No Accountability = No Currency

The fact that cryptocurrencies are the vehicles of choice for predators, white supremacists and terrorists (article below) has now garnered jail time for the CEO of Binance, the largest exchange in the world. Cryptocurrency is as perniciously persistent as “social media”: with so many people invested, governments are hesitant to intervene, especially while it generates tax revenue. Cryptocurrency is the oxycontin of the financial world, but there will not be one manufacturer to hold to account once the carnage accumulates.

A new front has emerged in Israel’s fight against the funding of Iran-backed militant groups from Hamas to Hezbollah: A fast-growing crypto network called Tron.

Source: Focus: New crypto front emerges in Israel’s militant financing fight

Merchandizing: the Pinnacle, Apogee and Zenith of Cynicism

The objective behind government regulations is preventing the breaches of trust that can annihilate entire economies. In addition to the financial devastation they cause, such breaches breed cynicism at large and discourage people from participating in society and the marketplace because “what’s the point” comes to describe the prevailing attitudes. Equally nourishing to cynicism are smaller breaches–more like insults–like the sale of Wagner Group merchandising, described in the article linked below, and the application of cryptocurrency and Youtube to funding hate groups and misinformation. Though they will not make entire economies collapse, these breaches undermine optimism, trust and good will arguably in a much more harmful way.

We should not have to “take the bad with the good”. Progress means that we have figured out to how to maximize the good and to minimize the bad. The hijacking of new commodities and old marketing methods for the purpose of aiding and abetting the malfeasance of ignoble people undermines the perception and the reality of progress. And, if we don’t feel as if we have progress, then, indeed, what is the point?

Online prices for merchandise bearing the insignia of Russia’s Wagner group – a human skull against a black and red backdrop – have shot up since its abortive armed mutiny, with buyers posting five-star reviews and support for the mercenaries.

Source: Wagner merch soars in price after abortive mutiny

No Trust, No Currency

Currency is the medium of accountability that is accepted by a community in order to facilitate transactions. If the crypto “currency” world is to survive, it behooves the remaining exchanges to ensure that they are not plagued the lack of accountability that has predictably brought FTX to its unceremonious demise. The demise of cryptocurrency is almost as predictable as the 2008 financial meltdown of the US. Both are schemes to generate apparent economic activity through huge numbers of transactions over nothing, and in both instances, the apparent growth was based entirely on speculation. It is unknown whether the criminal masterminds of the crypto pyramid scheme will get away as the masterminds of the subprime bubble of the 2008 did. It will be a real shame if they do.

The new CEO of the collapsed cryptocurrency trading firm FTX, who oversaw Enron’s bankruptcy, said he has never seen such a “complete failure” of corporate control. John Ray III, in a filing with the U.S.

Source: Exec who cleaned up Enron calls FTX mess “unprecedented”

How Facebook and Google Fund Global Misinformation: the “Free” Internet is Much too Expensive

The advertising scheme that fuels the profits of the “free” internet giants like Google and Facebook is now used by terrorists to fund their activities.

In thrillers like The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth, the books of John Le Carre, and numerous movies like The French Connection, one learns of the ways in which rogue groups (terrorists, especially) would raise funds: they would rob banks. burglarize rich people, hijack cash transfer trucks, etc. The article below from the MIT Technology Review details how fringe and rogue groups dedicated to disinformation use the Google and Facebook advertising systems to generate revenue for their activities, and this article from the Associated Press details how the same fringe groups–white supremacists in particular–are using cryptocurrencies (1) to receive funds anonymously from people who do not wish it be known that they are racist and (2) to avoid paying financial judgments rendered against them in civil trials. As Shoshana Zuboff has reminded us over and over, regulation is designed to eliminate businesses that threaten the marketplace and erode trust in capitalism. The “free internet” meets both of these criteria, and it must be regulated.

Source: How Facebook and Google fund global misinformation

The tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages, bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.

Cryptocurrencies Must Be Regulated

The greatest vehicle for wreaking havoc is money without provenance. Therefore, terrorists rob banks, drug cartels go to exceptional ends to launder their moniesand billionaires use offshore accounts and onshore vehicles to hide the money trail in order to avoid taxes. Cryptocurrencies are clearly the new vehicle of choice for criminals to obscure their financial. The Associated Press story linked below reveals the horrifying means by which white supremacists are using cryptocurrencies to raise funds and to evade the law. Clearly, the criminal web site the Silk Road, which used cryptocurrencies to mask the identities of the criminals it supported, was not an anomaly but a harbinger of the criminality that is supported by cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies are legal tender only to criminals. They are exotic commodities to the rest of us. By investing in them, we are supporting an exorbitantly energetically wasteful commodity that supports the vilest criminals. This is almost as bad as investing in Facebook.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Daily Stormer website advocates for the purity of the white race, posts hate-filled, conspiratorial screeds against Blacks, Jews and women and has helped inspire at least three racially motivated murders.

Source: Far-right cryptocurrency follows ideology across borders