We're a few months into the coronavirus hysteria and it seems like the fear and uncertainty that is sweeping the globe is beginning to drive some people, particularly people in places of "authority", mad. Institutions that were telling people that masks weren't necessary only a few weeks ago are now attempting to save face, mandating that people wear masks in public and sending out goon squads to crowd people and rip them off public transport if they aren't wearing one. Instead of, you know, doing the sensible thing and providing individuals with masks for their protection.
The pendulum has swung from one extreme of pure complacency to another of pure authoritarianism seeped in logical inconsistencies. They want us to "socially distance" from each other - which is a very Orwellian term in the first place, "physically distance" seems to make more sense - yet the powers that be will send ten individuals to eradicate one. All at a time when it seems like the virus spread is slowing down and even reversing.
As we stressed a few weeks ago, this virus hysteria is going to lead to a massive encroachment on our civil liberties. We've already seen the government dictate what are essential and non-essential jobs. Police officers are breaking into innocent people's homes under the suspicion that they are gathering with others. The governor of Michigan went as far as to not allow people to buy plant seeds lest they decide they want to be reckless and get some fresh air while they garden. A county in California is mandating that individuals wear masks IN THEIR CARS. Speaking of cars, Kentucky law enforcement said they would be documenting the license plates of church goers during Easter services and then mandating that those individuals sign a paper promising to self-quarantine.
The world finds itself at a very weird inflection point. Hopefully the nonsensical authoritarianism wakes the masses up and incites a fight to take back some ground in the War for civil liberties in the Digital Age. I won't be holding my breath though.
There's a bitcoin vaults prototype
Last August, we made you freaks aware of the Bitcoin Vaults proposal from Bryan Bishop; a special transaction setup that allows users to designate a delay period of n blocks before their coins are allowed to be spent.
Today, Bryan took to the bitcoin-dev mailing list to announce that he has an official prototype out in the wild for users to start testing, reviewing and commenting on. As Bryan points out in his email, Bitcoin vaults would provide users with a tool that allows them to react in the event of an attempted theft of their UTXOs. This would be a huge boon for overall security and peace of mind for individual users and companies alike.
If you are willing and able to help Bryan out with review and testing, please give him a hand!
Mother Nature is an unforgiving woman.