Richard Stallman is an activist widely known for founding the free software movement, creating the GNU project and the Free Software Foundation. Over the years he has become a controversial figure for his radicalism, complicated opinions and now makes headlines when talking about bitcoin and digital currencies.
In an interview with the Monero Talk channel on 04/01, Stallman stated that he would not like to use bitcoin or monero, why? Volatility.
“(Bitcoin and Monero) are not the things I would like to use for a variety of reasons. Bitcoin is a currency and its value fluctuates, I don't like it, I don't want to speculate on currency. This is not my temper. I think I would lose a lot of money if I tried, this is not something that I am good at ”
Richard is correct, however, BTC volatility has been declining over the years and it is speculated that it will become less and less as the market grows.
“I am not against other people speculating currencies, I am not against people using bitcoin except partly because of the amount of energy it uses. Aside from that, I don't think he does any harm.“
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But there is another even greater concern about bitcoin and other crypto.
Taxes are important to Richard Stallman
The FSF founder was alarmed that bitcoin could become a way to evade taxes.
“However, I think that it (bitcoin) could do a lot of harm, I think that if it were used to channel profits that could not be tracked, I would consider it harmful”
Stallman's concerns were cooled when he discovered that bitcoin is completely transparent and transactions remain guarded forever on the blockchain, facilitating police work and IRS investigations.
However, the father of free software was startled by the capabilities of another cryptocurrency, Monero (XMR). Completely anonymous and private, XMR could be used to evade taxes and many speculate that it is the 21st century version of Swiss banks, but accessible to everyone.
“We need to get rich people to pay taxes and this is the tribute that will give everyone a decent life … I recently saw probably from the UN that 10% of the world's wealth is hidden (in tax havens). ”
For the creator of the free software movement, the possibility of tax evasion is frightening. He also believes that if the State knew about all the transactions this would open the door to an authoritarian regime.
So, what is the ideal money for Stallman?
The ideal digital money for Richard Stallman
"I want anonymity," said Richard, who completed "the only data that will not be used in the wrong way is that which is not collected."
“When we talk about payments I have a different objective when we talk about privacy, I think the individual deserves anonymity in their purchases but the stores they buy should not be able to hide their sales or their revenues"
– stated Richard
And how to do that?
With GNU Taler software, a completely open-source implementation that uses David Chaum's blind subscription scheme to ensure anonymity of purchases and also allow companies to collect taxes.
In fact, Taler means “Taxable Anonymous Libre Economic Reservers” and alludes to Thaler coins from the territories of the Holy Roman Empire, these coins were of enormous quality and from them the North American 'dollar', the Slovenian 'tolar' and the 'tãlã' 'from Samoa.
The original version of Thaler, generally, had more silver than its values indicated, which was a much desired feature since the silver coins would wear out and end up losing weight over time.
The GNU Taler must necessarily pass through a KYC bank to be turned into cash. It also does not use blockchain and is centralized on a service that can have multiple servers synchronized.
The proposal is already being tested in small towns in the European Union and is in line with what David Chaum imagines how a CDBC (digital currency of the Central Bank) should be.
The full discussion with Richard Stallman with more than 1 hour of chat is available on the Monero Talk channel in English:
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlSsskmy_YM (/ embed)