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Is Bitcoin Selling its Soul to the State?

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This question or some variation of it has actually been posed to me by many virtual currency enthusiasts over the past few months.  It so happens that the financial services regulations applicable to many new virtual currency businesses have been seen as impinging upon the core features that make Bitcoin so innovative and potentially disruptive.

First, the hope for complete anonymity was shattered by the statutory obligation to implement know-your-customer procedures at the currency translation points.  Second, the irrevocability of transactions was dampened by the federal consumer obligation to provide for delayed executions, cancellations and refunds.  Is financial privacy next? 

One of Bitcoin’s most salient and innovative attributes is that its block chain, the public ledger where the entire history of every transaction ever conducted is stored, is publicly viewable by anyone with the right tools.  Given this unique window into their virtual currency wallets, are Bitcoin users not at risk of giving up the right to the private use of a currency that cash affords them today?  I say at risk because it may still be possible to Continue reading

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