Tech: ECB Casually Aims For War With BitCoin

ECB Casually Aims For War With BitCoin

© ZCopley

All hail the European Union! Upon us, the unworthy, dear leaders at the European Central Bank have released a report entitled Virtual Currency Schemes. Despite the generic heading, it is safe to say that the report is focused on BitCoin, just not for a reason that any Bitcoin’er will be happy to see, although one paragraph does cause a smile simply for the recognition of the reasons behind BitCoin’s existence.

The theoretical roots of Bitcoin can be found in the Austrian school of economics and its criticism of the current fiat money system and interventions undertaken by governments and other agencies, which, in their view, result in exacerbated business cycles and massive inflation.

The report concludes that virtual currencies,

do indeed fall within central banks’ responsibility as a result of characteristics shared with payment systems, which give rise to the need for at least an examination of developments and the provision of an initial assessment.

Which can be basically interpreted as the ECB believes it and other central banks have the right, or at least the legal backing, to take control of any virtual currency simply because of the fact that it is a currency. If true, which is most likely, this casts a long shadow over all those who hope to escape from monopoly funny money. However, the way BitCoin is established would make it difficult for any institution to take control, so no need to panic quite yet.

The report then goes on to say,

could have a negative impact on the reputation of central banks, assuming the use ofsuch systems grows considerably and in the event that an incident attracts press coverage, since the public may perceive the incident as being caused, in part, by a central bank not doing its job properly;

A significant chunk of the report was dedicated to how BitCoin may alter public perception of central banking and also seemed to show the authors confusion as to how an unregulated currency that seems to suffer semi-regular security breaches still manages to hold significant appeal to it’s customers. In short, such parts of this report basically warn that if adoption of BitCoin or alternative currencies was significant, it could attract attention to the practices of the central banks, calling them into question.

At the same time, this report could have been a lot worse and frankly it is surprising that it is of as high a calibre as it is. A number of the technical details of BitCoin are well and correctly explained. However the overall tone of this report certainly leans towards reminding us that despite the achievement of BitCoin, we still remain firmly within the clutches of central banks. BitInstant, a BitCoin exchange, has also posted an interesting analysis of the report.

Kim Dotcom’s Revenge – Give New Zealand Super Cheap Broadband

Kim Dotcom, owner of the MegaUpload service which was raided by the New Zealand police on behalf of Hollywood for providing hosting to pirated media, (Not had an opportunity to cover this relatively major issue yet, more next time,) has this week announced not only his new service but has also decided to reassess abandoned plans to build a direct link from New Zealand to America with the intention of providing super cheap broadband to New Zealand. However, the plan, originally called Pacific Fibre, was abandoned for it’s expense. Kim’s plan to at least reduce this burden is to sue the DOJ and Hollywood for what is now widely accepted as having been a completely unlawful raid, with many other laws being broken in the days and even minutes after.

Twitter No Longer Vanishing Tweets Over DMCA
Until today, when Twitter received a DMCA take down notice concerning a tweet, it would simply delete the tweet. As of today, the tweet is replaced with a generic message.

This Tweet from @username has been withheld in response to a report from the copyright holder. Learn more.

It is unclear whether this policy will extend to tweets taken down under any other circumstances, which is important considering the UK governments move to grow it’s suppression of free speech in social media.

References:
1. ECB Casually Aims For War With BitCoin: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/11/03/1516231/european-central-bank-casts-wary-eye-toward-bitcoin/
2. Kim Dotcom’s Revenge – Give New Zealand Free Broadband: http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/11/kim-dotcom-now-plans-to-give-new-zealand-free-broadband-pipe-to-us/
3. Twitter No Longer Vanishing Tweets Over DMCA: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121105/01473020930/twitter-improves-dmca-policy-alerts-public-to-removed-tweets.shtml