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Nazis Cash in With Bitcoin

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COMMENT: After encoun­ter­ing prob­lems advanc­ing more con­ven­tion­al fund-rais­ing meth­ods, Nazi groups are pros­per­ing due to suc­cess­ful min­ing of Bit­coin.

The most suc­cess­ful Nazi min­er of Bit­coin is Andrew “Weev” Aueren­heimer: ” . . . . One neo-Nazi stands above the rest in his bit­coin usage: Andrew ‘weev’ Auern­heimer, who’s received over $1 mil­lion in bit­coin, accord­ing to one report. Even though Auern­heimer has with­drawn rough­ly $118,620 from his bit­coin wal­let between late August and Wednes­day, his remain­ing bit­coin store has been replen­ish­ing his wealth through­out the recent bit­coin boom. . . .”

This is not alto­geth­er sur­pris­ing, in that Bit­coin’s foun­da­tions track as far to the right as can be.

We have explored Bit­coin in a num­ber of pro­grams–FTR #‘s 760, 764, 770 and 785.

An impor­tant recent book by David Golum­bia sets forth the tech­no­crat­ic fas­cist pol­i­tics under­ly­ing Bit­coin. Known to vet­er­an listeners/readers as the author of an oft-quot­ed arti­cle deal­ing with tech­no­crat­ic fas­cism, Golum­bia has pub­lished a short, impor­tant book about the right-wing extrem­ism under­ly­ing Bit­coin. (Pro­grams on tech­no­crat­ic fas­cism include: FTR #‘s 851, 859, 866, 867.)

In the excerpt below, we see dis­turb­ing ele­ments of res­o­nance with the views of Stephen Ban­non and some of the philo­soph­i­cal influ­ences on him. Julius Evola, “Men­cius Mold­bug” and Ban­non him­self see our civ­i­liza­tion as in decline, at a crit­i­cal “turn­ing point,” and in need of being “blown up” (as Evola put it) or need­ing a “shock to the sys­tem.”

1.  “Neo-Nazi wealth is rapid­ly grow­ing. Why? Bit­coin.” by Jack Smith IV; Mic; 12/01/2017

In many ways, white nation­al­ists were the big losers after the Unite the Right ral­ly in Char­lottesville in August. First, they lost web host­ing for neo-Nazi hives like Storm­front. Some far-right atten­dees lost access to Uber or their social media accounts. Oth­ers lost meet­ing venues and were dri­ven out of sub­se­quent pub­lic spaces dur­ing fol­low-up ral­lies. And of course, some atten­dees, such as those who were exposed in pho­tos tak­en at the infa­mous torch-lit march the night before the ral­ly, lost their jobs.

In that time, they were also essen­tial­ly forced to invest in bit­coin, and after the cryptocurrency’s mete­oric rise through­out 2017, that finan­cial move has broad­ened their wealth sig­nif­i­cant­ly.

After the Char­lottesville protests, many white nation­al­ists lost access to mon­ey-trans­fer ser­vices like Apple Pay and Pay­Pal, and there­fore turned to bit­coin, dou­bling down on their invest­ment or cre­at­ing wal­lets to exper­i­ment with the apo­lit­i­cal cryp­tocur­ren­cy.

In the past few months, the price of bit­coin soared to record heights, reach­ing a trad­ing price over $11,000 per coin on Wednes­day. Through­out this boom, white nation­al­ist wealth has grown, with some of the country’s most vir­u­lent celebri­ty racists often rak­ing in thou­sands of dol­lars in a sin­gle day.

Bit­coin can be used anony­mous­ly, but in order to accept dona­tions, white nation­al­ists had to de-anonymize them­selves. So John Bam­benek, a cyber­se­cu­ri­ty researcher and threat ana­lyst, cre­at­ed a Twit­ter bot to fol­low and col­lect this infor­ma­tion. It’s from that bot, @NeoNaziWallets, that Mic has col­lat­ed and graphed this behav­ior. Even so, while any­one can watch the mon­ey move in and out of accounts, it’s uncer­tain where the mon­ey trav­els to, who is con­tribut­ing and how many oth­er dig­i­tal wal­lets are involved in the net­work of white suprema­cist bit­coin users.

