Tuesday, January 07, 2014


In the United States the question "Is money a form of speech?" is an important legal question, because of the protection afforded speech under the US Constitution.  In my (legally uninformed) opinion digital money may make this issue more complicated.  As we'll see, the Bitcoin protocol is really a way of standing up before the rest of the world (or at least the rest of the Bitcoin network) and avowing "I'm going to give such-and-such a number of bitcoins to so-and-so a person" in a way that's extremely difficult to repudiate.  At least naively, it looks more like speech than exchanging copper coins, say.

-- Michael Nielsen, "How the Bitcoin protocol actually works", 6 December 2013

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