Simplified Privacy

Unproven Proprietary Software Jails Bitcoin User

Roman Sterlingov was recently convicted for running a Bitcoin mixer.

This is a very dangerous legal precedent. Because the only hard evidence for him to potentially serve 20 years in prison is that his KYC Bitcoin went through many hops and wallets, before being used later to supposedly buy a domain name. This domain was then used for a Bitcoin privacy service, that had not yet even been declared illegal during its initial operation. That’s why it operated on both the clearweb and Tor.

Even if we ignore the fact that Bitcoin privacy “mixing” was not considered illegal in 2011, this has a bigger implication for the entire Bitcoin ecosystem. This court case means that anyone is responsible for the future actions of anyone you pay, because if those funds turn out to go to anything illegal, you’re automatically on the hook. And people wonder why we like Monero?!

Further this is dangerous because the Chainalysis software used to prove his guilt is proprietary. This means there no longer is a burden of proof for the government, if the software has an unknown method, which was not even properly explained to the jury. The jury trusted them at their word. [1]

Even worse, Chainalysis sells services to the US government. So having zero feedback mechanism on their blackbox unknown conviction tool is a likely conflict of interest. As CoinDesk points out, quote,

And to make the conflict of interest even worse, there’s a rotating door of employment with US government, with employees going back and forth, and vica-versa. As TFTC points out quote,

So the prosecutor joins the for-profit witness, with an unknown methodology?! In fact, the Chainalysis proprietary black box software was so flawed, that a conflicting firm CipherTrace was going to testify against this software, but suddenly backed out due to pressure from its parent company Mastercard. [4] To quote CoinDesk,

If you value your freedom, please discuss and link your friends to this issue. You can use my words, or your own. These politicians will take as much power from you as they can get away with. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Your vote is meaningless, all that matters is your actions.

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The Sources to this article can be found here.

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