US cryptocurrency legislation (Re: FSFE and the war in Europe)

fsfe at fsfe at
Fri Mar 18 16:04:27 UTC 2022

On Fri, 18 Mar 2022 12:41:44 +0100
Paul Boddie <paul at> wrote:

> On Friday, 18 March 2022 10:18:06 CET fsfe at wrote:
> > Perhaps a statement about this pending legislation would be
> > relevant and on topic for FSFE:
> > 
> >
> > -facilitating-transactions/  
> A statement about US legislation targeting cryptocurrency exchanges
> that allegedly facilitate sanctions evasion?

My understanding is that the legislation is going to attack node
operators -- i.e. users of free/open source software.

My intent is to draw attention to the fact that code is speech, and any
effort to stop people from writing and distributing code is an attack
on free speech itself.

> Free Software developers definitely need protection from bad law, but
> the "crypto" business does not deserve our sympathy.

If you don't stand up for the worst of society, don't expect others to
stand up for you.

> In case you might be wondering, the author there is Andrew Tanenbaum
> whose reputation in computer science is well established. And he
> isn't wrong about how people have been rather too easily convinced
> that "crypto" offers a solution to problems that could otherwise be
> easily fixed if people genuinely cared about things like poverty and
> opportunity.

I will not deny that some people are motivated by greed and use virtual
currency to get rich quick. Nor will I deny that some people think
"blockchain" is a magical data structure that can solve all the worlds
problems. I don't think those facts are relevant, because my focus
remains on free speech, even the speech of those with whom I disagree.

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