Whether an individual, merchant or organization is a true proponent of liberty should largely be measured by whether they accept bitcoins for payment or donations. After all, actions are much louder than words; particularly actions that are tied to money and currency.
By accepting bitcoins merchants protect their customers from potential identity theft or political persecution from purchasing liberty orientated products and services. Failure to accept bitcoins casts aspersions on their sincerity towards the fight for liberty because it leaves open the possibility of them being a honeypot.
[pullquote]Failure to accept bitcoins for purchases or donations makes one either ignorantly, lazily or complicity a servant of the surveillance police state and tyranny and therefore accepting bitcoins makes an excellent litmus test for whether an individual or institution is a true liberty proponent.[/pullquote]WHAT IS A HONEYPOT?
A honeypot is a trap set to detect, deflect, or in some manner counteract attempts at unauthorized use of information systems. Generally it consists of a computer, data, or a network site that appears to be part of a network, but is actually isolated and monitored, and which seems to contain information or a resource of value to attackers. Honeypots are often used as bait to catch spammers and other malcontents nefariously using computing resources.
In the fight for liberty, an individual may become a honeypot either ignorantly or complicity. For example, suppose they sell a product or accept donations and use credit cards for payments. The transaction is stored, archived, databased and searchable forever with or without the consent of the merchant or consumer/donee.
Let us assume some malcontent wants to know who all the serious liberty supporters are so they can round them up and throw them in cages to later be exterminated. What would be the easiest way to identify and find them? Easy, query the transactional databases for how much money has been directed towards individuals or organizations that promote the ideas of liberties and sort by individual total.
Have you ever ordered The Law from Amazon, taken a Mises Institute course, bought Jim Willie's newletter, bought gold or silver from GoldSilver or GoldMoney, subscribed to Doug Casey's investing column, made a donation to LewRockwell.com, participated in Tom Wood's Liberty Classroom, bought Gerald Celente's Trend Research, bought from Alex Jones' various products, donated to Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty, donated to Stefan Molyneux, subscribed to the incredibly insightful Robert Wenzel of Economic Policy Journal, subscribed to The Dollar Vigilante Jeff Berwick, consulted with privacy advocate Mark Nestmann, donated to GATA, joined The Sovereign Society, been considering purchasing the highly anticipated Silent Circle by PGP creator and Internet Hall of Fame Inductee Phil Zimmermann, used the VPN CryptoHippie, donated to AntiWar and countless others.
[pullquote]Well, perhaps you can send them this article in an attempt to persuade them to protect their customers and accept bitcoins.[/pullquote]Well, all of these liberty supporters currently do not accept bitcoin payments and could be or may become honeypots. Do you purchase or want to purchase their goods or services but do not want to be trapped by a honeypot?
Failure to accept bitcoins for purchases or donations makes one either ignorantly, lazily or complicity a servant of the surveillance police state and tyranny and therefore accepting bitcoins makes an excellent litmus test for whether an individual or institution is a true liberty proponent.
Want to know one group that is serious about liberty and shows it in their actions by accepting bitcoins? Libertopia 2012 where I will be speaking along with others like Doug Casey, Stefan Molyneux, Jeff Berwick and many others.
So now that we know what a honeypot is and why to avoid them how exactly can Bitcoin help us do that?
WHAT IS BITCOIN?
Bitcoin is the first decentralized peer-to-peer encrypted digital currency.
If you want to watch an in-depth interview about Bitcoin then this is one of my better ones with the guys from Future Money Trends. But be careful as they do not yet accept bitcoins and therefore could be or may be used as a honeypot.
PROTECTION AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT
In the digital age identity theft is a serious and material problem. When an individual or business makes a payment with bitcoins there is no identity information required. Go ahead, try it for yourself buying The How To Vanish: Basic Privacy Guide for whatever amount you want.
Think about it, when you buy something why should you provide (1) a name, (2) a shipping address, (3) a billing address, (4) a form of payment tied to your identity and many other intrusive points of data like Internet browser, IP address, etc. What relevance do any of these have to making the transaction?
