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    I don’t think Taler is meant to replace Bitcoin (anonymous, speculation-valued, chiefly illegal purposes and speculators). I think it’s gunning for the Paypal and the godawful credit card payment infrastructure (account-based, asset-backed, chiefly for payments).

    (I haven’t been able to watch the videos yet. Will someone please correct me if I am incorrect?)

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      Yes, it pretty clearly bills itself as a taxable, privacy-conscious payment method, not a cryptocurrency.

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      What differentiates a ‘merchant’ from a ‘citizen’? May I not receive payment from my brother privately?

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        You may, but some countries tax gifts of money. (For example, IIUC in the Netherlands the tax-free limit is about 2100 € per year per donor; more for gifts from parents. Once in your life, you may receive up to 100 000 € untaxed to buy or renovate a house. I couldn’t find anything about the tax’s purpose/origin, but I would guess it is to prevent tax-dodging shell games.)

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          So, suppose Jan and Mike are in .nl, where gifts may be taxed… (Let us assume that for whatever reason, they both support this policy!) Does the design of GNU Taler prevent them from carrying out private transactions, so that belastingdienst.nl (the Netherlands’ IRS) may levy taxes according to policy?

          If the answer is YES, then how may Fred and John in .us carry out their tax-free gift transactions without monitoring? What is to stop Jan and Mike from operating under the .us rules?

          I’m sure the answers to these questions are straightforward–I just know know what they are yet.

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            My guess is people are responsible for following the law of where they live. You might get audited by the tax org.

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        There are so many good things coming out of INRIA it makes me wonder if Grenoble will become the next Sillicon Valley.

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          Taler helps prevent black markets.

          Well, duh, I consider that a misfeature.

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            It’s a feature in that it promotes wide adoption by making it more trustworthy to regulators and less susceptible to smear campaigns by corporate media. The latter have been used on a lot of privacy-oriented tools to attempt to associate a belief in voters that they’re “just used by criminals” or too dangerous to be legal. By preventing that, the new product might get good press instead.

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            Speaking in FSF language, it’s Defective by Design.

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              How so?