The Free Cash Machine

Sunday, 24 February, Year 5 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

NASHUA, N.H. -- Zach Harvey has an ambitious plan to accelerate adoption of the Internet's favorite alternative currency: installing in thousands of bars, restaurants, and grocery stores ATMs that will let you buy Bitcoins anonymously.

It's the opposite of a traditional automated teller that dispenses currency. Instead, these Bitcoin ATMs will accept dollar bills -- using the same validation mechanism as vending machines -- and instantly convert the amount to Bitcoins and deposit the result in your account.

"It's even easier than just using a regular ATM," says Harvey, 33, who demonstrated the device to CNET this weekend at the Free State Project's annual Liberty Forum. "You could probably do it in about five seconds. The thing that would take the longest would be the bill validator taking in the dollar."

via cnet.

The idea is good, but it's the converse that's even better.

Imagine you're walking down the street and there it is, a large kiosk structure which advertises its offering in bright neon lights : Free Cash Machine.

And indeed, people walk up to it, type in a code and receive wads of cash. Twenty, two hundred, nine thousand... as much as they wish for, provided they have the proper code. Obviously the only way to actually get the proper code is by buying it, in Bitcoin, but that's nothing you know about. All you know about is that the machine of dreams has finally been made : type a word, get a wad of cash. Sort of like the bottled genie, except you have to know how to rub.

Isn't it frustrating that you personally have no idea how to rub it ?

This is the sort of thing Bitcoin does : it splits human society into two halves : the haves and the have nots. Like anything else in the past.

The state would obviously hate this more than anything in the world, for the simple reason that it makes Bitcoin people completely invisible to any law enforcement. You can now evade any civil judgement, from child support and alimony to remarkable crap like this. Along with that a large section of the state's bullying power vanishes, as there will be no more of the current "we'll freeze all your money and then expect you to somehow get counsel to defend you in court".

The field would be once more even, and quite frankly the system is so completely broken by now that even a coupla pips' movement in the direction of even would completely ruin it, leave alone the twenty or thirty percents we're talking about here.

The poison in the pill is that there's perfectly nothing that can be done about it legally, as things stand. It's not nor can it become illegal to give money away. If you wish to make a company that gives money away that's your privilege, that's what having money means in the first place.

The first company to do it will gain a significant market advantage. All you need is twenty thousand locations spread over the East and West Coast of the US, the coupla Canadian population centers and Europe. Maybe dribble a little into Asia too, if you can afford it and know how. The end.

What's this cost, a billion or two in the absolute worst case scenario where the dispenser is really a middle class detached house ? So be it. You'll make it back in five to ten years, and more importantly the brand of this venture alone will be worth two billion in Bitcoins by the time you're done. Of course that won't mean much more than a few thousand Bitcoins, but then again that's A Good Thing.

So who's first ?

Category: Bitcoin
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7 Responses

  1. Once again you are making the mistake that the thugs currently ruling the planet play by some sort of well-defined rules. That is to say, that something called "rule of law" exists. Well, it does - until it doesn't. Everybody involved in a scheme like this will (to use the very appropriate Russian gangster phrase) "begin to have problems." Problems ranging from a thousand frivolous lawsuits ("I entered the damn code and no money came out and now you bastards have my code!") to "tragic car accidents." See: "Desaparecidos."

    The way to topple the existing order is: don't have an identifiable physical arse that the enemy can grab. They know exactly how to do it, and have no qualms whatsoever engineering anything from tax problems to the murder of millions, if they feel it to be necessary. Anything with an identifiable meatspace presence is a target.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 25 February 2013

    This is a theory.

  3. Mirko Filipovic`s avatar
    Mirko Filipovic 
    Friday, 27 December 2019

    Speaking of cash: Governments are going to ban cash within the next decades, some even mid term, but probably all of them long term. By then BTC fees will be too expensive to be viable to pay for anything which you would usually be paying with cash before it became banned. Assuming you are against second layers like Lightning Network, how is one supposed to pay for stuff (or sell stuff) in a post-cash scenario with any privacy?

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 27 December 2019

    Nothing prevents me from issuing cash replacements, nor can.

    More generally : you have to -- get it, you have to, this isn't fucking optional to any degree, it is mandatory in the absolute sense -- read both the writs of your betters now living as well as the history of the past. Like the whore, precisely, you have to, and be thankful for it. That's the world you live in, you have no say in either its description or composition, nobody asks you anything nor intends to. Now get to work.

    You can't just sit around and easily shit nuggets of stupid readily forged of your misunderstanding, indolence and disinterest. Nobody -- you foremost on that list of nobody -- gives shit one about whatever conceptually-derived nonsense you came up with. That "governments" as you imagine them "can do" whatever random shit because hey, it follows from the definitions you also came up with, and use for your own convenience don't exist, nor ever have, nor ever could. It's not anything like "Superman can shoot spider web out of his bunghole [because that's how the script goes] and therefore '''governments''' now matter and have powers [because a wizard did it]." It's not anything like that at all. It's instead like described above : you're meat, with brain function optional -- but optional in the very limited sense that if you eschew that paragraph you will simply be farmed.

  5. I know who I am`s avatar
    I know who I am 
    Friday, 27 December 2019

    Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness—pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the State, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world

    So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride - the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.

  6. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Sunday, 29 December 2019

    Remarkable how English was used by much better people for much better purposes just a few, short decades ago. It's still a mystery to me why and wherefore entire fucking cultures seem to pick one random day to magically commit collective suicide, but by now it's an incontrovertible fact that indeed they do. Weird.

  1. [...] All the key financial services, except for the free cash machine. [...]

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