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| February 20, 2019

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Lawmaker: New Laptops, Phones Must Block Porn

February 18, 2019 |

A state legislator in Kansas has generated controversy with a proposed new law: He wants all computers and phones sold in the state to block pornography by default, reports the Topeka Capital-Journal . Under Republican Randy Garber’s bill in the House, any business that sells the devices must first install filters…
Newser

McCabe, Rosenstein must testify to explain claim that DOJ discussed removing Trump, GOP leaders say

February 15, 2019 |

The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee is demanding that former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testify before the panel, following McCabe’s explosive claims in an interview this week that senior members of the Department of Justice considered removing President Trump using the 25th Amendment.
FOX News

Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

February 14, 2019 |

Bitcoin's Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

Over the last few years, infighting and different visions has led to significant divides within the Bitcoin community, weakening the network effects no matter which chain you support. With all the arguments about scaling, privacy, consensus changes and the various forks, it is amazing that these public networks are still thriving. Nevertheless, the people who maintain the various software protocols that communicate with Bitcoin and the network’s many participants have lives that are finite — which means we don’t know if future generations will change the social contract Satoshi Nakamoto created years ago.

Also Read: Core Developer’s 300kb Block Proposal Bolstered in Bid to Push Lightning Adoption

Understanding the Social Layer of Bitcoin

The technology we all know and love called Bitcoin has changed the lives of many individuals over the last 10 years. However, during the latter half of that decade, the humans who have maintained the protocol have relentlessly argued over how it should operate. This has led to a large community divide, endless fighting, and many different forks. The protocol itself, however, has been able to continuously perpetuate the social contract we call “Bitcoin” during this period. However, the arguments have led to wavering opinions and whimsical ideas that threaten the Bitcoin network’s social contract.

Bitcoin's Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations
“Money presents an important lesson: The larger and more valuable a social institution gets, the more it attracts others to seek control over it,” Hasu Fly Dec. 3, 2018. 

The independent cryptocurrency researcher Hasu Fly details the social contract very well in his memorable essay “Unpacking Bitcoin’s Social Contract.” Within the editorial Hasu details that fiat money is a social contract or an agreement between the citizens and the state. Many individuals reject this social contract though and believe the state fails to gain true consensus because it uses force as a means to manage each country’s economy. With Bitcoin, things are quite different and the protocol is used by individuals and organizations in a completely voluntary manner.

“Many don’t realize that Bitcoin works through a social contract as well,” explains Hasu’s essay. “The social layer and its rules are the heart of Bitcoin.”

After describing in great detail on how fiat money and Bitcoin are both social contracts, Hasu then reveals the rules of the network’s underlying social contract. The researcher details that Satoshi Nakamoto settled on four distinct rules: confiscation resistance, censorship resistance, inflation resistance, and counterfeit resistance. Essentially this means the owner of the coins can hold keys to the currency without it being taken away, and the owner can also transact on the network without permission. An owner of any amount of bitcoin knows that the protocol has a limited supply, and last but not least anyone can verify the first three rules at any time using the transparent and public blockchain.

Bitcoin's Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations
The four rules of Bitcoin according to Hasu Fly’s essay “Unpacking Bitcoin’s Social Contract.”

Future Generations Could Drastically Change Bitcoin

So far the technology has stayed true to the social contract and one could easily say this applies to each network whether it be BTC or BCH. Hasu’s essay also details that most of the time social contracts do not fork, but the BCH fork was a rare case scenario and what was left over was “two weaker social contracts — each agreed to by fewer people than the old one.” However, we have yet to cross past one generation with the social contract in the decade since the genesis block. When people recently discussed changing the 21 million capped supply the community went ballistic, but in 10 more years we don’t know if future generations will be more willing. The average human generation is between 25-30 years and bitcoin could be changed drastically in 40 years if the social contract is not upheld today. Let’s face it, over time generations change things and some of those revisions are good and sometimes they are awful — like changing from the gold standard to fiat and trusting central banks.

Bitcoin's Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations
Satoshi Nakamoto suggested in the genesis block back in Jan. 2009 that society had put too much trust in the central banking system. Future generations have continued to bolster centrally planned economics and Keynesianism.

For now, some of the lead developers of reference implementations are kings of the hill – or at least that’s how they act. But over time, younger generations who are smarter and can code better will challenge these open source developers, and at some point their skills will be useless. Ultimately when money is used as a social contract, participants vote by either using the tender or seeking alternatives. Furthermore, money not only applies to its own social contract theory in a general sense, but also weaves within other social contracts within our society. Like it or not, any one of the two dominant Bitcoin chains may be chosen by the masses by coexisting in an entirely different way and one chain may not survive over the next decade.

Bitcoin's Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations
“Bitcoin at its most fundamental level is a breakthrough in computer science – one that builds on 20 years of research into cryptographic currency, and 40 years of research in cryptography, by thousands of researchers around the world,” – Marc Andreessen Jan. 21, 2014.

Bitcoin’s 4 Fundamentals Must Be Passed On

Still, if the first generation of users decides to stick to the rules of Bitcoin’s social contract they must continue to strengthen the agreement. After 10 years, many well-known bitcoiners are willing to dismiss the global understanding and want to discuss changing the rules. Some supporters want to instill censorship by only giving affluent individuals the ability to transact onchain and store value in Bitcoin, by bolstering a barrier to entry with expensive network fees.

Bitcoin's Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations
All Bitcoin supporters can do is pass on Bitcoin’s social contract and rules to future generations and hope they won’t change the fundamentals.

