Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryCryptocurrency

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Crypto currency and cryptocurrency questions and investing uncertainty as a virtual blockchain money investment risk with a golden coin representing bitcoin

The Great Paradox of Cryptocurrency: Is It Freer or Not?

Many insist it is freer but, as a new book reveals, that’s not clear

In a prepublication review of Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency, Wired’s top editor Gideon Lichfield comments on the big crypto paradox: Its transactions are anonymous, but since every single one is public, stored on a blockchain that (by design) anyone can look at, they are like the broken stalks left by a thief fleeing through a wheat field—a bounty of data for experts in digital forensics, who can piece together identifying patterns. As Andy has previously written, this supposedly untraceable and secure form of money is in fact notoriously hard to launder and easy to steal, and the digital paper trails created by inexperienced criminals using it carelessly for more than a…

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Government Control of What You Buy Grows More Popular

With governments, that is. You’d be surprised at how far along they are with digital currency and how detailed the control could be

Recently, we looked at a new idea governments are looking at — programmable digital currency. It’s all digital, issued by government, constantly trackable, and can’t be spent on items not approved by government (or only with penalties). The Federal Reserve Board (the United States’ central bank) explains, bureaucratically, Potential benefits of the “digital cash” model using programmable UTXOs are the ability to specify spending constraints on any discrete amount of value and a greater facility to trace the provenance of any particular “virtual banknote.” Alexander Lee, “What is programmable money?” at FEDS Notes (June 23, 2021) In other words, the two benefits of these central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are that the government can potentially control what the money is…

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Big red semi tractor trailer  room for copy

Trudeau’s Truckers Reveal Problems with Banking Infrastructure

And crypto isn't the solution you might think it is

On February 14th, Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, invoked the Emergencies Act in order to stop the flow of funding to the truckers who were protesting vaccine mandates in Canada. This order allows and encourages banks to freeze the accounts of anyone suspected of involvement with the protest. The Canadian use of the Emergencies Act in this way has been widely criticized for its draconian and expansive overreach of governmental authority. However, that hasn’t stopped the Canadian government from moving forward with the plan, and they have said that they have already begun freezing accounts. Even before this, though, a Canadian judge had halted access to funds donated to the truckers through the GiveSendGo website. Additionally, GoFundMe, of…

bitcoin bag
Gold coins in the form of bitcoin on a bag with dollars

DOJ Arrests Couple for Huge Bitcoin Heist — Who Are They?

Cryptocurrency doesn’t depend only on technology; it depends on trust, and trustworthiness

On the morning of February 8, DOJ announced that they had made an arrest in the $3.6 billion Bitcoin heist from Bitfinex from 2016. They arrested Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife, Heather Morgan. However, little information was conveyed about the pair. Some digging, however, revealed two individuals by those names who worked together in a variety of technology startups, at least one of which is cryptocurrency-based. While we don’t know for certain if these are the same individuals, the profiles are very similar, and other media seem to be reporting that they are the same. The profile here is on the two individuals we were able to identify, and have not confirmed they are identical to the ones in the…