jim bell jamesdbell9 at
Thu Mar 6 19:20:56 PST 2014

If I understand your conclusions, I agree:  It would be far too dangerous to steal 6% of the world's extant Bitcoins if you actually intended to use, i.e. spend, them; but for a state-level actor, a very plausible goal would be to discredit in the public's minds Bitcoins, and that could be done merely by taking and keeping (or destroying) them.  I, of course, believe that ultimately Bitcoins (or at least, some kind of electronic currency) will be the death of all governments.   That would certainly motivate all competent governments to do anything in their power to mess up the operation of any Bitcoin storage and transmission systems.
     This is one reason that I think the idiot operators of Mt Gox must not be allowed to get "bankruptcy protection" due to the failure of their operations.  As a practical matter, they don't _need_ financial protection, for no other reason that virtually all of the BTC is already gone.  The kind of 'protection' they really need is from the bullet, the knife, the bomb, the poison, etc.  But, they should stay around long enough to help determine who took the Bitcoins, to find out who did what with them.
       Jim Bell

 From: "shelley at" <shelley at>
Cc: cpunks <cypherpunks at>; Cryptography List <cryptography at> 
Sent: Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:37 PM
Subject: Re: Bounties

I am in agreement with Dan re: it being a gov't op vs 'thief'.  That was my first thought when the story broke, and nothing I've seen or heard since has changed my opinion.



On Mar 6, 2014 5:33 PM, dan at <dan at> wrote: 

So, Jim (et al.), you say "thief" w.r.t. Bitcoin. 

What odds do you give that the theft was a state-level op to 
derail the Bitcoin economy, i.e., that making money was not the 
object, rather, let's imagine, that this op hedges the vulnerability 
of fiat currency to disintermediation. 

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