Cryptocurrencies facilitate shady deals - Where are the governance principles?

Mark Meer

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I don't know that this case is an indictment of cryptocurrency. She was laundering money for criminals, got caught, and got punished. How many similar stories can you find that don't involve cryptocurrency? I'd guess orders of magnitude more...
I see this as simply the system operating as it should...not really anything to do with cryptocurrencies generally.


Fully vaccinated are you?
I don't mean it is an inditement any more than the numerous break-ins. Just an interesting read. Like I said - It will take a while for all this stuff to get sorted out/fixed. I'm not an investor, so "crypto currencies" only of marginal interest to me.


Looking for Reality
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Everything bitcoin is used for, USD, Euros, gold, silver and platinum are also used for...and those five (more like 40 or 400) were first.

I believe that the same measures and commitments should be put in place for all asset transfer devices.
Whatever is put in place (corporate or regulatory) for one should be in place for all.

Cryptocurrency is simply the next 'sexy' topic.

Mark Meer

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These are interesting reads, don't get me wrong. I'm still in the process of reading the study cited, but have a few preliminary comments for discussion:

1. So criminals are using a new technology...what's new? Is this particularly concerning? Or is it something that is overstated and likely to sort itself out given time? Again, I refer back to my first post for context. Similar concerns have been raised for encryption technologies, VPN services, and even the internet as a whole. I have a genuine concern that premature alarmism leads to crushing of new technologies before they have time to evolve.

2. The headlines don't tell the whole story. While the headlines appear alarmist, the content seems to describe how bitcoin is NOT actually the anonymous safe-haven criminals hope it is, and technological counter-measures are underway. The headlines talk in percentage of transactions, obscuring the fact (pointed out in the cited study) that illegal users transact more and make smaller transactions (as compared to those using for investment/speculative purposes). It also points out that as more people use it, the proportion of illegal activity declines (which makes sense, right?). Buried all the way at the last line of the first article is "It’s important to remember that this is by no means definitive, and while it may appear that a significant portion of cryptocurrency transactions are involved in illegal activity, previous research conflicts with (some of) these results."

3. The main categories of crime cited are: tax evasion, money laundering, contraband transactions, and extortion. I'd be very interested to know a further breakdown. For example, what proportion of these transactions are people wanting minor recreational drugs versus those seeking "murder-for-hire"? I suspect that most fall in the former category. As is done with many alarmist statistics, lumping all illegal activities together, IMO, does not accurately represent the scope of the problem.

4. To whatever degree you perceive this as a grave problem, I'm still not certain what is being proposed. Changes to "corporate culture" is not going to solve people making illegal transactions on the Dark Web. Nor, in my cynical view, does it do anything substantial about tax evasion or money laundering. These are already illegal activities, and those engaging in it are not going to be dissuaded by a change in corporate culture.

5. We should be ever vigilant regarding confirmation bias. A Google search of "bitcoin illegal activity" yields these exact articles (coincidentally, in this order) as the top hits. I'll admit I'm often prey to my biases when searching information on the net - though am trying to be increasingly self-aware. The internet is an amazing resource for information, but also easy to look up links to information that is one-sided/bias. Compound this with the incentive for increasingly click-bait/alarmist headlines, and I find I'm not sure what to believe anymore. I find that I'm processing everything with heightened skepticism and distrust (for better or worse...).

Good discussion & reading links (particularly the cited study). I'll continue to read with great interest. :read:


P.S. For what it's worth, please note that everything I post is in the spirit of critique and cordial discussion. This should go without saying, but as I'm sure we're all aware a lot of nuance/intent is lost in straight text discussions, and it is easy to misinterpret someone's tone. Plus, admittedly, my tendency to be a contrarian often gets the best of me... :notangel:
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