Although the Chinese government recently announced a purifying moratorium on internet cafes – the same week the Communist Youth League penned a contract with leading gaming developer Playtech to provide software for large scale internet-based gambling tournaments – the cadres in Beijing know that internet cafes are only an …
World of Warfare?
Control the coinage and the courts...
Frank Herbert put it best when he attributed the quote "Control the coinage and the courts. Let the rabble have the rest" to one Jacob Broom, who lived in the 1700s. This quote best describes the mentality of governments in dealing with "unauthorised" currency.
The real reason, of course, is that Linden Dollars, or whatever else, can't be taxed. A similar thing happened here in Australia a few years ago with something called "BarterCard". The idea was that people with services or goods to trade signed up to BarterCard and when they provided the goods or services, they earned "echo points", which could be traded for other goods and services. The Oz government was very quick to nail this one - they assigned an arbitrary dollar value to the echo points, and began taxing people real dollars based on the echo points they earned. This of course killed it, since echo points could not be traded for real dollars under any other circumstances.
So the only way this sort of freedom fight can happen is if the virtual currency is only linked to a virtual identity. For example, if Second Life had no way of knowing who a particular person really was, and therefore could not show that this person has however many Linden Dollars!
So I'd like to see a site like World of Warcraft or Second Life that allows people to sign up and start trading without having to identify themselves. Of course, our so-called "free" Western governments would soon start trying to legislate it out of existence, but hosting the site in Ukraine or Tonga would soon take care of that. Viva la resistance!
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