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Bitcoin Government

Julian Assage Taunts US Government For Forcing Wikileaks To Invest In Bitcoin (facebook.com) 195

Saturday's tweet from Julian Assange says it all: "My deepest thanks to the US government, Senator McCain and Senator Lieberman for pushing Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, AmEx, Moneybookers, et al, into erecting an illegal banking blockade against @WikiLeaks starting in 2010. It caused us to invest in Bitcoin -- with > 50000% return."
Assange's tweet was accompanied by a graph showing the massive spike in the price of bitcoin -- though most of that growth occurred in the last year.
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Julian Assage Taunts US Government For Forcing Wikileaks To Invest In Bitcoin

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @06:36PM (#55374373)

    Screamed yet another agitated U.S. President at the sky.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by elrous0 ( 869638 )

      And, BTW, I wonder how much the UK still spends each year pretending that they just want to deport him to answer some questions about a sexual assault that even the victims admit never happened. "ASSAAAAGE!" screams yet another Prime Minister too.

      • http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-311... [bbc.com]
        2.5 years old.

        Good to show who UKs real bosses are though.

      • Re:ASSSANGGGE!!!! (Score:5, Informative)

        by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @09:01PM (#55374805)

        Nothing. No one has an active extradition request for him anymore. They do however want to arrest him for breaching UK law. Like for being a fugitive, ignoring the courts, etc. There's a UK warrant for his arrest regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.

        • Re:ASSSANGGGE!!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by The Cynical Critic ( 1294574 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @02:26AM (#55375577)
          Did you pay any attention at all when he locked himself into the embassy? He never went there because he had an active extradition request on himself, but because of the real risk that if he's arrested, the U.S is going to put in an extradition request, apply pressure to bypass the normal procedures to deny him any kind of due process (which the U.S has the ability to do) and finally stage a similar sham of a trial that Manning got. Try to remember that before and after locking himself into the embassy U.S intelligence did their best to try to wiretap him using, amongst other things, a stingray-type device (which they forgot to re-configure for him so it initially showed up as a south american carrier's base station in the middle of London) meaning that they clearly were looking for cause to extradite him.

          With another autocrat in the white house you can't exactly blame him for not daring to come out yet...
          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            The UK tends to roll over to US extradition requests pretty easily. Even when they clearly violate British laws and human rights. Not just the US either, we extradite people to all sorts of places where they face torture and murder.

            • The UK tends to roll over to US extradition requests pretty easily.

              See, that is just a really stupid and ignorant thing to say.

              "Roll over" implies they responded to some sort of pressure, and did something they wouldn't otherwise do. But that is a blatant lie; the UK is in fact pleased to have an extradition treaty with the US! There is no "rolling over" to grant a legitimate extradition request; please note also that none was ever requested! The whole idea of extradition in this case is not based on facts; it is purely and completely based on a perceived sense of guilt by

              • "Roll over" implies they responded to some sort of pressure, and did something they wouldn't otherwise do. But that is a blatant lie; the UK is in fact pleased to have an extradition treaty with the US! There is no "rolling over" to grant a legitimate extradition request;

                No, we really do.

                We have extradited people to the US for doind something in the UK which isn't even illegal in the UK. If that's not rolling over the nI don't know what is.

                • Right, that's not rolling over, that's what the treaty says to do.

                  Can you please try to at least have the IQ of a pair of shoes?

                  It doesn't have to be something that is illegal in the UK! That has nothing to do with it. Things that are legal in the UK and illegal in the US are not automatically things where you can flee from the US authorities and hide in the UK and be protected by their government. That is just plain stupid, and that's why we have the treaties.

                  That's the whole fucking point. It was illegal

                  • Right, that's not rolling over, that's what the treaty says to do.

                    Right, so we rolled over when we signed the treaty and continue to do so.

                    Not sure what your point is other than "some document that someone signed says so so it's OK".

                    It doesn't have to be something that is illegal in the UK!

                    So, what you're saying is that you can stay in your home country, no NOTHING illegal and still get extradited and somehow that's not us rolling over? Wow.

                    • You're derping all over yourself, the treaty is symmetrical, neither side could possibly have "rolled over."

