User:Dusan Barok/Bitcoin: censorship-resistant currency and domain name system to the people

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The exploration of distributed currency. Written in May-July 2011.

Abstract

Bitcoin, the first decentralised currency was launched in 2009. Adopters use free software distributed in peer-to-peer computer network. The infrastructure provides a unique framework which allows pseudonymous users to make financial transactions stored transparently in the public record. User accounts and transactions cannot be controlled by the third party since the network does not depend upon any money issuing and processing central authority. The convergence of anonymity, transparency and decentralisation has long attracted technological libertarians criticising state interventionism and censorship. Bitcoin created a stir among activists pursuing cryptography in service of empowering civil liberties. It was adopted as a censorship-resistant donation system by organisations including Electronic Frontier Foundation, Freenet, and WikiLeaks. The paper explores the chain of events leading to this situation and examines the libertarian assumptions behind emancipatory promise of the new technology.

Keywords

Bitcoin, Namecoin, Electronic Frontier Foundation, WikiLeaks, cypherpunks, free software, cryptography, censorship, free speech, anonymity, pseudonymity, transparency, decentralisation, peer-to-peer, economy, domain name system

Essay

PDF
TeX source file
Bibliography in a separate BIB file

Research

Bitcoin bits, trivia and anecdotes