Tuesday, November 25, 2008

E-nd of an e-ra

Well, folks, put a fork in e-gold -- it's done, at least as a real alternative to government funny money.

My impression -- it could be wrong, but it's my real impression -- is that e-gold's principals did the best they could to protect their customers' privacy against the "Homeland Security" juggernaut. I doubt that pleading "not guilty" would have done much for that cause. I'm glad they avoided prison. I hope their persecutors don't.

I can't claim to have been one of e-gold's "big customers." I established my account some time in the late 1990s, and I don't recall that it ever had more than a few hundred Federal Reserve Notes worth of metals in it, or that more than at most a couple of thousand flowed through it altogether. Most of the inflow was contributions to Rational Review News Digest, or pay for the occasional odd job from the occasional odd duck. The outflow was mostly out-exchange to FRNs, with small amounts played at an online casino (before the evil bastards in DC put a stop to that), or the occasional Amazon order via BananaGold, etc.

To put it a different way, I didn't use the thing for "narco-terrorism" or any such boogeyman activities. Apart from a few scammer parasites, I doubt that it was used to any great degree for criminal activity -- "laundering drug money" or "facilitating trade in child pornography" or whatever. The state of tech and inter-governmental collusion being what it was, e-gold was never as "anonymous" as a stack of the US government's own fiat currency placed in one hand by another. Those charges weren't a cause of action, they were an excuse to extend the view of the surveillance state.

You can't "close" an e-gold account, apparently, but now my account is my former account -- I've changed all the information I could to "decline to state," blocked the varieties of deposits the control panel would let me block (spends from "blocked accounts" and "US persons"), and changed the password to some random weirdness that I've already forgotten. Accountholder [number elided] has left the burning building.

If the fedgoons want to steal the $2.37 worth of metal in my former account from e-gold, to which I hereby formally convey that metal, I hope they choke on the mediocre cup of coffee they can buy with it.

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