The cryp­tocur­ren­cy is also pret­ty attrac­tive to those who believe in anti-Semit­ic con­spir­a­cies about greedy, often assumed Jew­ish, over­lords who engi­neer our soci­ety through con­trol of cen­tral banks. In March, Richard Spencer declared bit­coin “the cur­ren­cy of the alt-right” — though that should be tak­en with a grain of salt. The alt-right will lay claim to any­thing from New Bal­ance shoes to Papa John’s piz­za if it suits them.

Bit­coin is the cur­ren­cy of the alt right.— Richard ???? Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) March 18, 2017

Still, since Char­lottesville, white nation­al­ists who ramped up their invest­ment in bit­coin have seen their vir­tu­al wealth grow.

The clear­est case of such growth is with Counter-Cur­rents, a pub­lish­ing house for books like Trevor Lynch’s White Nation­al­ist Guide to the Movies and Toward the White Repub­lic. From late August until Wednes­day — our obser­va­tion peri­od for the data — the wal­let for the far-right pub­lish­er held at about 7.7 bit­coin, includ­ing some tiny con­tri­bu­tions (pos­si­bly dona­tions) along the way. Its wealth more than dou­bled, net­ting them about $41,000 between Sept. 2 and Tues­day. And then by Wednes­day it made $5,859 more.

Bitcoin’s been par­tic­u­lar­ly use­ful for Andrew Anglin, a neo-Nazi leader who’s been in and out of the pub­lic eye since the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter filed a poten­tial­ly debil­i­tat­ing law­suit against him. Bam­benek has esti­mat­ed that Anglin has tak­en in about $250,000 in bit­coin since 2014.

On Oct. 1, the Dai­ly Stormer with­drew $64,353, reap­ing the ear­ly rewards of the bit­coin boom, short­ly after mak­ing about $2,202 in just one day. Since then, the bal­ance for the Dai­ly Stormer has been fair­ly lev­el, as who­ev­er man­ages the wal­let skims the occa­sion­al few hun­dred dol­lars off the account, with some with­drawals as high as $1,602.

Oth­er white nation­al­ist exper­i­men­ta­tions in bit­coin are fair­ly mea­ger. Spencer — pres­i­dent of the Nation­al Pol­i­cy Insti­tute, a white nation­al­ist think tank — had about $3 in bit­coin sit­ting in an account until Nov. 22, when rough­ly $1,000 in bit­coin was trans­ferred to the wal­let. As of Wednes­day, he had about $1,317. Van­guard Amer­i­ca, a mil­i­tant white nation­al­ist group with a large con­tin­gent in Char­lottesville, grew a small bal­ance from rough­ly $218 on Aug. 27 to about $533 on Wednes­day with no new deposits.

Andrew Aueren­heimer: Guest at Glenn Green­wald’s par­ty; appar­ent res­i­dent of Ukraine.

One neo-Nazi stands above the rest in his bit­coin usage: Andrew “weev” Auern­heimer, who’s received over $1 mil­lion in bit­coin, accord­ing to one report. Even though Auern­heimer has with­drawn rough­ly $118,620 from his bit­coin wal­let between late August and Wednes­day, his remain­ing bit­coin store has been replen­ish­ing his wealth through­out the recent bit­coin boom.

While bit­coin is an effec­tive, apo­lit­i­cal escape pod for mov­ing mon­ey away from ser­vices that become inhos­pitable to hate groups, many main­stream wal­let providers can still de-plat­form white suprema­cists. After the Char­lottesville ral­ly, Coin­base alleged­ly kicked users off of its wal­let-pro­vid­ing ser­vice for donat­ing to the Dai­ly Stormer.

In the mean­time, all of the trans­ac­tions mov­ing in and out of the iden­ti­fied wal­lets are still in pub­lic.

