Interview with IT Security Expert Pavol Luptak on Crypto Anarchy and Voluntary Societies

Mario Dian Feb 4, 2017 7 min read

I caught up with Pavol Luptak to talk about crypto anarchy, its tools, and implications for free and voluntary society.

Pavol is a crypto-anarchist and voluntaryist focused on IT security, technology, and society hacking.

He runs a successful IT security business and speaks about security and data privacy at numerous worldwide IT conferences every year.

Q: Why and how did you become an anarcho-capitalist and voluntaryist?

I have a technical background, so firstly I became a crypto-anarchist after reading Timothy C May - The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto and his fabulous Ciphernomicon.

I realized that thanks to crypto technologies (especially anonymization networks and anonymous cryptocurrencies) governments could lose control over the financial transactions and interactions of the most people. It's simply the fact.

These technologies will only be improved over time, so I think it's an irreversible process that can only be stopped by radical digital government dictatorship described by Orwell in 1984.

Personally, I don't like black & white plots, but it seems we will live either in a digitally free society or digital dictatorship.

Even now, we can see an intense polarization of society splitting into the government's controlled dictatorship and parallel free crypto societies at the same time.

Unfortunately, I don't think there is a place for some other alternatives.

Pavol speaking at Anarchapulco in Mexico

Now back to the question. The first mention of anarcho-capitalism I found in Timothy C May's Ciphernomicon.

Then I was introduced to some people from Slovak economic think tank INESS, and I started to study basics of Austrian economics school and liberty itself at many different levels.

All of this reformed my moral principles and I became a voluntaryist, accepting all mutual voluntary relationships that do not harm the third party and rejecting any relationship enforced by one party only.

The anarcho-capitalism is just a free system entirely compliant with this moral principle.

Q: I heard you practice voluntaryism even at one of your companies. How does that work?

Yes, I run a company with completely voluntaryist / free market principles.

I created a beautiful presentation on how it exactly works, read more at The Most Free Company.

Q: Some years ago you started an initiative We don't work for the government. What is it all about?

Yes, I created a manifesto - the list of ethical and economic reasons why we as a company decided not to work for the government.

Here are some of them:

  • The government is not an equal business partner for you - it acts from position of strength
  • Public procurements are very corrupt in Slovakia (especially in construction industry and IT)
  • Public procurements procedures are extremely bureaucratic
  • The government regularly and steadily makes business environment worse for almost all entrepreneurs (high taxation, enormous number of regulations, bureaucracy)
  • Communication with the government is slow; negative feedback is often ignored
  • We do not tolerate rising digital state dictatorship (Slovak Secret Agency repeatedly wants to intercept an encrypted communication, uses backdoors, Slovak government bought FinFisher for spying their citizens, and now we have Internet censorship in Slovakia!)

Many other businesses in Slovakia and the Czech Republic identified themselves with this manifesto, so I started an ethical and economic initiative "We don't work for the government" based on voluntary principles.

The goal of this initiative is to provide mutual benefits for their members, promoting the use of cryptocurrencies or competing with states.

You can also find more information about this project in the following presentation.

Q: Do you believe we'll ever have a stateless society?

As I've already mentioned, I think we are approaching the digital dictatorship regime with the rise of parallel crypto societies where people will be allowed to do everything they are not allowed to do the in the real physical world.

I don't believe we'll be able to experience a genuinely free society during our lifetime. But it's quite likely this will be possible in the current government-free areas, like Liberland, Seasteading or newly explored planets.

I think that smarter people will have two lives - one in the government-approved world, and the second one - in the digital crypto world with almost unlimited freedom.

I am quite skeptical and think the government will keep their power in the real physical world.

Q: You mentioned you're a crypto-anarchist, you co-founded Paralelni Polis (PP) and also co-organize HCPP (Hackers Congress PP) hosting many well-known crypto-anarchist speakers. What exactly is crypto-anarchy?

