TL;DR: Shiv Malik is guest for an exciting discussion about whether cryptocurrency should bend to the will of government. That’s a debate across UTXOs, blockchains, tokens, cryptos. More enthusiasts, developers, and investors are urging compromise: get legal, obey regulators, please politicians. Malik has a different view, as I hope you’ll listen. The episode is available embedded in this article below, and on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Breaker, PocketCasts, PodBean, and Overcast.
Shiv Malik on Szabo’s Law, Code is Law
Shiva Malik is a longtime journalist, author, and his foray into crypto by way of the Ethereum community is beginning to have real impact. He began his professional career with The Guardian, and worked up quite a reputation for doggedness and bravery.
He was eventually involved in an historic freedom of speech case against the United Kingdom (UK), where he personally experienced the bluntest aspect of government intervention. It no doubt altered or reaffirmed his way of thinking: information should be free from violence.
Bitcoin pioneer Nick Szabo puts it another way, code is law. Though not directly related, the underlying idea is similar: the crypto in cryptocurrency, its go, the open source software responsible, should be extra-judicial, outside of the law, beyond law. And it should due to the government’s charter as a monopoly on violence. Governments will continue to go after the likes of enthusiasts, and giving-in to the whims of politicians ultimately defeats the entire point of crypto.
Cryptocurrencies, blockchains, their related tech, all should be made with an eye toward setting them up as beyond the reach of legal fashion. Call it plausible deniability. Call it outlaw. Call it whatever, the point remains: any impact crypto or distributed ledger technology is going to have will be because they can be used by anyone at any time. The entire community is having this debate in one way or another, regardless of the chain or UTXO supported, the coin they like. Malik runs through a recent challenge to code is law, Szabo’s Law, and hopes to return crypto enthusiasts from government’s bear hug.
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