1993-10-16 - IRS LEARNING . . .

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From: Sandy <72114.1712@CompuServe.COM>
To: <cypherpunks@toad.com>
Message Hash: b7415c1d0abd0aa362bd0eded2c8f267d56ec36b25cf65a2319aeedf756b73b1
Message ID: <93101617352872114.1712_FHF53-1@CompuServe.COM>
Reply To: _N/A

UTC Datetime: 1993-10-16 17:40:17 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 16 Oct 93 10:40:17 PDT

Raw message

From: Sandy <72114.1712@CompuServe.COM>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 93 10:40:17 PDT
To: <cypherpunks@toad.com>
Subject: IRS LEARNING . . .
Message-ID: <931016173528_72114.1712_FHF53-1@CompuServe.COM>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

  SANDY SANDFORT               Reply to:  ssandfort@attmail.com
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


I wrote:

    My favorite *fun* solution would be to buy $80,000 in
    travellers cheques and then *burn* them.

To which Phil Karn responded:

    Well, yes, I suppose you could then leave the country,
    find an **Amex** office and file a claim for the missing
    $80,000 of travelers checks, but wouldn't this generate
    precisely the kind of paper trail you're trying to

    . . . I do suspect that **the** government will
    eventually point to digital cash as justification for
    controlling all of cryptography.  [**emphasis** added.]

Folks, you have to stop thinking so parochially.  The world is
full of travelers check companies.  Most of them protect their
clients' privacy.  Moreover, there is no *the government*.  At
any given time, their are 100-200 competing nation-states and
other semi-autonomous political entities.

Phil went on to say:

    Or they will refuse to back it [digital cash] up in
    court as legal tender, thus helping undermine it. I know
    there's this concept called "reputation" that's supposed
    to take the place of the government enforcing contracts,
    but I have a hard time understanding just how it will
    work for very large transactions between individuals
    (like buying a house or even a used car).

Think a minute here.  What legal tender laws back up the very
travelers checks we have been discussing?  What government says
merchants must accept your Amex/Bank of American/Citibank/Thomas
Cook/etc. travelers checks?

As for "very large transactions," I again leave that as an
exercise for the student.  (Hint:  How might an escrow be used?)

I apologize to Phil for using him as an example of the provincial
nature of the Cypherpunks list.  At least, he is working with the
concepts.  The Cypherpunks list, though nominally international,
is dominated by Americans.  Unfortunately, we Yanks bring our own
peculiar form of ethnocentrism to the list.  (I also apologize to
non-US list members for belaboring the obvious.)

Punksters, we live in a transnational world.  We work and play on
the transnational Internet.  Our computers and our cryptography
transcend the evil empires.  Transnationalize yourself; and swim
like a fish through the sea of the nation-states.

With apologies to Mao,

 S a n d y

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