Re: Is Anonymous E-Cash Dead?

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Sun Jul 16 2000 - 18:24:45 MDT

I think you are right, especially with the recently proposed legislation
to track international transfers more closely. That is pretty scary stuff!

On the other hand, as you point out we have Havenco. True they are in a
very iffy situation with the UK, but I posted earlier today regarding the
fact that some parts of the UK do consider it to be a separate country.
We'll have to see how that plays out. But they aren't waiting around- if
you read the article on /. a week or so ago, they talk about branching
out to multiple other physical locations pretty soon. And they have enough
$$$ backing them to make it work I think. So let's assume for the moment
that the succeed in establishing a real live datahaven.

What does that mean for us? Well for starters you can definitely setup
an anonymous account with them, pay them anonymously (through cash if
necessary.. I get the feeling they are still working this part out), and
using software or other means access your server anonymously.
So if you want to setup some kind of service there to escape rules in
your home country, it should be easy to do as long as you only need
electronic data flow. If you have some kind of business that requires
paper docs/mail service you can't do it yet.

What someone needs to do is setup a bank on Havenco. Then you could
wire your money from the US to that bank, and from that point on tell
the IRS whatever you want (we are talking theoretically here kiddies
at home) on your tax return. This bank account could probably be used
to open an account with a US stock brokerage, and again using the
freedom software you could anonymously trade.. transfer your profits
occasionally back to the bank account, and from there to your US
bank account. You could tell the IRS you don't know who these magic
payments come from, perhaps a secret admirer :-) And voila, no more
capital gains taxes.

It would appear from my point of view that something like Havenco
might be what allows us to finally have what you discuss. You just
have to have the balls (so to speak) to actually make use of it.
And a good lawyer probably.

Paul Hughes wrote:
> In the face of recent news, its sometimes hard to be optimistic.
> Whatever happened to private e-cash? You know, that thing that was
> promoted optimistically within extropian circles. It seems everyone who
> tried it folded up. Worse still, people like the Dept of the Treasury,
> IRS, World Bank and others are actively attempting to prohibit its use.
> But even it were legal, most organizations capable of implementing it
> have no interest in doing so - like Visa, MC, American Express. They
> would rather our transactions remain open to scrutiny for marketing
> purposes. The government wants money to remain in their control for the
> ostensible purpose of tracking drug traffickers, money launders and
> terrorists. Also recent legislation is passing through congress to
> re-enact the "Know Your Customer" plan for international transactions.
> The problem here, is once the system is in place to track that, its
> becomes that much easier for them to implement it domestically.
> The problem I see ultimately, is this allows the governments of the
> world to continue increasing their power at the expense of individual
> liberty. Previous talk about how network economics would ultimately
> circumvent the state and render it powerless have failed to materialize
> at least in the US. Perhaps this occurred on the scale of large
> corporations, but again this seems to have happened at the expense of
> individual liberty.
> Of course some people will say "Hey, now we have HavenCo". But just the
> other day, one of its chief engineers was barred from entering the UK.
> I'm not optimistic this company will last very long.
> Maybe I'm missing the big picture here. Does anybody think overall
> individual liberty is increasing, particularly for US Citizens, or
> decreasing? Please be as specific as possible.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 02 2000 - 17:34:44 MDT