Illegal Code

2018-11-24T05:35:13.000Z Honest Cash

Over the last twenty to thirty years, the US courts have settled on the verdict that software code is equivalent to speech, free speech. Code is a human expression, just like talking, art, writing, or performing.

But that expression is under threat.

With the creation of cryptocurrencies, code is trespassing onto the highly regulated world of finance. Just as Cody Wilson forced the nation to recognize that 3D printing inextricably linked the first amendment (free speech) with the second amendment (the right to bear arms), cryptocurrency is inextricably linking the first amendment with money. Money is now, unavoidably, a human expression.

Maybe it always should have been viewed in this light.

The discussion of money-as-free-speech is a discussion that the nation has not yet started talking about. I don't propose to know how this discussion will turn out. I'm not interested in the the macro-economy. I'm more interested in empowering the individual. The philosophy that guides my programming is one of individual sovereignty.

Guns democratized power. Think about it: even a bed-ridden cripple can pull a trigger. They can take a life. With the invention of the gun, the power to end life was no longer restricted to the strongest, most athletic humans. Now, for the first time, even woman, minorities, and the disenfranchised could enact violence as competently as the most spry gladiator.

I'm not saying it's a good thing. I'm saying it's the reality we live with.

Cryptocurrencies are doing the same thing for finance. They are democratizing financial power. Once restricted to governments, money is now squarely in the domain of code. As such, its power can be wielded by anyone willing to learn programming.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in my recent exercises in developing a new Consolidating CoinJoin protocol. Some educated people have argued it runs afoul of money transmission laws. Others point out that the world of crypto-to-crypto is still not subject to money transmission laws.

I don't know what the answer is. I don't care. Like speeding 10 mph over the limit on the highways, or downloading pirated music, laws are unenforceable when enough people break them.

That's why I decided not to wait for the legal verdict. Consolidating Coinjoin is going peer-to-peer. The code will put the power into the hands of those willing to act on their morals. New technologies like Tor and IPFS will anonymize servers and prevent censorship. Keeping the software open source will allow it to improve.

This is a fight for nothing less than the future of financial privacy. It's too important to leave to the whims of politicians. Watch this video and make your own decision:

Feel free to explore the GitHub repositories as well, or read the original Consolidating CoinJoin protocol.