“The dis­ad­van­tage [for neo-Nazis] is that I can see their trans­ac­tions, I can see when they’re spend­ing mon­ey, and giv­en effort and invest­ment of time, I could fig­ure out who is donat­ing to them also,” Bam­benek told Mic.

Bam­benek said his next project is to chart the web of trans­ac­tions around the neo-Nazi bit­coin wal­lets to try to deter­mine where the mon­ey is going and, poten­tial­ly, the iden­ti­ty of the donors using cryp­tocur­ren­cy to lend thou­sands of dol­lars to the white nation­al­ist cause

2.  The Pol­i­tics of Bit­coin: Soft­ware as Right-Wing Extrem­ism by David Golum­bia; Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta Press [SC]; pp. 73–75.

. . . . As objects of dis­course, Bit­coin and the blockchain do a remark­able job of rein­forc­ing the view that the entire glob­al his­to­ry of polit­i­cal thought and action needs to be jet­ti­soned, or, even worse, that it has already been jet­ti­soned through the intro­duc­tion of any num­ber of tech­nolo­gies. Thus, in the intro­duc­tion to a bizarrely earnest and destruc­tive vol­ume called From Bit­coin to Burn­ing Man and Beyond (Clip­pinger and Bol­lier 2014), the edi­tors, one of whom is a research sci­en­tist at MIT, write, “Enlight­en­ment ideals of demo­c­ra­t­ic rule seem to have run their course. A con­tin­u­ous flow of sci­en­tif­ic find­ings are under­min­ing many foun­da­tion­al claims about human ratio­nal­i­ty and per­fectibil­i­ty while expo­nen­tial tech­no­log­i­cal changes and explod­ing glob­al demo­graph­ics over­whelm the capac­i­ty of demo­c­ra­t­ic insti­tu­tions to rule effec­tive­ly, and ulti­mate­ly, their very legit­i­ma­cy.” Such abrupt dis­missals of hun­dreds of years of thought, work, and lives fol­lows direct­ly from cyber­lib­er­tar­i­an thought and extrem­ist rein­ter­pre­ta­tions of polit­i­cal insti­tu­tions:” What once required the author­i­ty of a cen­tral bank or a sov­er­eign author­i­ty can now be achieved through open, dis­trib­uted cryp­to-algo­rithms. Nation­al bor­ders, tra­di­tion­al legal regimes, and human inter­ven­tion are increas­ing­ly moot.” Like most ide­o­log­i­cal for­ma­tions, these sen­ti­ments are high­ly resis­tant to being proven false by facts. . . .

. . . . Few atti­tudes typ­i­fy the para­dox­i­cal cyber­lib­er­tar­i­an mind-set of Bit­coin pro­mot­ers (and many oth­ers) more than do those of “San­juro,” the alias of the per­son who cre­at­ed a Bit­coin “assas­si­na­tion mar­ket” (Green­berg 2013). San­juro believes that by incen­tiviz­ing peo­ple to kill politi­cians, he will destroy “all gov­ern­ments, every­where.” This anar­chic apoc­a­lypse “will change the world for the bet­ter,” pro­duc­ing “a world with­out wars, drag­net Panop­ti­con-style sur­veil­lance, nuclear weapons, armies, repres­sion, mon­ey manip­u­la­tion, and lim­its to trade.” Only some­one so blink­ered by their ide­o­log­i­cal tun­nel vision could look at world his­to­ry and imag­ine that mur­der­ing the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly elect­ed gov­ern­ments and thus putting the gov­ern­ments them­selves out of exis­tence would do any­thing but make every one of these prob­lems immea­sur­ably worse than they already are. Yet this, in the end, is the extreme rightist–anarcho-capitalist, win­ner-take-all, even neo-feudalist–political vision too many of those in the Bit­coin (along with oth­er cryp­tocur­ren­cy) and blockchain com­mu­ni­ties, what­ev­er they believe their polit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion to be, are work­ing active­ly to bring about. . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion

4 comments for “Nazis Cash in With Bitcoin”

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/02/goldman-sachs-exploring-bitcoin-trading-operation-report-says.html

    Gold­man Sachs explor­ing bit­coin trad­ing oper­a­tion
    Gold­man Sachs is look­ing into a new oper­a­tion for trad­ing bit­coin and oth­er dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies.