                      You seem to totally fail to comprehend the phrase, "rolled over." It means they didn't want to do it, but did because of pressure. Are you really so fucking stupid that you can't comprehend that what the UK signs extradition treaties, it does so because it thinks they're a good idea? How fucking hard is that?

                      That fact is the same regardless of if you personally approve of extradition treaties or not,

                    • yeah symmetrical, right. Give me one example of a time the USA has allowed a citizen who never broke American laws to be extradited anywhere.

                      Until you can demonstrate otherwise, my claim stands.

          • Re:ASSSANGGGE!!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Monday October 16, 2017 @07:26AM (#55376309) Journal

            You have to admit the genius in this. Why should the US waste money on pursuing him, when he's incarcerated himself through his own paranoia?

            • by torkus ( 1133985 )

              Because his current 'incarceration' still allows him to communicate and continue his work. If it was just the physical aspect you might have a point, but his whole platform is about communication and dissemination of information.

              • He can't secretly meet people anymore though, and he would have more influence if he was talking on stages.
            • Not only is he in defacto jail now, but when he finally leaves he has to stay in the UK and receive his spanking for violating court orders!

              The bitcoin price is an interesting thing, but is it possible to actually sell very much at that price? Surely that price is based on new entrants using it as a short term exchange medium, and at the other end people are mostly stockpiling their profits because of the perceived increase in value. I mean, the currency has long term price deflation built in; new currency

          • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 )

            One should really avoid any comparison with Manning. Manning is a U.S. citizen who swore an oath to defend the country and turned over files she was entrusted with. I think she was punished appropriately, and strongly agree with her release and criminal record.

            Assange has no such relationship with the U.S. and shouldn't be subject to its arbitary, extraterritorial whims.

          • by DrXym ( 126579 )
            He locked himself up because he was too chickenshit to face rape charges in Sweden. In so doing he broke his UK court bail conditions and he'll be arrested on the spot when he steps out of the embassy or is shoved out.

            It's sucks to be him but frankly he'll get everything he deserves by way of the judicial system.

          • And all of that is completely irrelevant as to why the UK is attempting to arrest him, you know like the post I was replying to. Nothing happening in the USA or in Sweden is currently related to the crime he committed in the UK.

            • Which was what, exactly? I've heard aught of him being charged with anything in the UK.

              • He was to report for extradition, pursuant to a perfectly legal request, and fled instead. I believe he agreed to turn himself in and instead headed for the embassy. That's a crime.

          • First, you're assuming the US has an interest. As far as I know, he hasn't violated any US laws, and I haven't heard any official action. There's no evidence of extradition attempts. There may have been surveillance attempts, although I haven't seen credible sources on that. Manning was an open-and-shut case.

            Second, you're making Assange out to be a blithering idiot. If you don't want to be extradited to the US, the second-to-last place you should go is the UK, which is notorious for granting extrad

            • the UK, which is notorious for granting extradition requests to the US.

              You're part of a very small minority of people who consider that following bilateral treaties with allied countries is a source of notoriety.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Do not taunt Happy Fun Trump.

    • "ASSSANGGGE!!!!" - Screamed yet another agitated U.S. President at the sky.

      Nah, the current US President is more likely to scream, "TRUMP IS GREAT!" at the sky because that's where he thinks Sky Magazine comes from and they are being so unfair to him! ;)

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by sittingnut ( 88521 )

        Nah, the current US President is more likely to scream, "TRUMP IS GREAT!" at the sky because that's where he thinks Sky Magazine comes from and they are being so unfair to him! ;)

        still underestimating trump? some never learn.

        • still underestimating trump? some never learn.

          You be sure to educate us when he actually does something great then.

  • Word is that the President of Ecuador is getting pretty tired of this guy and is thinking about ejecting him from the London embassy. I think under the circumstances I'd keep a lower profile.
    • Word is that the President of Ecuador is getting pretty tired of this guy and is thinking about ejecting him from the London embassy. I think under the circumstances I'd keep a lower profile.

      yes you are right, a coward will keep a lower profile when a neutral party is buckling under threats of arbitrary tyrannical power.

