Way to play into lawmakers’ fears, knucklehead.
The above statement is directed at whoever created the website Assassination Market, which accepts Bitcoins toward bounties on US officials.
Forbes.com referred to it as a Kickstarter for political assassinations.
This coincides with a hearing in the Senate on Bitcoin and digital currencies at which Washington’s primary concern was criminals using Bitcoin to be more evasive.
If these same officials believe there is a Bitcoin-funded target on them, straight-up panic will ensue.
The Assassination Market website went online four months ago, presumably founded by a pseudonymous crypto-anarchist who goes by the name Kuwabatake Sanjuro, a Samurai from Japanese cinema, because of course.
And the founder offers an explanation for the site’s creation, insisting in his/her/their belief that killing a few politicians will lead to “a new phase of peace.” Because of course.
The site runs on the Tor network, like the Silk Road, to maintain anonymity. Sanjuro’s, um, business model is to take 1% commission for every hit paid out.
Sanjuro, in instructions to users, reminds funders and contributors to launder their Bitcoins first.
Because of course.
It’s not worth exploring Sanjuro’s beliefs in crypto-anarchism or desire to intimidate candidates from even seeking elected office, thus eventually depopulating entire governments.
That’s because the site is either an elaborate troll (I mean, really, who would tell someone to use “laundry services” for their money?) or a lot of bluster that will go offline soon.
Soon enough, some guys in aviator shades will come knocking on Sanjuro’s door.
Which is itself a problem.
This site will just confirm the fears of Bitcoin held by politicians and officials in Washington. This is a government that views pretty much all internet innovation as a concern for law enforcement and national security.
Lest we forget, it was the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee that called the November 18 hearing on digital currencies.
And they’re going to point to fools such as Sanjuro and say: “See? This is why you need us.”
So here’s a problem the Bitcoin community needs to solve, particularly the anti-regulation-of-any-kind folks: What to do with Sanjuro and other such people?
Assassin markets will at best undercut the legitimacy Bitcoin has built in the eyes of many and will at worst get someone killed. How can Bitcoin economies police that kind of thing independently of government intervention?
Do we crowdfund a campaign to out Sanjuro and beat traditional law enforcement to the punch? Are we OK with vigilantism? And God help us all if Sanjuro turns out to be a government stooge.
I want to ignore this thing, but it brings up too many important questions.