    “In response to client inter­est in dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies, we are explor­ing how best to serve them in this space,” a Gold­man spokes­woman said.

    Unlike JPMor­gan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who called bit­coin a “fraud,” Gold­man’s tech­ni­cal strate­gist has pub­lished analy­ses on bit­coin’s price.

    Eve­lyn Cheng | @chengevelyn
    Pub­lished 12:59 PM ET Mon, 2 Oct 2017 Updat­ed 3:55 PM ET Mon, 2 Oct 2017
    CNBC.com

    Gold­man Sachs explor­ing bit­coin trad­ing oper­a­tion, report says Gold­man Sachs explor­ing bit­coin trad­ing oper­a­tion, report says
    4:08 PM ET Mon, 2 Oct 2017 | 00:53

    Gold­man Sachs is con­sid­er­ing the launch of a new trad­ing oper­a­tion focused on bit­coin and oth­er dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies, a com­pa­ny offi­cial said.

    The invest­ment bank’s explo­ration of a dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy trad­ing busi­ness is still in ear­ly stages and may not amount to any­thing sub­stan­tial.

    “In response to client inter­est in dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies, we are explor­ing how best to serve them in this space,” a Gold­man spokes­woman said in a state­ment.

    Gold­man Sachs has tak­en a more seri­ous look at bit­coin than its peers on Wall Street.

    She­ba Jafari, vice pres­i­dent on the bank’s FICC Mar­ket Strats team, was the only rep­re­sen­ta­tive from a major Wall Street firm to issue reports on bit­coin’s price as the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy soared ear­li­er this year.

    Reports from Mor­gan Stan­ley and a few oth­er major banks have tend­ed to focus more on the poten­tial appli­ca­tions of blockchain, the tech­nol­o­gy behind bit­coin that elim­i­nates the need for third-par­ty inter­me­di­aries to trans­act mon­ey. Gold­man also has a lav­ish web page explain­ing blockchain.

    Top names on Wall Street are divid­ed on whether bit­coin’s devel­op­ment is a good thing.

    JPMor­gan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon direct­ly spoke out against bit­coin last month and called the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy a “fraud” that “won’t end well.” Oth­er well-respect­ed investors such as Howard Marks have com­pared bit­coin to a pyra­mid scheme.

    On the oth­er hand, Mor­gan Stan­ley CEO James Gor­man said last week that dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies like bit­coin are “more than just a fad.”

    Bit­coin briefly mul­ti­plied five times in price this year from below $1,000 to above $5,000. Although the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy plunged by about $2,000 after a Chi­nese crack­down in Sep­tem­ber, bit­coin recov­ered to its high­est in near­ly a month Mon­day at around $4,410, accord­ing to Coin­Desk.

    Much of the gains come as insti­tu­tion­al investors increase their bets on the dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy. New “cryp­to-funds” are also launch­ing. The lat­est tal­ly from finan­cial research firm Autonomous Next last week esti­mates about 75 such funds now exist.

    In the mean­time, Gold­man Sachs could ben­e­fit from a new trad­ing oper­a­tion in a high­ly volatile asset like dig­i­tal cur­ren­cies. The bank report­ed a 40 per­cent drop in bond trad­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter.

    “The smartest Wall Street firms have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to lead the mar­ket in offer­ing finan­cial ser­vices to the bur­geon­ing cryp­tocur­ren­cy indus­try,” Matthew Goetz, man­ag­ing part­ner and CEO at cryp­tocur­ren­cy invest­ment firm Block­Tow­er Cap­i­tal and a for­mer vice pres­i­dent at Gold­man Sachs.

    “I think it behooves the smart and more for­ward-think­ing firms to be involved in cryp­tocur­ren­cy,” he said, “giv­en the num­ber of new ser­vices and busi­ness lines that will stem from it as this impor­tant new indus­try con­tin­ues to build and insti­tu­tion­al­ize.”

