, by using the same logic Mike described. And I’d guess Mike is likely to be right. The assertion that someone might be able to work out a bulk deal is likely false. That is because Silk Road would never be able to tell a real opportunity from a sting. Most likely bulk deals would be handled they way bulk deals are handled today, with cash and face to face.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The whole point of using these digital currencies is because they’re untraceable if done right.

That is quite incorrect and shows your lack of understanding how BitCoin works.

The whole point of BitCoin is a currency that no central authority (ie governments) can control or devalue.

The difference between bitcoin and cash is that for cash, you’d have to have a mailing address to send the cash to.

Actually, the difference between cash is that unlike cash, anyone can observe BitCoin transactions in near real-time and view/monitor the entire chain of transactions for particular bitcoins.

FUDbuster (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

That is quite incorrect and shows your lack of understanding how BitCoin works.

The whole point of BitCoin is a currency that no central authority (ie governments) can control or devalue.

And if done right, it’s anonymous. That’s what I said. Not sure how you are showing that what I said is wrong.

Actually, the difference between cash is that unlike cash, anyone can observe BitCoin transactions in near real-time and view/monitor the entire chain of transactions for particular bitcoins.

Right, but if the dealers on Silk Road were receiving cash in the mail, it would be much simpler to discover who the dealers are.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You are stating factually incorrect information.

Once again, if you insist on using a name like FUDBuster, expect that anytime you spread FUD and lies, that you will be called on it.

You stated, and I will quote:

The whole point of using these digital currencies is because they’re untraceable if done right.

You are saying that the whole reason for BitCoin is to be anonymous. This is provably untrue.

Lets ask 2 questions about both BitCoins and cash:

Is it possible to use BitCoins anonymously? Yes. Is it easy? Not really.

Is it possible to use cash anonymously? Yes. Is it easy? Yes.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Single transactions are relatively meaningless, yes. But that’s exactly the same pit that all of the “anonymized” databases that were released fell into.

Everyone has the entire transaction database, by design.

Yes, both parties can create single use accounts for every transaction, but that’s a logistical nightmare for a retail business.

Larry Reaves says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The problem comes in when you receive at multiple addresses, then send out a larger sum. From that point on, those addresses are known to be in the same wallet. Say you use one for donations on your blog, and the other was a refund from the silk road. If silk road is compromised and the addresses they sent from found, there is now a link that shows the owner of the wallet with the blog donations received bitcoins from the silk road.

Bi T Co In says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Hm.

If “h3g53hjh3g43hgj sends 20 BTC to jhg346jhg45jhg” wants to have a book / drug / PC / inflatable lady sent to his or her address it is no longer anonymous any more.

And: ALL Bitcoin transactions are public and thus traceable to these pseudonyms. So, for money laundering, it is a very bad choice. Cash is better.

So everybody wanting to stop money laundering or drug selling should outlaw cash and not Bitcoin.

Paul (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Well, if they were asking for cash in the mail, yes. If receiving cash in numerous other ways, then no. One of my favorite stories is the one about my favorite Chinese Food restaurant in College Station TX. Loved it, but I always wondered why they didn’t have more business.

Until they were shut down, because it turns out their primary business wasn’t food, it was money laundering.

Bitcoin by design isn’t as likely to be a good money laundering tool given its transaction tracking in the P2P. Much better to open a restaurant.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

> but if the dealers on Silk Road were receiving
> cash in the mail, it would be much simpler to
> discover who the dealers are.

But it wouldn’t be easy to discover the *sender*, which is what Shumer is complaining about by calling it money-laundering. A money-launderering operation concerns itself with disguising the *source* of illegal cash, not its destination.

FUDbuster (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The sender of the cash is the receiver of the drugs. Since they give their address to the drug dealer, it’s not that hard to track them down. The dealer, on the other hand, never gives out his address.

Is buying drugs with bitcoin money laundering? Not by my definition. I’m not sure what the legal definition is though.

Digital currencies can be used to launder money, though. As I recall, that was the “downfall” of e-gold.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

After all, this is an opinion blog. People come here to get Mike’s opinion. If you don’t like it, start your own blog or go read …. (can’t think of an unopinionated source right now). Are all of his opinions correct? Maybe not. But at least his opinions are expressed as opinions.

FUDbuster (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m just stating my own opinion. That’s allowed here, right?

Mike said: “In another report he claims that Silk Road and other drug sites are “flooding our streets” with drugs. Except… they’re not.” That’s stated as if it’s fact, but as you noted, it’s opinion.

I just think Mike is trying to play the whole thing down by saying it’s hard to use Tor hidden services, they’re not flooding the market, Bitcoin isn’t anonymous, etc. I think it’s easy to use Tor hidden services, we don’t know what kind of drug deals are happening there, and if used properly, digital currencies are anonymous.

Am I saying that this is intolerable? No. I like digital currencies, and I dislike drug laws. I think drug abuse is a medical condition and it should be treated as such.

