The State Is The Terrorist In The Case Against Samourai Wallet

An argument for why the US DOJ's actions in their prosecution against Samourai are terroristic, illegitimate, and unethical.

May 15, 2024 - 19:50
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The State Is The Terrorist In The Case Against Samourai Wallet

"The State is any entity that can retrospectively pardon a crime. If you forgive a murder, you get an army. If you forgive an assault, you get police. If you forgive a theft, you get taxes. And this notion that there exists the sovereign ability to change the rules for a limited number of people and grant them licenses to do things that would otherwise be criminal gives you a very clear definition of the State. The State is what washes your hands when you do something that is inherently wrong." @leashless

The recent imprisonment of the developers of Samourai wallet implies a new attack by the United States government on privacy, financial freedom, and especially the use of cash.

They accuse the owners of Samourai of conducting money transmission without a license and of not adhering to the draconian anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing measures.

First, they are accused of money laundering, a crime that in any libertarian legal system would not be considered a crime. In any system of social organization, whether minarchist, capitalist, libertarian, anarchist, agorist, or any other moderately rational form, for there to be a crime, there must be a victim. That is to say, punishing anyone is not allowed unless they have victimized another person. For there to be a victim, there must be non-consensual harm to another person. Only communist or pro-communist systems can tolerate the exacerbated fascism of punishing individuals even though they have never harmed anyone.

The crime of money laundering according to current law essentially consists of the action of concealing the illicit origin of funds obtained through illegal activities seeking to bring that money (illegally) into the legal financial system to give the appearance that it comes from legitimate activities. That is, a crime without harm. In other words, an action that clearly should not be punishable. It is even an action that deserves to be rewarded. Does not the "criminal" who decides to use his money to acquire goods and services that does not harm third parties help society as a whole? Does society benefit from hindering the use of money by criminals? Why does the State promote the penalization of an absolutely innocuous activity like using money when it has already prohibited harmful activities against third parties, which are what make someone a criminal? Do not the voluntary disclosure programs or amnesty programs promote exactly the same action as the crime of money laundering but with the exception that in that context the behavior is legal? So, given that money laundering laws sporadically accept the action, why not accept it always? And if the action accepted by the money laundering laws (basically the same as laundering) harms society, why are they allowed? Either laundering truly does no harm and should not be illegal, or money laundering laws harm society and therefore should be illegal.

On the other hand, the practice of terrorism can be defined as the exercise of domination over another person based on imparted terror. Therefore, terrorism financing is financial assistance to an entity dedicated to dominating others based on imparted terror. In both this case of Samourai Wallet and that of Tornado Cash, Silk Road, and many others similar, the State has failed to demonstrate financial assistance to the alleged terrorists they claim to combat. If one truly wanted to combat terrorism financing, one should start by combating tax collection and money printing. Key financial instruments that contribute to the economy of the only duly proven terrorist. There is no doubt that in cases like the three mentioned above, and many others, the State arrests people in order to impart terror to other developers of similar ventures.

Finally, it should be noted that the State has no legitimacy to issue and control licenses and permits that are inherent to each man by his own human nature. In any moderately rational system of social organization, the private actions of men that do not affect third parties cannot be subject to state regulations. If a person owns a lake and allows another to fish there, the State has nothing to do with that, neither "granting" nor taking away rights, in this example "fishing licenses." Along the same lines, there is no room for state intervention if a person wants to offer the service of money transmission for other people who voluntarily accept it and who are not victims since they have not suffered harm or made any claims against that person.

Fortunately, Bitcoin fixes all this by defunding the State and opening the possibility of transmitting value in a decentralized, peer-to-peer manner without intermediaries. But the road to hyperbitcoinization is not and will not be obstacle-free. The pursuit of maintaining the status quo and maximum control over individuals is not something the Leviathan will lose without a fight. In the meantime, many innocents will pay the cost of daring to engage in activities not expressly endorsed by the masters of the world. But I have no doubt that, eventually, the battle for freedom will be won by humanity as a whole. We are better than them in every way, we produce more, we are smarter, more creative, and resilient. And although each individual's hand-to-hand fight against the State is physically lost by the former, as in this case of Samourai Wallet; being distributed and being many more than them, in the long run, the battle will be won with the help of the insurmountable walls that Bitcoin and cryptography help us build. 

This is a guest post by Camilo JdL. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

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