    Posted by Mary Benton | December 13, 2017, 9:20 pm
  2. This arti­cle shows how a co-leader of the far right par­ty in Ger­many, Alter­na­tive for Deutch­land (AFD), — read it as mod­ern Nation­al Social­ist Par­ty, is fea­tured at a Blockchain tech­nol­o­gy con­fer­ence. This arti­cle sug­gests that the NAZIs are ahead of the game at under­stand­ing how blockchain, the bit­coin tech­nol­o­gy can be used to their advan­tage, and this can have a pro­found effect on how economies and soci­eties are struc­tured.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/23/blockchain-reshape-world-far-right-ahead-crypto-technology?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    Blockchain could reshape our world – and the far right is one step ahead​ ​Josh Hall​ ​​@JoshAJHall​ ​Fri 23 Feb 2018 06.04 EST

    Cryp­to tech­nol­o­gy is com­ing to a cross­roads. Those who want to use it to rad­i­cal­ly redis­trib­ute wealth must take urgent action

    Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain reads the title of a 2017 book. From cur­ren­cy spec­u­la­tion through to ver­i­fy­ing the prove­nance of food, blockchain tech­nol­o­gyis eking out space in a vast range of fields.

    For most peo­ple, blockchain tech­nolo­gies are insep­a­ra­ble from bit­coin, the cryp­tocur­ren­cy that has been par­tic­u­lar­ly vis­i­ble in the news recent­ly thanks to its hyper-volatil­i­ty. Cryp­to-entre­pre­neurs have made and lost mil­lions, and many peo­ple have par­layed their trad­ing into a full-time job. But blockchain tech­nol­o­gy, which allows for immutable records of activ­i­ties, stored on a ledger that is held not just in one place but mas­sive­ly dis­trib­uted, has appli­ca­tions in every con­ceiv­able area in com­merce and beyond. Soon, there will be blockchains every­where that trans­ac­tions hap­pen.

    While the focus has so far been on cur­ren­cies such as bit­coin, what’s less well known is the large and grow­ing com­mu­ni­ty of blockchain devel­op­ers and evan­ge­lists, many of whom believe that the tech­nol­o­gy could her­ald rad­i­cal changes in the ways our economies and soci­eties are struc­tured. But there’s a big ques­tion at the heart of that com­mu­ni­ty: what might a world built with the help of blockchain tech­nol­o­gy look like?

    Unchain, a large bit­coin and blockchain con­ven­tion based in Ham­burg, seems to have a poten­tial answer. Along with speak­ers from blockchain star­tups, cryp­tocur­ren­cy exchanges and a com­pa­ny that pur­ports to offer “pri­vate­ly man­aged cities as a busi­ness”, the con­fer­ence pro­gramme also fea­tures Alice Wei­del, list­ed on the site as an “econ­o­mist and bit­coin entre­pre­neur”.

    In fact, Wei­del is the co-leader of Alter­na­tive für Deutsch­land, which recent­ly became the third largest par­ty in Germany’s Bun­destag. Weidel’s elec­tion cam­paign in 2017 was the party’s break­through moment, and what many have seen as a water­shed in Ger­man pol­i­tics – the return of far-right, pop­ulist eth­no-nation­al­ism to the fed­er­al par­lia­ment.

    Since 2015 the AfD lead­er­ship has adopt­ed increas­ing­ly hard lines on bor­ders, migra­tion, Islam and Europe. The par­ty has also attempt­ed to recu­per­ate lan­guage asso­ci­at­ed with his­toric Nazism; in 2016, the AfD’s then chair, Frauke Petry, called for the reha­bil­i­ta­tion of the word “völkisch”, which is seen to be inex­tri­ca­bly linked with Nation­al Social­ism.