Crypto-anarchy is a "hidden" anarchy - which is possible to achieve these days thanks to powerful crypto-anarchist technologies like anonymization networks and cryptocurrencies.

I also perceive the crypto-anarchy as a digital simulation of anarcho-capitalism where we can easily do a lot of experiments without fear of shutting them down by the central power.

I also consider crypto-anarchy as the most efficient and robust tool to achieve a real individual freedom both personal and economic; at least in the digital world.

Because our digital and real worlds are mutually interconnected, it will also have an enormous impact on our liberty in the physical world.

I am focused on cryptoanarchy because I believe it can provide us much more freedom & liberty than all politicians together who usually do the exact opposite.

Q: Which crypto tools do you think changed the world in the most significant way?

There are hundreds of different crypto-anarchist technologies in these days.

But I consider the following ones to be the most important - the first implementation of asymmetric cryptography (PGP), the real anonymization network (Tor) and decentralized cryptocurrency(Bitcoin).

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Q: You mentioned Bitcoin. How often do you use it and what are your most common transactions?

I use Bitcoin daily.

I am a Bitcoin guy, so I pay my bills using bitcoins through Bitwala or Cashila, my books using all4btc, my food using, and of course I use my bitcoins for my coffee in Parallel Polis.

Q: Are there any apps or ideas you think needs to be implemented to complete the "crypto puzzle"?

I predict multiple crypto-anarchist technologies that will have a tremendous impact on our society and lives and could be a real threat for governments if they are used by billions of people:

  • anonymous anti-government insurance
  • anonymous prediction markets (leading to a perfect political corruption)
  • anonymous crowdfunded whistle-blowing (meaning the death of the state secret agencies)
  • decentralized, anonymous cryptomarkets allowing anyone to sell or buy anything to anyone with anonymous cryptocurrencies, protecting their members with the anti-government insurance.
  • physical onion/garlic routing allowing anonymous physical transportation
Pavol speaking at Cevro Institut

All of these technologies can change our society dramatically.

Q: Are there any other projects besides We don't work for the government and Paralelni Polis you're working on that you believe will get us closer to a stateless society?

I am also the member of Czech artist group Ztohoven.

Almost all of our projects are anti-government ones; the recent one was even crypto-anarchist - decentralization of Czech president flag to the Bitcoin blockchain.

And we are also working on some new projects. Our next big challenge is to start Parallel Polis in Bratislava.

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Q: Wow, decentralization of a flag on the blockchain... How does that work?

Decentralization of Power is a natural continuation of the recent Ztohoven project President’s dirty laundry emphasizing on highly immoral activities of the Czech president by replacing Prague's Castlepresident flag with a pair of huge red underpants, which symbolizes his pro-dictatorship tendencies.

The original president flag as a post-monarchic symbol, a historical relic of centralized power, was successfully acquired by Ztohoven after which it was cut to 2x24x24 small pieces and mapped to the decentralized Bitcoin blockchain.

Ztohoven planting big red pants as a Czech flag at the presidential palace in Prague

Each of these 1152 pieces is now associated with a unique bitcoin address.

A recursively applied rule where 80% of the wealth in the economy is concentrated in 20% of the population (also known as the Pareto distribution) was used to distribute a particular value accordingly among 1152 flag-associated bitcoin addresses with the total value of BTC 2.1 (CZK 35 000).

1152 randomly chosen people in different Czech cities have received both the unique physical part of the decentralized flag and its intangible bitcoin value.

The historical moment of the decentralization of the post-monarchic centralized power has been permanently written to the infinite decentralized blockchain.

I would like to thank Pavol for his time and wisdom he shared with us. If you'd like to connect with him you can use the following networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Please leave a comment below and share with us what you think about his ideas on parallel crypto societies. Does it sound like a sci-fi to you or do you think it's possible to live in a world mostly free from the government violence?

I'd also like to get your feedback on the interview so improvements can be made next time.

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Mario Dian

I'm an Anarchist, Rothbardian, Bitcoiner and Travel Hacker. Also founder of @freedomnodecom.

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