    • Re:Mooning the giant (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gussington ( 4512999 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @07:43PM (#55374565)

      Word is that the President of Ecuador is getting pretty tired of this guy and is thinking about ejecting him from the London embassy.

      We've been hearing that since 2 minutes after he entered the Ecuadorian embassy. Unless you are the President of Ecuador, or one of his aides, I suggest you stop believing the headlines...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 15, 2017 @06:55PM (#55374445)

    but I can leave my house

  • What other kind of money could he get in there?
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @07:50PM (#55374581)
    right now it's largely illegal activities (drugs, money laundering, gambling, randomware) that are driving up the value of bitcoin. That value goes poof the moment the government clamps down on it. It's not like bitcoin is even anonymous. What I'm saying is taunting genuinely powerful people and bringing the main way you're funding your organization to their attention when they have a history of blocking your funding methods is just plain arrogance.

    Then again, he did pretty much side with the current administration during the election and, well his man won. So he might be in a position to taunt McCain. Especially since McCain doesn't get along well with said administration.
    • So what if it's illegal ? The only thing government can do is legalize all those things.. and that will never happen.
      How are they going to clamp down on it ? The more they 'clamp down' on _information_, the more ways people are going to invent to circumvent those and carry as they would, and the more fascist they get, which will anger people as this is not 1928 anymore .. and you cannot stop information from flowing.

      I don't care about Assange, but I'm happy he mocks the USG and war criminals in it.

      • How are they going to clamp down on it? At the endpoints. Bitcoin needs to be cashed out to another currency at some point, unless the *only* things you want to buy are drugs and sploits and Magic cards. Now, there are some small players who might fit that description. There are even some in the psychedelic community who make certain drugs available on ideological grounds (cognitive freedom) and don't really care about cashing out. But they can certainly turn up the heat on anyone trying to profit. How effe
        • Just like the war on drugs it will be impossible for states to censor bitcoin. Any discussion of making bitcoin illegal will only encourage us to buy more like we all did with AR15s and bullets whenever a anti-gun rhetoric or gun control fanatics open their mouths.
      • The real key problem though is that it means it is just a transactional currency; if you sell a bunch of units, the price of units goes down rapidly because there is no latent demand at all; all the demand is based on the transactions.

        Which is to say, the value of the goods sold in dollars is the same regardless of if the price is 1 bitcoin or 10 bitcoin. If you try to dump a bunch on the market, the price goes down, as soon as the product sellers realize it happened their prices change; they might even hav

    • by borcharc ( 56372 ) *

      All of the things you claim that are driving the price are really binary transactions. If person A buys btc to do a thing on your list, person B who receives them needs to convert to cash. The drug dealer needs to buy more inventory. The money launderer needs to continue the process of layering his money. The casino needs to pay out winners and take profits. The ransomware guys, who really don't make much in the grand scheme of things, also have bills to pay.

      You really think all of this accounts for 42 bill

      • by Khyber ( 864651 )

        "You really think all of this accounts for 42 billion in USD volume over the last 30 days????"

        More drugs than that flows between the US and Mexican border every single day, so yes.

        • by Nikkos ( 544004 )

          ""You really think all of this accounts for 42 billion in USD volume over the last 30 days????""

          "More drugs than that flows between the US and Mexican border every single day, so yes."

          Um no. The world drug trade is about $300-$400 billion - so about ~$1billion a day - and you can't begin to suggest that even half of that is done in cryptocurrency.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

          • Well, laundered money ends up being counted multiple times. That's the whole point; you create fake transactions and put the dirty money in it, pay taxes on it, and make it clean. If you have multiple stages in order to obscure the true nature of the transactions, you're counting it multiple times.

            How much of that $42B in "volume" was taxable income? Divide that by 3, and that's how much actual economic activity you should expect was represented.

            Remember also: a lot of bitcoin gets moved around just to bund

    • right now it's largely illegal activities (drugs, money laundering, gambling, randomware) that are driving up the value of bitcoin.

      Citation needed.

