Cryptoanarchy is the shit

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Never had the bug bit me before — always thinking crypto-anarchism WP a hangover from the cyberpunky 80s. It isn’t. It’s pure magic. And it may be anarchy’s best hope — ever.

Timothy C. May’s WP long, superb essay, True Nyms and Crypto Anarchy (which appears in an essay collection AM around Vernor Vinge’s True Names novel) has made a wild-eyed believer out of me. Fascinating stuff, this. (May, btw, is a former chief scientist at Intel, confirming my hypothesis that the people at the trenches of the Moore revolution had to be among humanity’s very best.)

Crypto anarchy is the cyber spatial realization of anarcho-capitalism, transcending national boundaries and freeing individuals to consensually make the economic arrangements they wish to make..

[It] ensures that men with guns cannot be brought in to interfere with mutually agreed-upon transactions, the only kind of economics interaction possible in crypto anarchy. Some people will of course scream “Unfair!” and demand government intervention, which is why strong cryptography will probably be opposed by the masses, unless of course, they are wise and take the long view. This may smack of elitism, but I have very little faith in democracy. De Tocqueville warned in 1840 that, roughly translated, “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.” We reached that point several decades ago..

To put it bluntly, crypto anarchy basically undermines democracy: it removes behaviors and transactions from the purview of the mob. And once crypto is deeply entwined into the fabric of life and commerce, it will be too late to pull the plug.

Timothy C. May, True Nyms and Crypto Anarchy

Never had I been more than casually interested in cryptography. Now my copy of Schneier’s Applied Cryptograpy is on its way. Can’t wait.

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