Worse, once these data fields are collected then they are databased, archived, stored, searchable and can be compromised. Top of the 15 worst security breaches is Heartland Payment Services where 134 million credit card numbers, billing addresses, etc. were compromised. 1 million Apple IDs were compromised by a Florida publisher. Sony Corp. warned its 77 million PlayStation Network and Qriocity online service customers that their credit-card data, billing addresses and other personal information may have been stolen by a hacker.
If you use a debit or credit card to make payments online then becoming an identity theft victim is only a matter of time. By accepting bitcoins merchants you frequent can completely eliminate this risk to you.
I sent an email to an operator mentioned earlier about accepting bitcoins.
XXXXXX: "Trace, thanks for your letter; I wish Bitcoin all success."
ME: Is there any particular reason it is not accepted on XXXXXX?
Like you I am already out there publicly so I wield the boycott primarily offensively, not defensively. Given the type of articles on XXXXXX some readers may be defensively boycotting because of potential ramifications from making a donation to XXXXXX, enrolling in a XXXXXX course, buying any books, etc.
I have noticed a significant increase in purchases now that I have transitioned all of RunToGold and HowToVanish's products to accept bitcoins in addition to the traditional methods. Perhaps some potential customers did not want to pay the increased cost of having a record of a transaction with HowToVanish stored permanently in the Bluffdale center. After all, who knows what list they may end up on and how they may be persecuted as a result? So I completely sympathize with their defensive boycott given all the examples in history which XXXXXX so ably educates about.
I received no response. Why the deafening silence? If I buy any articles, books, courses, etc. or make a donation to help fund the operation of the website then what list could I end up on? Brandon Raub was illegally detained for politically charged posts made on Facebook.
Political persecution is a clear and present danger and has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of millions throughout history. Any merchant that fails to accept bitcoins places their patrons at risk of being politically persecuted either now or at some time in the future. By accepting bitcoins this risk can be greatly mitigated.
[pullquote]What vested interest are merchants serving by not accepting bitcoins?[/pullquote]EASE OF BITCOIN ACCEPTANCE FOR MERCHANTS
First, accepting bitcoins augments a customer's payment options and therefore does not cannibalize sales. By accepting bitcoins a merchant only has the possibility of generating more sales not less.
Second, the cost for a merchant to accept bitcoins is minimal. Services like BitPay, which HowToVanish has no relationship with other than using them to accept bitcoin donations and we are very happy with their service, make website integration extremely easy with simple merchant solutions.
Third, bitcoins are more competitive for merchants than debit or credit cards because there is no risk of fraud or chargebacks and only a processing fee (.99% with BitPay) and, if the merchant wants their bitcoins automatically exchanged into USD, CAD, MXN, EUR or GBP and direct deposited to their bank account each day, then an exchange rate fee (2.69% total which includes the processing fee).
Since the costs are so much lower than debit or credit cards and the benefits to both merchant and consumer so high then if a merchant fails to accept bitcoins it begs the question: What vested interest are they serving by not accepting bitcoins?
[pullquote]Accepting bitcoins makes an excellent litmus test for whether an individual or institution is a true liberty proponent.[/pullquote]CONCLUSION
Currency is being increasingly politicized by the State and in politics it is actions, not words, that matter. Do your favorite liberty proponents merely talk? Or do they help protect you against identity theft and political persecution by accepting bitcoins?
Merchants have every reason to accept bitcoins because they are cheaper with no risk of fraud or chargebacks and protect their customers from identity theft and political persecution. Consequently, if merchants fail to accept bitcoins then it implies they are, either knowingly or unwittingly, an extremely dangerous camouflaged rattlesnake honeypot that should be treated with extreme caution because of the significant threat they pose to your financial and personal safety.
But merchant behavior will likely not change until consumers demand it. Do you demand your privacy be protected by defensively boycotting individuals or institutions that refuse to accept bitcoins? If you take your privacy or financial and personal safety seriously then perhaps you should. And you may let the merchants know by sending them a link to this article or leaving a comment about it in one of their articles.
Here at HowToVanish we do not just talk the privacy talk but we walk the walk. We keep you safe from identity theft or political persecution by accepting bitcoins at the HowToVanish store.