Bad regulation involves hacking babies in two before considering the consequences. Good regulation appreciates that the world changes.
The last year/century was appreciably different to the current one, let alone the future age of whose technological marvels we are barely worthy to evaluate, as nanotechnology reshapes our world. Wise regulators act accordingly.
In the world of bitcoin, the first reaction of the government sector was largely one of fear and confusion. Then again it was ever thus with innovation. Early underground trains were mandated with frosted windows lest ladies fainted at the sight of tunnel walls speeding by. On both sides of the Atlantic, governments demanded somebody must wander with a red flag ahead of any self-propelled automobile.
The arrival of a popular electronic currency in the form of bitcoin was a huge step. With a paucity of private sector folks pondering electronic money a decade or more ago, the government nexus had not considered just what would happen when the kindling of alt money finally caught light. Thanks to the block chain, bitcoin has not merely lit the fuse, it has blazed a trail, creating a whole new currency infrastructure which is already being used for all manner of exciting processes.
Bitpesa, to name but one, threatens to transform payments to the emerging world – creating a vast saving for those who have until recently been slaves to the somewhat Dickensian western systems. Every dollar saved on transfers means more money reaching the relatives of migrant laborers in the emerging world, delivering a palpable boost to living standards where every cent counts.
Governments and central banks in Japan and Russia have been amongst those reappraising the crypto currency revolution in recent days. Their incremental opening up to alt money is a healthy sign that the future of money involves the fiat financing of government co-existing alongside their crypto currency cousins. Indeed a recent auction of bitcoin from the bankrupt exchange Mt Gox was bought entirely by a Silicon Valley VC Tim Draper, who intends to use the crypto currency to provide an alternative to smaller emerging market currencies.
Yes, there are still agents of reaction everywhere, with the mainstream Western media endlessly obsessed by silly scare stories of drugs and crime at the epicenter of bitcoin trade, when of course the entire value of all bitcoins ever mined is equivalent to a bare few days of the dollar-funded drugs trade.
Nobody ever seriously suggests closing the Fed and switching off the US dollar (well apart from one Paul family in the USA). Naturally as the likes of the Russian Central Bank points out, money laundering is something we all must remain vigilant about. Nevertheless, as the Japanese government has also made clear, the future of money involves digital stores of value and transaction agents. Moreover, while the US may have sent out mixed messages about digital money, the fact that citizens can now donate bitcoin to political campaigns tells us all we need to know about how the political classes value crypto currency.
Nobody accepts gummy bears as electoral currency, but in bitcoin Washington trusts for its own self-sustenance at the ballot box.
The bitcoin revolution is now approaching a fascinating post nerd point in its development. Competing currencies are at different stages of development but all have similar issues going forward. The nerd era needs to give way to the broader acceptance by the public and that means better interfaces and more popular means to access, store and use cryptocurrency.
The Fascinating AuroraCoin has stalled as the purchasing infrastructure is not yet properly advanced. Likewise with bitcoin, while small entrepreneurs like myself are in the vanguard of accepting its usage, new payment providers have borrowed too much from the old era of infrastructure when micropayments – wafer-thin charges and instant access to the proceeds – are the way forward for all intermediaries. However these are mere ‘teething troubles’ as the revolution continues and bitcoin becomes an established instrument of global commerce.
The competition for our wallets is developing incrementally as the revolution is building pace. Competition is good for every citizen and consumer. Governments are no longer at the center of the money chain via their Central Banker cousins and that means better government, as opposed to willful devaluation of citizens’ savings as practiced by the political classes of all hues for decades. In that sense, the Copernican revolution in cash is gaining pace as never before.
The bill was drafted in April this year by the conservative United Russia and center-left Fair Russia caucuses. The authors of the document claimed that the majority of trouble makers in Russia were repeated violators and proved their point with the Interior Ministry’s statistics. They indicate that, of 36 people who were detained for illegal protest in the Moscow city center on February 6 this year, 21 had been previously been found guilty of administrative offense. Two of these people had each violated the law on rallies 16 times.
“Multiple violations of the law over a short period of time demonstrate that offenders are not afraid of the current punishment. This is why we decided to tighten the responsibility for repeated violations of mass events rules,” the sponsors of the bill have said.
According to the bill the repeated violation of public order at a rally must be punished with a fine of up to 1 million rubles (about US$29,000), up to 480 hours of correctional labor or even up to five years in prison.
Refusal to comply with law enforcers’ rightful demands at a rally carries up to 100,000 rubles ($2,900) in fines or up to 30 days of administrative arrest.
Disrupting the city traffic or social infrastructure will cause the official organizers of the rally up to 500,000 rubles.
The new rules also allow the police to preventively cordon off city areas over fears of riots. Currently law enforcers can only do so to stop the already developing violence.
The existing law that bans to bring weapons and explosives to a sanctioned rally is enlarged with bans on any poisonous, flammable or foul-smelling substances, fireworks and flares.
The new bill also orders reporters who come to the events in order to cover them to carry a document confirming their identity and status of a journalist. They must also wear a clearly visible sign identifying them as press.
The freshly-passed draft continues the line started in mid-2012 when the Russian authorities for the first time introduced the tougher law on rallies, raising the maximum fine for ordinary citizens found guilty of participating in illegal protest from about $70 to about $9,000. A different law offered some simplification in the process ordering to make special places, dubbed ‘Hyde Parks’ in major Russian cities where rallies could be held without a license, but only with prior notification.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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