This doesn’t really bother me that much. But, I’m not going to pretend like people can’t easily buy drugs on the internet and have it delivered to their mailbox.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Mike said: “In another report he claims that Silk Road and other drug sites are “flooding our streets” with drugs. Except… they’re not.” That’s stated as if it’s fact, but as you noted, it’s opinion.

Ever notice how people using names like “FUDbuster” are actually FUD lovers?

Beta (profile) says:

Re: Do NOTHING!!!

I vaguely remember a campaign like this from years ago. Since voter turnout in an election is less than 50%, the argument was that nobody actually won a majority– and that therefore that was exactly whom we had elected. It had slogans like “Nobody for President” and “U.S. Out of North America”.

Joking aside, I would really, seriously consider a congressional candidate who swore to vote against everything (shades of Professor Wagstaff).

DannyB (profile) says:

Couldn't anything people trade for value be a currency?

And couldn’t such currency be used for money laundering?

In fact, isn’t that how money laundering works?

Suppose we exchange little round flat tokens for goods or services received. (These round tokens are used music CDs that are in demand.) Can such currency be used for money laundering?

Alex: go to used record store, anonymously buy CDs.

Bob: provide (some goods/services) to Alex in exchange for CDs.

Bob: go to another used record store, anonymously sell CDs for cash (less cash than Alex paid).

Has money laundering taken place?

austin says:

Re: Couldn't anything people trade for value be a currency?

actually bitcoin is LESS capable of being used for laundering, because all transactions using bitcoin are recorded. so:
bob buys x bitcoins from some site dealing in bitcoins a record of that transaction likely exists (if not the person to blame here is the site)
bob transfers those to alex(this transfer is in the bitcoin transfer history)
alex trades those to another site for the same amount of money (a record of this should also exist, if not the person to blame is the site)

so for laundering to happen it must happen at one of those nodes just like with cash.but unlike with cash there is a clear record of all transactions (a record which is public btw and does not require a warrant) so money laundering in with bitcoin would be pretty stupid…

Hank says:

Too late

Doesn’t matter. It’s all too late. Bitcoin exists, and its P2P and encrypted.

The banks and governments have officially lost. What you are hearing are the painful screams of the establishment on it’s deathbed.

You can’t stop/regulate bitcoin.

It’s over, you’re finished. Government is officially obsolete.

T (user link) says:

The same Senator Schumer who thinks Utica, NY Chicken Riggies are pronounced Chicken “Ridgies.” One of his fav meal memories from his youthful days in upstate New York (@ SUNY IT Graduation 2007.)

Oh yah, and since drugs are purchased with dollar bills, let’s outlaw those too. And Cars…Yah sure cars! Cos’ idiots drive them recklessly and cause accidents. Go on Chuck, let ’em have it! (and pass me some more of those Ridgies while your at it.)

Even a government counterfeiting fiat can have a bad day!

Anonymous Coward says:

Tor lovers enjoy it while it lasts...

Wait until politicians like this start reading articles about how Tor harbors massive pedophile archives, discussion boards, and hitman blackmarkets!

Tor is grandstanding politician’s wet dream.

There’s so much to grab headlines over.

Exactly why I don’t see it being permitted.

FuzzyDuck says:

US is evil

Question for Senator Schumer

What currency is most used around the world for these things:
– Drug trade.
– Illegal arms trade.
– Corrupting politicians.
– Paying for assassinations.
– Human trafficking.
– etc…

It’s the mightly US Dollar! Yes, the US dollar IS the currency of choice for all that is evil.

Arrest the board of the central bank right now, and lock them up for enabling so much evil in the world!

Andrew Raisbeck says:

The United States of America has reached their MAXIMUM allowable debt by law…. And they STILL don’t realize that the war on drugs is nothing but a finacial sink-hole….

And for real? The Senetor is a complete idiot for targeting this website. Drug cartels/sources/distributors/etc are like hydras: Cut off their head and three will take their place.

Good luck!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The United States of America has reached their MAXIMUM allowable debt by law…. And they STILL don’t realize that the war on drugs is nothing but a finacial sink-hole….

That “sink-hole” is the criminal justice system’s collective pocket, and it’s practically bottomless. There is no such thing as too much, or even enough, money for them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Schumer: TOR is an onion routing system originally developed by the US Navy; perhaps you’d like to try putting sanctions on them for a change?

On another note, buying anything with illegal money is sometimes pursued in court as laundering. Embezzled money for a new car? That car MUST be a laundering tool. Robbed a bank to help pay your mortgage? You’re hiding the money from us. Money laundering has become a very broad-spectrum crime, and you’re not helping, Chuckie.

Jeni (profile) says:

Stunning

Can’t believe this. With all the money illegals are taking from the U.S. and sending into Mexico, this dopey (D) Senator is worried about Bit coins.

And that’s just one issue – as others have noted, we have many more much bigger that a digital “bitcoin”.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Gee. I have to check this Bitcoins out now, maybe I should send (D) Chucky a thanks.

Jeni (profile) says:

Bitcoin says...