    • No, it's largely Chinese demand as a way to hide assets from the Communist government. China is heading for a Japan-style economic crash(their economy, much like Japan in the 80s, is built on piles of bad debt) and the rich know that when the shit finally hits the fan the CCP is going to get grabby, real grabby. Using bitcoin is a way to shield money from the CCP(foreign assets such as property is another way, which is why there is a huge boom of Chinese buying up property all over the world, away from t
      • So people who can't trust the full faith and credit of the Chinese government are running to... Bitcoin as a safe store of value? Somehow that doesn't add up. They may very well use Bitcoin for transactions they don't want the government to know about, but if you are trying to keep large sums safely stored, the other options you mentioned (foreign real estate) are way more stable.
        • Chinese love bitcoin because many of them love gambling and day trading , but yes some of it is capital flight as well.
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      1) Just because something is used for something illegal does not mean it should be made illegal to use. (bittorrent)
      2) I am sure they very well know how it is funded
      3) Almost nobody voted for Trump, they voted against Clinton. And even so, just because he wanted Trump to win does not mean he can't be critical of what he does.

    • right now it's largely illegal activities (drugs, money laundering, gambling, randomware) that are driving up the value of bitcoin.

      Or some say... and some are even dumb enough to believe: however, unlike what you're told in the "news," real criminals don't use Bitcoin.

    • You are around 5 years behind on the bitcoin technology. I suggest you investigate into tumblebit, LN payment channels, Confidential Transactions and MimbleWimble if you want to see how private and fungible bitcoin can get
  • by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Sunday October 15, 2017 @08:10PM (#55374641)

    Visa, Master and Swift have been abused so badly in pursuit of political goals in US Primaries that people all over the world have lost faith. Case in point - Sanctions against Iran a country which does not promote Wahabbism whil allowing full trae with Saudi. People have realized that depending on American and Western money networks opens you up to financial blackmail whenever American politicians want to do some dog whistling.
    Russia has created its own payment network and making it difficult for Visa and Master to operate there in order to drive adoption. China most transactions are moving to Baidu's network. India is now using PayTM. As more and more major economies start moving away from western payment systems the West's power to use sanctions as a policy tool will go away. Since money still needs to move between the competing monetary systems cryptocurrencies will become the interface currency

    • by jeti ( 105266 )
      They also tried to force shops in Germany to stop selling Cuban cigars.
    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      Visa, Master and Swift have been abused so badly in pursuit of political goals in US Primaries that people all over the world have lost faith. Case in point - Sanctions against Iran a country which does not promote Wahabbism whil allowing full trae with Saudi. People have realized that depending on American and Western money networks opens you up to financial blackmail whenever American politicians want to do some dog whistling. Russia has created its own payment network and making it difficult for Visa and Master to operate there in order to drive adoption. China most transactions are moving to Baidu's network. India is now using PayTM. As more and more major economies start moving away from western payment systems the West's power to use sanctions as a policy tool will go away. Since money still needs to move between the competing monetary systems cryptocurrencies will become the interface currency

      Dodging government to government pressure is probably only a small reason for countries to move away from Visa and Mastercard. A much bigger reason taking 1-2.5% of every consumer transaction. That's a huge incentive for any bank or financial company to build a competing system.

      Government sanctions as a policy tool are deeply flawed, but one of the few options to pressure countries without dropping bombs. The reason sanctions are somewhat effective is not because of the power of one country, but only w

    • No one is moving away from Visa / Mastercard because it's "western payments". They are moving away because it's old methods with old technologies.

      Hell the USA were the first to move away from these payment methods with the rise of Paypal. This all is just the natural progression of technology combined with a cashless economy.

  • Ecuador needs to make Assange a citizen and then give him diplomatic status. So they can get him out of that Embassy. He will still need to stay holed up somewhere as there will be assignation attempts.

    • by LostOne ( 51301 )

      "there will be assignation attempts" ... that's almost certainly a typo or autocorrect run amok, but if it isn't, you, sir, win twelve internets.

      (For those who don't get it, hint: look up "assignation".)

  • in that sad story is that the revelations of Wikileaks helped Trump to win the vote, which may not exactly be in Assangeâs interest.
    I guess there would have been better candidates lower the probability of being detained that moment he leaves the ambassy.

    And personally: I think being set up and being a self inflated, stupid asshole having unsafe sex go very well together.

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