The ultimate goal has always been “hyperbitcoinztion,” but if we waver on the very foundations of Bitcoin’s social convention then nothing will be socially, morally, and rationally justified. Over the last few years, some people have dismissed Satoshi’s genius and the fact he created a near perfect system that has been Byzantine fault tolerant for 10 years with 99.98332 percent uptime. Many people to this day, whichever camp they are in (BCH or BTC), still believe in Bitcoin’s rules wholeheartedly. However, with all the infighting and shifting opinions on the true meaning of rules 1-4 these issues may challenge future generations. The Bitcoin network we know of today may not be the same when our sons and daughters begin to truly participate unless we keep some consistency on the social layer. It is quite obvious that those who do not want Bitcoin’s technology to succeed are attacking the root of the social layer today, and will not relent until they have achieved their aims.

What do you think about future generations changing the social contract called Bitcoin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.


Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Vacate Wall Street, and Hasu Fly’s 2018 essay.


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The post Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Ocasio-Cortez calls to abolish ICE, says Latinos must be exempt from immigration laws because they are ‘Native’ to US

February 8, 2019 |

New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday vowed to defund U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and said all Latino people must be exempt from immigration laws because they are “native” to U.S. lands as they are descendants of Native people.
FOX News

‘We Must Prepare for a World Without the INF Treaty’

February 1, 2019 |

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday that the US is pulling out of a treaty with Russia that’s been a centerpiece of arms control since the Cold War. The American withdrawal, expected for months, follows years of unresolved dispute over Russian compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF,…
Newser

CNN

Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido says country must unite to end Maduro regime

January 31, 2019 |

New protests break in Venezuela in the wake of a move by the nation’s highest court to freeze bank accounts and impose a travel ban on self-declared interim president Juan Guaido.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – Regions – Americas

Venezuela Decrees Crypto Operators Must Pay Taxes in Cryptocurrencies

January 9, 2019 |

Venezuela Decrees Crypto Operators to Pay Taxes in Cryptocurrencies

The Venezuelan government has published a decree requiring taxpayers with crypto operations in the country to pay their taxes in cryptocurrencies. Similarly, operators of foreign currencies must pay their taxes in those currencies. The decree states that the change is necessary for the “strengthening of the current fiscal regime.”

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Paying Taxes in Cryptocurrencies

The Venezuelan government published the official gazette No. 6,420 dated Dec. 28 on Monday, local media reported. It contains Decree No. 3,719 which outlines new tax payment rules for cryptocurrency operators. Dinero publication explained:

The government of President Nicolás Maduro published a decree that will require taxpayers who carry out operations in foreign currencies or cryptocurrencies to pay their taxes in that same currency and not in bolivars.

Venezuela Decrees Crypto Operators to Pay Taxes in CryptocurrenciesThe decree states that “the Venezuelan people are currently facing a fierce war waged by internal and external factors that pursue the deterioration of the economy, which is why it is necessary to adopt sufficient measures to ensure the strengthening of the current fiscal regime.” The Ministry of Popular Power of Economy and Finance is in charge of the execution of the decree which is effective as of the time of the publication in the national gazette.

Article one of the decree states that taxpayers in Venezuela “who carry out operations” in foreign currencies or cryptocurrencies as authorized by the law “must determine and pay [their tax] obligations in a foreign currency or cryptocurrency.”

Venezuela Decrees Crypto Operators Must Pay Taxes in CryptocurrenciesTwo exemptions are listed in the decree: “transactions of securities traded on a stock exchange” and “the export of goods and services, carried out by public bodies or entities.”

Furthermore, the decree describes that payments such as tax refunds for cases established in the decree will be made in the “national currency.”

Using Petro for Tax Calculations

Venezuela Decrees Crypto Operators Must Pay Taxes in CryptocurrenciesMaracaibo Municipality in Venezuela’s Zulia State recently announced that it will use the national “cryptocurrency,” the petro, as the basis for business tax calculations, Runrunes reported. The announcement created some confusion among residents, who thought that they would have to pay their taxes in petros.

On Tuesday, the intendant of Servicio Desconcentrado de Administración Tributaria (Sedemat), Jean Carlos Martínez, clarified to Noticia al Dia publication that “taxpayers will not be charged taxes in petros.” He elaborated:

We are using the value of the petro as a reference unit to be able to determine the minimum tax, since the ordinance of the current economic unit is still stipulated in percentages of gross income.

He added that the petro has two values: one as a cryptocurrency and the other is “as a unit of account that translates into 9,000 sovereign bolivars, which will be used in passport procedures or current salaries.”

The new decree establishes “that the payment of taxes will be made depending on the economic activity of each company or microenterprise,” the news outlet noted. Martinez was then quoted as saying, “If someone had transactions in petro, bitcoin or other currency, [they] should declare [their income] according to the currency that [they] manage.”

What do you think of Venezuela requiring crypto operators to pay taxes in cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Venezuelan government.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Venezuela Decrees Crypto Operators Must Pay Taxes in Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

TMZ

Dr. Drew Says Pete Davidson Must Avoid Ariana Grande Because His Life Depends on It

December 21, 2018 |

Pete Davidson’s life is on the line and Ariana Grande is putting it at risk by trying to contact him … so says Dr. Drew. Drew was in Culver City Thursday and he railed on the trolls who have been attacking Pete, calling them “evil.” He says Pete…

TMZ.com

Dr. Siegel: Vaping among teens is skyrocketing — We must do more to address this epidemic

December 21, 2018 |

Beyond regulating and worrying, what else can be done to address the rising rate of vaping among America’s youth?
FOX News

Starting in 2020, all new homes in California must come with solar panels. Builders are getting ready

December 16, 2018 |

When Irvine-based City Ventures started sticking solar panels on all of its homes six years ago, the builder emerged as a front-runner in the race toward energy-efficient home building. Soon it will be joined on the track by every developer in California.

Starting in 2020, California will become…


L.A. Times – Business