Why would one want to store money, and use it for trade, anonymously? Answer: you own yourself exclusively, along with everything you honestly acquired, and therefore it's nobody else's business what you own or how you choose to exchange it.
This is fundamentally unacceptable to government, because government disputes your self-ownership and regards you as its possession, along with all that you possess and do. That's the Great Divide. That's why government has to go, to be replaced by a free society.
Its spying upon our banking activities is for that reason only: government's instatiable appetite for information about everybody, the better to control us as its subjects. However it disguises that true motive so as to make the spying less unpalatable. Excuses include:
- anonymous banking would make it easy for thieves to hide their loot
- anonymous banking would make it easy for drug dealers to hide their profits
Those are true but irrelevant. In the first case the detection of theft is not part of any bank's business, any more than it is Ford's business if a thief makes a getaway in a Mustang. In the second case the "crime" is victimless, making the transaction even less part of the bank's business. Nonetheless, the world's governments have agreed upon "Know Your Customer" laws by which all banks are compelled to collect detailed information about everyone who deposits money. Anonymous banking is therefore impossible.
Electronic GoldA gold merchant such as E-Gold, E-Bullion and GoldMoney is, however, not a bank. None of those carry out normal banking operations. None are allowed to take part in the check clearing operations that characterize banks, nor do they offer loans or brokerage services. But they do enable customers easily to transfer money (real money, at that!) to and from each other; and they do act as a storage service for wealth.
So they are a thorn in the side of all governments, a tempting target. Late in 2005, the FBI raided the Florida offices of E-Gold, on the pretext that rumor held that some criminals had been "laundering money" (a victimless crime) and they seized all E-Gold's customer records to verify the rumor. Thus, anyone with an E-Gold account is now known to the Feds; anonymity is destroyed. E-Gold's business has been impacted as a result; customers wonder whether another shoe will drop, with indictments and siezures of gold in storage.
CountermeasuresSuch government spying is being resisted by these gold merchants. E-Gold is a company registered outside US jurisdiction, but was foolish enough to keep a US-based office, with records. E-Bullion operates from Panama, way outside it, and keeps none. GoldMoney uses belt & braces: it is situated in Jersey in the British Channel Islands, and requires customers to identify themselves so as to conform with the KYC Laws even though it's not a bank; thereby removing any excuse for government harassment. The GoldMoney web site points out that any attempt to uncover such accounts would have to be made with a Jersey Court Order - a good protection.
The choice is therefore between:
1. E-Gold that practices good anonymity but may be (and has been) raided by government thugs
2. E-Bullion that practices good anonymity but might be raided by thugs from two governments - US and Panamanian (remember the Noriega snatch?) and
3. GoldMoney that offers no anonymity but promises to keep all data secret unless compelled by order from outside the US government court system.
Vault SecurityAll three rivals keep their stock of gold (backing the electronic accounts) in vaults in prestigious places - London, San Francisco, etc. When the chips are down and government is in its death-throes, none of those will be secure and especially not those in the USA; government will "entitle" itself to go and steal the bullion. Not hard: all the banks owning the vaults can do business only while possessing a government license.
Therefore, as E-Day approaches, nobody should keep serious wealth in the form of electronic gold. Only physical gold itself will be safe, hidden securely in places known only to the owner and his heirs. When E-Day has come and gone, however, it's a different matter!
The best strategy meanwhile will therefore be to choose an electronic gold service for payments and receipts, but to keep the account balance relatively low; the meanwhile, stocking physical gold coin by coin in safe places.
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