As I said, I wanted to check out Bitcoin and whilst trying to figure it all out I stumbled onto this:

Drugs Section Empty

The “psychoactives” section appears to consist entirely of dead links. Ironwolf 03:54, 28 March 2011 (GMT)

I deleted the Drugs section, since Bitcoin is still far too vulnerable to government actions against it — there are many single points of failure. The most glaring to me is the DNS system — the bitcoin.org domain could be taken down if the US government wishes to.
AaronM 01:18, 27 April 2011 (GMT)

So if they’ve taken it down, isn’t this now a non-issue?

Ross says:

Bitcoin

We see $ 90 billion pa of heroine in Afghanistan being protected by US Soldiers and the US Fed counterfeiting our currencies bringing on another depression but the people are not allowed to have a free exchange of goods and services without some parasite creaming profits off every transaction.

Their legalised theft is OK but real producers are labelled drug dealers or tax dodgers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Outlawing Cash

Um. You know what else is a form of currency that is used to disguise the source of money? Cash. And, last I checked, it’s still legal tender.

For now. There are those in government (especially law enforcement) and the banking industry that are working to have cash outlawed. The government wants it because then they could watch and record every transaction everyone makes. The banks want it because then generally no transactions could be done without them and they would get a cut of every one of them.

Jeni (profile) says:

Sad

You know what really makes me sad? How so many jump on humankind as if we are ALL criminals right off the bat, bar none. I should think all Americans here were brought up with the same law I was: “Innocent until proven guilty”.

Gosh, why do you suppose that was so important to have in our laws? Because in reality, most people are good and decent and go about their daily lives with no desire to be “shady” or criminal.

No matter what can be abused on the streets or on the Internet, there is always going to be a small segment of humankind who are going to find ways to abuse it and not even care who they hurt. That’s the sad fact of life 101. That’s why we pay LEOs.

What wasn’t bargained for was idiot lawmakers making everything humans do illegal (along with robbing them blind) to the point that we can’t even respect the law anymore.

It doesn’t make crime right, but it’s a fact of reality that will always be there no matter what. I think a worse crime is looking at every single other human being and thinking, “Criminal!” “Evil!” “Bad guy/gal!” “You are therefore you are criminal!”

The way some of you talk we should all live in a bubble and have nothing to do with the outside world lest we “break a law”. Wow. What a world.

Sigh. There just has to be fairness and balance in everything – and more importantly, logic and reason. It’s sad to see us losing it all.

Scott K says:

WTF is with these career politicians?

What is it with these politicians who think they understand this stuff well enough to say it should be outlawed?

I think it should be illegal for them to pass legislation on something they have not sought professional opinions on.

Bitcoin doesn’t allow you to buy drugs any more than cash does. This is the equivalent of buying drugs from a guy standing in front of a gas station. You can do it in real life too.

And throughout the past few years, I’ve begun to wonder more and more about whether or not we really should be worrying half as much as we are about stopping drug users (although I would never consider using drugs myself). Drugs are bad, yes, and drug dealers prey on young, impressionable children, and drugs are used to support gangs. True. But, most of these are true for ALL drugs – not just illegal drugs. At one point, alcohol was also only available on the black market and the proceeds supported gang activities. And either way – shouldn’t it be the preying on children and supporting gang violence that we are going after – NOT the drugs themselves? Drugs are terrible, true – but people CHOOSE to use them anyway. Rather than sending these people to jail (which by the way generally creates more hardened criminals than it reforms) shouldn’t we be trying to find a constructive way to fix the situation? (And by “situation” I am NOT referring to drugs so much as the gang violence and abuses we cite as reasons that drugs “should be illegal”.)

FYI – Bitcoin is useful for other things as well. People often use silly examples like alpaca socks (which it’s true, you can buy them with Bitcoin) but perhaps a more “practical” example is Wuala, which is a service owned by computer hardware maker LaCie (probably best known for computer hard drives and backup systems) which is a more secure alternative to Dropbox (because they don’t store your key, so only you can see your files unless someone figures out your password). Supposedly it’s also more popular than Dropbox across-the-pond.

On a slightly different note – I think it’s ridiculous that our legislators are trying to shut down Bitcoin. I understand why – big businesses pay good money to keep their stooges in our government, and Bitcoin allows us to exchange money online without the overhead of accounts with PayPal and the like and allows smaller businesses (even freelance developers and other freelancers) to do business overseas without worrying about exchange rates (much like the big businesses do by simply setting up a branch in the foreign country of their choice).

demize! says:

lol

Here here @phildem. He makes the usual centerist noises but his true constituency is in Tel Aviv and the boardrooms of the commanding heights. The left right indentifiers are vestigial anachronisms at this point. Anyone who doesnt see tbat should tread lightly in recommending rhetorical opponents to insert apendages into orifices so to speak.

Hal Hobbs (profile) says:

Use bitcoin for future elections

We should use bitcoin in place of congress. You should have a buy in of say 50,000 dollars, likening it to the original rule of having to be a property owner, in order to validate your voting right. That would take out the middle man, congress, (earmarks aka buttstains). The special ap (software)would keep your vote anonymous and calculate the votes taking the electoral college out of the picture. That way, 3 or 4 liberal states could no longer dominate the country. Just sayin…..

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