    Wei­del is thought to rep­re­sent the more “mod­er­ate” wing of the AfD, in com­par­i­son with her col­league in the Bun­destag Alexan­der Gauland, who has pushed for Angela Merkel to close Germany’s bor­ders and to deliv­er ways by which immi­grants can be repa­tri­at­ed. But the ten­sion between the “mod­er­ate” and extreme wings of the AfD has been seen as a con­scious tac­tic, in which Gauland push­es taboo sub­jects which Wei­del then makes more palat­able. Wei­del her­self, though, has also pre­vi­ous­ly appeared to describe Ger­man Arabs as “cul­tur­al­ly for­eign” and to encour­age a return to the para­noiac xeno­pho­bia of the Third Reich by describ­ing Merkel’s gov­ern­ment as “pigs” who are “pup­pets of the vic­to­ri­ous pow­ers” from the sec­ond world war.

    The rise of the AfD has caused deep soul-search­ing in Ger­many. But out­side of the country’s bor­ders, Weidel’s invi­ta­tion to the Unchain sum­mit also pos­es ques­tions

    Posted by Mary Benton | February 23, 2018, 3:41 pm
  3. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bitcoin-heist-computers-stolen-in-iceland/

    AP March 3, 2018, 9:49 AM

    “Big Bit­coin Heist”: 600 pow­er­ful com­put­ers stolen in Ice­land

    REYKJAVIK, Ice­land — Some 600 com­put­ers used to “mine” bit­coin and oth­er vir­tu­al cur­ren­cies have been stolen from data cen­ters in Ice­land in what police say is the biggest series of thefts ever in the North Atlantic island nation. Some 11 peo­ple were arrest­ed, includ­ing a secu­ri­ty guard, in what Ice­landic media have dubbed the “Big Bit­coin Heist.” A judge at the Reyk­janes Dis­trict Court on Fri­day ordered two peo­ple to remain in cus­tody.

    The pow­er­ful com­put­ers, which have not yet been found, are worth almost $2 mil­lion. But if the stolen equip­ment is used for its orig­i­nal pur­pose — to cre­ate new bit­coins — the thieves could turn a mas­sive prof­it in an untrace­able cur­ren­cy with­out ever sell­ing the items.

    “This is a grand theft on a scale unseen before,” said Ola­fur Hel­gi Kjar­tans­son, the police com­mis­sion­er on the south­west­ern Reyk­janes penin­su­la, where two of the bur­glar­ies took place. “Every­thing points to this being a high­ly orga­nized crime.”

    Three of four bur­glar­ies took place in Decem­ber and a fourth took place in Jan­u­ary, but author­i­ties did not make the news pub­lic ear­li­er in hopes of track­ing down the thieves.

    Bit­coin is a kind of dig­i­tal mon­ey that isn’t tied to a bank or a gov­ern­ment. It has been huge­ly volatile, post­ing some dizzy­ing intra-day ris­es and falls over the past year or so. The price of a sin­gle bit­coin rock­et­ed to near­ly $20,000 late last year and then plunged ear­ly this year. On Fri­day, it was trad­ing just below the $11,000 mark.

    Bit­coin and oth­er cryp­tocur­ren­cies rely on the blockchain, the name giv­en to the pub­lic, dis­trib­uted ledgers which track the coins’ own­er­ship. The Bit­coin ledger is pow­ered by “min­ers,” so-called because they throw com­pu­ta­tion­al pow­er into the sys­tem, occa­sion­al­ly receiv­ing — or “min­ing” — new bit­coins in return. Drum­ming up that com­pu­ta­tion­al pow­er usu­al­ly means lots of com­put­ers — and thus lots of elec­tric­i­ty.

    That desire for ener­gy has cre­at­ed a gold rush for bit­coin in Ice­land. Traders search­ing for cheap, renew­able ener­gy have been flood­ing into the island in recent months to take advan­tage of its geot­her­mal and hydro­elec­tric pow­er plants. ​{MB THOUGHT: ONE SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER IF THEY BELIEVE ICELAND IS THE SOURCE OF POWER FOR BITCOIN COMPUTERS OR THE OTHER SUSPECTED ​DISINFORMATION ARTICLE THAT IT IS A PROVINCE IN CHINA}. THE ENERGY TO MAKE A TRADE IS NOT A REPORTED CONCERN FOR LARGE BROKERAGE FIRMS OR MUTUAL FUND PROVIDERS LIKE FIDELITY}

    Police track­ing the stolen com­put­ers are mon­i­tor­ing elec­tric con­sump­tion across the coun­try in hopes the thieves will show their hand, accord­ing to an indus­try source who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty because he is not allowed to speak to the media.

