money mixes

R.A. Hettinga rah at
Wed Feb 21 13:43:03 PST 2007

At 9:48 PM +0100 2/21/07, Eugen Leitl wrote:
>accounts in different jurisdictions

Go ahead. Find 10 different jurisdictions that FinCEN can't play hopscotch
into, or at least out of...

These days, anyway.

Hell, find one.

"Regulatory Arbitrage" is, literally, a thing of the past.

And, actually, it would more likely work for petty cash than anything north
of the megabuck level.

Hawala still works, after all, and no amount of FinCEN's spraying
"know-your-customer" raid about various islamic backwaters is going to stop

My point is, the minute you run up the periscope on anything significant,
your friendly neighborhood force-monopoly can follow the audit trail back
to the point of origin, and thus to you. They're called audit-trails for a
reason, yes?

It comes, again, from "and then you go to jail" as the error-handler if you
lie about a book entry. Financial operations, currently, offloads most of
its transaction risk onto the force-monopoly of the nation-state. Which
means that Uncle and various Aunties around the world get to look up the
skirt of the financial system anytime they want in the interest of
"transparency", or whatever hobby-horse they're riding these days. To beat
my metaphors like a dead um, horse.

I still hold out hope for digital bearer transactions being cheaper than
book entries, particularly as transaction settlement times trend towards
zero, but gaming the system old-school, with book-entry shells, and mixes,
and hops, or whatever, only works for so long, anymore.


R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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