Catalyst House

True Government Transparency, is Bitcoin the Answer?

Bitcoin, that digital ‘crypto’ currency that we have blogged about several times over the years, by default provides an automated public ledger – a techno-currency that provides trading value instantaneously without the added ‘friction’ and third-party (banking) profiteering.   Bitcoin is impossible to counterfeit and promises many amazingly apparent uses, including government openness and transparency.

In principle, such crypto-currency could finally bring transparency to governments.

Bitcoin transactions are ‘anonymous’ because senders and receivers are represented by long sequences of code (Bitcoin wallet addresses) in lieu of personal data, but  its public ledger logs every single transaction to provide the ultimate transparency.

“[But] don’t confuse anonymity with privacy,” writes Eric Blair at Activist Post. “Anonymity means ‘we know what you’re doing but we don’t know who you are’, while privacy means ‘we know who you are but we don’t know what you’re doing’. The U.S. government seems to be increasingly outlawing both anonymity and privacy for citizens while it simultaneously becomes more secretive. This path is truly the antithesis of a free society.  Yet, this lack of transparency for government and privacy for average citizens can be reversed if the government embraced bitcoin technology.”

Adds Blair: “For example, imagine paying at the gas pump and the funds are immediately dispersed to the proper accounts; to the gas station’s wallet, $.20 per gallon to the federal government roads’ wallet, and about $.30 per gallon to your state’s road wallet (exact fuel taxes here). Not only is this far more efficient than current systems, but let’s follow this through a bit more. Now imagine that the government’s wallets are public where anyone can view income and expenditures in real time.”

Talk about transparency!

bitcoin-walletOn a national scale, imagine if the federal income tax was replaced by a national sales tax.  All taxes would be collected and accounted for instantaneously and efficiently at every point of purchase. Tax evasion would be impractical, and there would be no further need for the government to monitor the private monetary transactions of U.S. citizens, nor to selectively enforce rules in an unfair fashion.  Further, if each government agency’s Bitcoin wallet is public, cronyism and corruption is likely to diminish greatly and even disappear eventually.

Yes, it does sound idealistic, like a hunky-dory utopia, and makes way too much common cents (pun intended) to trust that our government would ever implement such.  Our present scheme, one that depends on waste, cronyism, corruption and control would necessarily oppose this degree of pellucidity no matter what the public benefits are.

Another possibility for this crypto-technology, as it relates to government is voting.  Projects like BitGov are exploring methods to utilize a “decentralized consensus network” for elections and referendums. In theory, if all registered voters received a validated “votecoin”  they would simply transfer the votecoin to their preferred candidate or issue selection on voting day. The crypto-algorithm security and public ledger would render election-voting fraud a thing of the past.

Finally, at the highest level, if the government adopted a crypto-currency as its national currency, it could provide universal transparency making it impossible to finance wars, private industry bailouts, or a massive surveillance state without the consent of the people because the supply of money will be set. In short, it would eliminate bribery.

Blair at Activist Post concludes –

Stefan Molyneux explains in the video below, that the war on terror costs more than all of the world’s gold put together. Without the Fed’s ability to print endless sums of money, the war machine would die because there is very little market demand for war.

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lynnea2 The BoardLynnea Bylund is managing director of Gandhi Legacy Tours, Director of Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, founder of Catalyst House and has nearly three decades of experience in administration, marketing and business development. She was a nationally recognized spokeswoman for the emerging alternative video and information delivery industries. She has a degree in holistic health-nutrition from the legendary and controversial health educator and activist Dr. Kurt Donsbach, she is the founder of two not-for-profit small business-based wireless trade associations and has lobbied on Capitol Hill and at the FCC where she has spoken out strongly against the cable TV monopoly, illegal spectrum warehousing and ill-conceived congressional schemes to auction our nation’s precious airwaves to the highest bidder.

Ms. Bylund is a founder and former CEO of a Washington DC telecommunications consulting and management company with holdings in several operating and developmental wireless communications systems and companies. In 1995 Lynnea became the first female in the world to be awarded a Broadband PCS operating permit – she was one of only 17 winners, along with Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon in the biggest cash auction in world history, raising a whopping $8 billion. Lynnea also spear-headed the successful effort to launch the first cable TV network in the South Pacific islands.
> Follow Lynnea on:  +LynneaBylund – Twitter – LinkedIn – FaceBook – Pinterest & YouTube

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