[Arm-netbook] Urgent statement on Cryptocurrency ethics

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Thu Mar 22 09:58:18 GMT 2018

crowd-funded eco-conscious hardware: https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68

On Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 9:45 AM, Philip Hands <phil at hands.com> wrote:

> I'd like to announce a revolution in data privacy.  Individuals can take
> control of their data, and ensure that it doesn't leak into the hands of
> people that they don't want to have it.
> Just install PGP.

 hurrah! :)

 so let's think about that case for a minute... PGP/GPG were designed
for encrypting / signing static data.  if that was all that was
involved, crypto-currencies would have been replaced by people using
PGP/GPG to sign static text files containing "money" or the digital
representation of the same.

 the difference then is that extra step - the guarantees of an "atomic
transaction".  so it's the combination of *both* factors: putting
responsibility into individuals' hands (so that banks cannot literally
empty your account if they so choose) *and* the atomic inviolate
contract / transaction guarantees.

> I'm pretty good at looking after my keys, and would not for instance
> need to revoke them if you stole my laptop, so am in a tiny minority.


> Would I be willing to make my current account balance contingent on my
> not screing that up?

 ... did you hear about the banks in ... i think it was portugal
italy, when they were going bankrupt they decided blithely to just...
take peoples' savings.  one pensioner actually committed suicide as a

 they would almost have certainly done that with the blessing of the
courts / government.  so going to court would have no effect.

> I think you can be sure that the people will fight viciously to avoid
> taking any sort of responsibility. See: Facebook & Cambridge Analytica.

 i shouldn't laugh at that happening, but i can't help it.


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