    Unusu­al­ly high ener­gy usage might reveal the where­abouts of the ille­gal bit­coin mine.

    Author­i­ties this week called on local inter­net providers, elec­tri­cians and stor­age space units to report any unusu­al requests for pow­er.

    In Edin­burgh on Fri­day, Bank of Eng­land Gov­er­nor Mark Car­ney launched a with­er­ing attack on cryp­tocur­ren­cies such as bit­coin and urged reg­u­la­tors around the world to mon­i­tor them in the same way as oth­er finan­cial assets.

    In a speech to the Scot­tish Eco­nom­ics con­fer­ence, Car­ney said a “glob­al spec­u­la­tive mania” has “encour­aged a pro­lif­er­a­tion of new cryp­tocur­ren­cies” and said they should be held to the “same stan­dards” as the rest of the finan­cial sys­tem.

    “Being part of the finan­cial sys­tem brings enor­mous priv­i­leges, but with them great respon­si­bil­i­ties,” Car­ney said.

    Posted by Mary Benton | March 5, 2018, 7:16 pm
  4. This should come as a sur­prise to no one, but Steve Ban­non is going all in on cryp­tocur­ren­cies. Or, more gen­er­al­ly, he’s going all in on the ‘cen­tral bank­ing is theft and an elit­ist tool to steal your wealth by debas­ing the cur­ren­cy’ clas­si­cal far right meme. A clas­si­cal far right meme that, these days, includes a fetishiza­tion of cryp­tocur­ren­cies. As Ban­non puts it while recent­ly giv­ing a lec­ture in Zurich dur­ing a stop on his Euro­pean ‘let them call you racists’ tour, cryp­tocur­ren­cies will set you free. And that’s not snarky hyper­bole. That’s lit­er­al­ly what he says: With cryp­tocur­ren­cy “We take con­trol of the cen­tral banks away. That will give us the pow­er again.”:

    Coin Tele­graph

    Steve Ban­non Lauds Cryp­tocur­ren­cy As A Tool To Resist the ‘Euro­pean Estab­lish­ment’

    By Aaron Wood
    MAR 07, 2018

    Steve Ban­non, for­mer Chief Strate­gist to US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, said that cryp­tocur­ren­cies could be an asset to the Euro­pean anti-estab­lish­ment move­ment at an event spon­sored by the Swiss news­pa­per Die Welt­woche on March 6.

    At his lec­ture in Zurich, Ban­non stat­ed that cryp­tocur­ren­cies and the Blockchain will “empow­er [the pop­ulist] move­ment, empow­er com­pa­nies, [and] empow­er gov­ern­ments to get away from the cen­tral banks that debase your cur­ren­cy and makes slave wages.”

    With cryp­tocur­ren­cy “We take con­trol of the cen­tral banks away. That will give us the pow­er again.” Ban­non sees broad use and inte­gra­tion of cryp­tocur­ren­cies and the Blockchain as means of eman­ci­pa­tion from estab­lish­ment forces that have cre­at­ed “a new serf­dom.”

    “Once you take con­trol of your cur­ren­cy, once you take con­trol of your data, once you take con­trol of your cit­i­zen­ship, that’s when you’re going to have true free­dom,” said Ban­non.

    Ban­non accused gov­ern­ments, cen­tral banks, and tech com­pa­nies of tak­ing away the rights and iden­ti­ties of ordi­nary peo­ple and using them for their own pur­pos­es.

    Ban­non is trav­el­ling in Europe on a speak­ing tour fol­low­ing right-wing vic­to­ries in the recent Ital­ian elec­tions. In the lec­ture, Ban­non speaks at length about how cryp­tocur­ren­cies and the Blockchain can be instru­ments of the move­ment of right nation­al­ism.

