Despite Tornado Cash fiasco, Bitcoin SV launches ‘Blacklist Manager’ tool
Following Tornado Cash sanctions, censorship has become a hot button topic of late. But Bitcoin SV launches a new tool enabling miners to freeze tokens.
Bitcoin SV has launched “Blacklist Manager,” enabling miners to freeze lost or stolen tokens “to comply with court orders” and assist in asset recovery.
A tweet announcing the new function opened with an analogy of gold turning to lead when stolen and back into gold if returned.
'Imagine if gold turned to lead when stolen. If the thief gives it back, it turns to gold again,' #SatoshiNakamoto
We proudly announce #BlacklistManager the 1st software tool allowing #Bitcoinminers to comply with court orders to freeze lost/stolen coins: https://t.co/j7Wyb7qi67 pic.twitter.com/a5M7bGMbgG
— Bitcoin SV (@Bitcoin_SV_) October 5, 2022
Bitcoin SV stated the Blacklist Manager function is consistent with the original Bitcoin whitepaper in that it operates similarly to the “now-retired” Alert System, which acted as a network messaging system.
Bitcoin SV Blacklist Manager
To enable the Blackllist Manager, Bitcoin SV miners must install and run the program in conjunction with their node.
The system depends on “Notaries,” who link miners to orders to freeze coins. The team described the role of Notaries as equivalent to bailiffs. In that, bailiffs are responsible for maintaining courtroom security in the legacy world, among other tasks.
“The Notary acts analogously to a bailiff for conventional assets, translating legal documents into machine readable format and broadcasting it to miners.”
In essence, Blacklist Manager excludes frozen UTXOs from being written into transaction blocks. Miners who do not install the program risk falling out of consensus with the BSV chain, leading to their blocks being orphaned by the rest of the network.
Bitcoin SV said this function “will allow rightful owners of digital assets to enforce their property rights” if tokens are lost or stolen. However, critics have said it also makes BSV censorship much easier.
The basis of Blacklist Manager relies on obtaining a valid court order. However, court orders do not always carry out justice in the interest of the people or even reflect moral judgments.
For example, court orders, among other strategies, were used against Canadian Truckers in February to suppress their right to demonstrate over vaccine mandates.
Twitter user @BitMax offered his perspective by pointing out a lack of clarity over which jurisdictions’ courts can issue a court order recognized by the Blacklist Manager.
What about sanction lists like OFAC? Is it only the US list or is it also Germany, Russian, Chinese lists? What if a country don't like competition and put addresses of its competitors to such lists. Or if they get a court order to stop a competitor?
This is bad centralization!
— BitMax (@BitMax14) October 5, 2022
What’s more, current literature does not explain whether Notaries have fail-safes to verify court documents and avoid accepting and processing fake court orders.
Remember, it's a court order or "document of comparable force". They will argue that this is that document pic.twitter.com/Kmxj46l7Au
— a void (leaks) (@Tak_Horigoshi) October 5, 2022
One Twitter user casts doubt on Satoshi Nakamoto endorsing a function that interferes with direct peer-to-peer transfers, especially not at a court’s behest.