26: Come And Take Militias And Encryption – Jameson Lopp


What do Bitcoin and guns have in common that makes them a tool for asymmetric defense?

“Come and take it” is the mantra of free men. But is it just an idea? How do we make it real? Today we speak with Jameson Lopp, a self-described “professional cypherpunk” and the Co-founder and CTO of Bitcoin protection company Casa. Using real world examples, we discuss how cryptography and firearms can fail or succeed to protect our digital and physical property. For digital property, we delve into the story of Larry Harmon, the CEO of Coin Ninja who was arrested for allegedly laundering $300 million with a bitcoin mixer, and subsequently had all of his bitcoin hardware wallets seized by the Department of Justice. For physical property, we analyze the 2014 Bundy standoff, an armed confrontation between federal law enforcement and militia member supporters of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy. We close the episode discussing how 3D printed guns meld cryptography with firearms – the apotheosis of “Come and take it”.