Jun 18, 2023Liked by BowTiedMara

Yeah, I work as an auditor of financial statements and have some dealings with bankers as well and they are just useful idiots, implementing this as we speak, not knowing what will hit them. It will come slowly tho so I tend to hope we have a few more years for them to actually start using it (cbdcs) for their intended purposes, but it will be done by 2030 for sure. You just made a very good point here about Argentina being a good spot to be since low enforcement and blackmarkets already exist.

I do own btc and xmr. What do you think of ARRR (piratechain?)

I own silver coins and small sim card size gold plates which u can buy like 25x1g and premium isn't that big, you could also buy 100% gold jewelry (look for company Mene) but premium there is a lot higher like 30%, but u can have it on you all the time and noone knows.

What most people don't understand is that atm we still have some grey areas in the EU so that people can slash their taxes for example from the crazy 43% effective tax (income+corporate) down to like 20%(which is still high obv) and we still have some corporate structures that are more favorable BUT all of this is going away. With CBDCs there will be no more gray areas, everything will be visible and proven, also EU directives coming out are calling for universal EU taxes and so on so no more of those favorable corp structures, etc. Atm wealthier people are complacent because they get a consultant, slash taxes from 43 to 20% and feel good, "hey, healthcare/pensions and safety are worth it" but when they realise what has hit them there will be no more escaping - capital controls.

Even if you have multiple bank accounts IMO Europe will become a self-regulated hell. So having btc, gold, etc. won't help. Imo the only way is to get tax residency outside of the EU so that you can legally pay 10% or such and then those digital EUR/USD will be legal i.e. useful. I'm also on a keto diet and I realise that there will be meat quotas (being setup by mastercard as we speak like when u buy meat with a debit card u get emission points for the week) so unless you're planning to have a farm, say goodbye to meat and hello to cockroach flour (already in bakeries). Another reason I decided to go to meat heavy cultures such as PY.

Lastly, many argue that cash will save us. Wrong, cash will be gone in a few years. How?

1. 500 eur and 200 eur bills already out of the circulation

2. High upcoming inflation will make those 100 eur worth 50 eur, 50 eur will be 20 eur, etc.

3. There is a shortage of smaller coins (1,2 eur) which makes using that 50 eur harder for smaller items like groceries

4. France and Italy already deem cash transactions over 1000 eur unlawfull, others have it at around 4000. This will either go down or 4000 will become 2000 by inflation

5. Some bigger companies like Apple for example might only start accepting card payments (already discussed)

6. Pandemic 2.0 might get cash banned due to unsanitary reasons (bonus tin foil hatter idea)

Anyhow, enough rambling. Bottom line, I've been thinking a lot on how to make my life better here in the EU and after 2 years of thinking I realised there is no way. It's as if we're being invaded and the only way is out. Kind of like escaping to LatAm for those seeing the WWII coming.

"Advances in technology do not abolish the institution of war; they merely modify its manifestations." A. Huxley - Science, Liberty and Peace

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Some great points there Julia, I fully agree with you in terms of Europe becoming a self-regulated hell. Even well-off people have not thought enough about the implications of a cashless CBDC world with carbon credits. Much much harder to get to those write-offs, unless you have company structures already in place and start a ghost billing circle etc.

It is crazy to see how much cash is already restricted in the EU, and it will only get worse. Any payment above a few k and merchants are forced to alert authorities. Getting PY residency makes total sense, and imo it is not just fiscally interesting. The whole southern cone region abounds in what Europe lacks: good demographics, resources, low population density, and not a great deal of State control and oversight into pretty much anything.

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This is a great post, Mara, thank you for that. Just want to point a few things about monero (xmr)/btc (also, new in the jungle I may have repeated some known things, so apologies for that in advance).

the main points of my comment are:

1. monero is the "privacy coin" par excellence. yet we already have reasons hinting that is not as useful as it seems in theory for the use case proposed in the post

2. btc is actually (slowly) catching up on that

we can say the three components of Monero are:

- ring signature (RS): obfuscate sender

- stealth addresses (SA): obfuscate receiver

- confidential transaction (CT): encrypt the amount

SA are the things that makes monero "untraceable" in the sense that if I could look at your address, it would be _always_ (you actually can't tho, see later) empty. This is because each payment for Alice isn't actually sent to Alice's address, but to a new (derived) address. Alice's node has to perform checks on _all_ transactions in _every_ block to see if one of them is directed to her. All this, beside the verification normally done in e.g. btc.

Consequence: it is slooower. 2nd level consequence: this coin can not deal with the load btc deals with. So in practice we can not expect any meaningful mass shift from btc to xmr, especially when we would need it the most. (another reason for that is that you need atomic swaps to exchange btc to/from xmr, and they are currently in their infancy + they are very slow)

As mentioned you can not check addresses as you can check btc addresses on a block-explorer. part of that is due to stealth addresses (you need knowledge of a private key to check) but also to the fact that addresses in xmr derive from _two_ public keys, generally named _spend_ and _view_ keys. as the names suggest:

- the private key related to the spend pub key: you can actually spend coins and check if you received new transactions (let's call it _write_ permission)

- the private key related to the view key: you give a way to a third party to check what you receive (let's call it _read_ permission) (basic info here: https://www.getmonero.org/resources/moneropedia/viewkey.html)

because of that view key I am very worried that in case xmr is "unstoppable" you may be forced to give your view key to regulators/IRS (you may lie ofc, but then you're at the same level of people doing coinjoins on btc to gain some privacy). TBH it is not clear to me why they introduced this bug.

Finally, let me point out that there are currently experiments with both CT and SA in bitcoins. The elements project (and Liquid) already support CT, and stealth addresses are the base of paynyms. Also let me point out that a lot of insights on the research for monero comes from insights from bitcoin cryptographers and researchers. Of course xmr cryptographers and developers are very good, just saying that xmr may not have the best man-power to go to the next level

just my two cents, hope it's interesting!

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Thanks Dumb for this! Yeah there are definitely scaling issues and I didn’t mean for my post to come across as too much of a monero shill, but it’s really the easiest way for now for non-technical people to conduct private transactions. The lightning network offers a bit more privacy but is still very small, and for complete privacy you would still need to take additional precautions.

Thanks for pointing out that pv key to view key, that’s interesting and also not sure why they would introduce that. It seems like a potential hole for future vulnerabilities.

I really go over these scenarios all the time because I am convinced CBDCs are just a matter of time. It’s such a fascinating dilemma at the same time, like a puzzle that needs to be solved.

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> I didn’t mean for my post to come across as too much of a monero shill,

you did not came across like that ofc, just wanted to point out that (at least imho) xmr has some downside - I do not see that mentioned enough (again, personal view)

> I am convinced CBDCs are just a matter of time.

agree with that, and I liked a lot your "slightly dysfunctional states" frame/take

As you said: a puzzle to solve, probably with many different pieces, each of them tackling one part of the threat model!

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Excellent work! Thank you for the S/O

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Thank you sir, you’re welcome!

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If you're concerned about privacy when it comes to your digital assets, then Crypton CRP https://u.is/ is the coin for you. With its cutting-edge encryption and secure network, you can be sure that your transactions are safe and anonymous.

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Doesn't seem very used at all (not decentralized) + very low market cap (only 5M)

Just check the Monero transaction volume.


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