    ...

    As pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed by Coin­tele­graph, the can­ton of Zug in Switzer­land is estab­lish­ing a glob­al hub for cryp­to and Blockchain that’s come to be known as “Cryp­to Val­ley”. The Swiss Finan­cial Mar­ket Super­vi­so­ry Author­i­ty (FINMA) has imple­ment­ed for­ward-think­ing poli­cies towards cryp­tocur­ren­cies, mak­ing Switzer­land a com­pet­i­tive envi­ron­ment for devel­op­ing cryp­to, Blockchain, and dis­trib­uted ledger tech­nolo­gies.

    ———-

    “Steve Ban­non Lauds Cryp­tocur­ren­cy As A Tool To Resist the ‘Euro­pean Estab­lish­ment’” by Aaron Wood; Coin Tele­graph; 03/07/2018

    “At his lec­ture in Zurich, Ban­non stat­ed that cryp­tocur­ren­cies and the Blockchain will “empow­er [the pop­ulist] move­ment, empow­er com­pa­nies, [and] empow­er gov­ern­ments to get away from the cen­tral banks that debase your cur­ren­cy and makes slave wages.””

    It’s the cen­tral banks that are cre­at­ing “slave wages” and cryp­tocur­ren­cies are the key to revers­ing that. Bit­coin will get you a raise! That’s the meme Ban­non has latched onto. Bit­coin = Free­dom:

    ...
    With cryp­tocur­ren­cy “We take con­trol of the cen­tral banks away. That will give us the pow­er again.” Ban­non sees broad use and inte­gra­tion of cryp­tocur­ren­cies and the Blockchain as means of eman­ci­pa­tion from estab­lish­ment forces that have cre­at­ed “a new serf­dom.”

    “Once you take con­trol of your cur­ren­cy, once you take con­trol of your data, once you take con­trol of your cit­i­zen­ship, that’s when you’re going to have true free­dom,” said Ban­non.

    Ban­non accused gov­ern­ments, cen­tral banks, and tech com­pa­nies of tak­ing away the rights and iden­ti­ties of ordi­nary peo­ple and using them for their own pur­pos­es.
    ...

    “Once you take con­trol of your cur­ren­cy, once you take con­trol of your data, once you take con­trol of your cit­i­zen­ship, that’s when you’re going to have true free­dom”

    Coun­tries with a cen­tral bank don’t “con­trol their cur­ren­cy,” imply­ing that a cabal of bankers are secret­ly run­ning all the gov­ern­ments of the world and inten­tion­al­ly debas­es every­one’s cur­ren­cy to impose slave wages. And yes, the exist­ing pow­er of the pri­vate­ly owned banks over the gov­ern­ments of the world is an obscene dan­ger thanks to that cor­rupt­ing con­cen­tra­tion of wealth. But pri­vate­ly con­cen­trat­ed wealth and influ­ence, like that of Ban­non’s old firm Gold­man Sachs, isn’t what Ban­non is talk­ing about. He talk­ing about the Fed­er­al Reserve and oth­er cen­tral banks and por­tray­ing those insti­tu­tions as the big boogey­man and the rea­son for stag­nant wages. That’s the meme Ban­non is pro­mot­ing. The same clas­sic ‘inter­na­tion­al (Jew­ish) bankers run the cen­tral banks and there­fore if we just get rid of cen­tral banks that will fix every­thing’ meme the far right has been push­ing for decades. Updat­ed for the age of the blockchain.

    So just a heads up, it looks like Steve Ban­non’s quest to “decon­struct the admin­is­tra­tion state” includes replac­ing cen­tral banks with Bit­coin, in effect mak­ing the hand­ful of peo­ple who secret­ly own almost all the bit­coins the new cen­tral bankers. Which is, of course, the kind of ‘free­dom’ Steve Ban­non is real­ly talk­ing about.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 26, 2018, 11:18 am

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