Before getting to any further installments about the suspected CIA officer James Riney, considering that it has come to my attention in investigating him that the “startup” he “co-founded” called ResuPress is currently said to operate Japan’s largest Bitcoin exchange (e.g., https://www.green-japan.com/company/4484), this long overdue note is being posted.
First, on a theoretical level, there is an aspect of neoliberalism that is anti-nation state. Neoliberals spew rhetoric about internationalism and the like, but they don’t mean it in the so-called Wilsonian, United Nations sense, but in the free-movement of capital. Regulations used to facilitate the free movement of capital on the basis of a rhetorical appeal to a pseudo-progressive internationalism is used to instantiate the conditions of the possibility for the rise of a transnational class of capitalists with not obligations anywhere.
Aside from the class of people, there is also a class of organizations, i.e., corporations, which are, in fact, “legal persons”. Transnational corporations are more readily subject to scrutiny than individuals, and the lack of allegiance to their origin nation state has become a conspicuous feature of the news in recent years with respect to tax havens, and the recent spectacular decision of the EU Court marks the opening in a new chapter globally as to how the nation state, in this case being managed indirectly through a union thereof in the form of the European Union, will manage taxation of transnational corporations.
Bitcoin has also been in the news recently because of a court decision in which the crypto currency was declared not to be a real currency (http://phys.org/news/2016-08-bitcoin-money-victory-backers.html), disappointing citizens concerned with regulating the phenomenon after a series of hacking thefts, black market online dealing, money laundering, etc.
The court decision is one with which I agree, as currency is a medium of exchange that is founded on the support of the sovereign authority of the nation state. So, the real question as to Bitcoin, is how do governments regulate its use. I’m not an expert on the specifics of how the exchanges work, but from a theoretical perspective, it is clear that nation states must at the very least prohibit the use of Bitcoin and other forms of crypto currency by corporations, and tax the usage between individuals in real currency.
Bitcoins are essentially created out of thin air (OK, electrons, technically speaking), and the only thing that facilitates their use is security on interlinked c communication networks. It takes substantial time and effort to “mine” (I think “cyber mint” would be a better term) Bitcoins, but huge transnational corporations have the resources to do so, whereas not many individuals have the time or money for that.
It has become painfully obvious that translational corporations owe allegiance o no nation state. The fact that capital is capable of easily crossing borders presented serious regulatory and law enforcement problems even before the appearance of the so-called crypto currencies represented by Bitcoin.
When the Mt. Gox embezzlement case happened in Tokyo, it was immediately suspicious, and intelligence agencies and organized crime involvement seemed likely. The CIA and Wall St. connection has become painfully apparent through my personal experiences here, and the broader schema of the interdependencies between the international intelligence agencies and the translational finance sector and corporations (and did I mention organized crime?) is gradually being brought into focus with a higher resolution.
Others noted the suspicious handling of the Mt. Gox case at the time, including, once again, D.C. based writer/consultant Chris Beck (http://www.splicetoday.com/digital/the-puzzling-case-of-former-bitcoin-hero-mark-karpeles), whom I learned about through the Chris Johnson blog post about Adelstein to which I’ve previously provided the link. With respect to Adelstein's pronouncements on the French national, Karpeles, that is the suspect in the Bitcoin embezzlement scam, Beck writes:
Fast forward to August 4, 2015, where on the Japan Subculture Research Center website (Adelstein's personal blog), you can read that, while Karpeles was being detained for questioning by Japanese police, Adelstein was taking care of his cats. As Adelstein awkwardly put it, he was his "pussy manager." You can also learn that Adelstein has been writing a book about Karpeles. I wonder who the main source for the book will be?
I'm not aware of many investigative journalists who refer to themselves as the "pussy manager" of a suspect in a major cyber-crime—a person the public (not to mention the victims who had their money stolen) expects them to be investigating. Someone who may yet turn out to be the culprit in the disappearance of every one of those 850,000 bitcoins.
On his personal blog, Adelstein recently wrote: "It's clear that Mark Karpeles’ management of Mt.Gox was sloppy and security was poor." That's as hard as he's willing to go. Seems like those two are tight now, and I've got the cat pics to prove it. I'll sure know what reporter to turn to if I ever start feeling I've lost my objectivity and start to think Karpeles is a really bad guy.
As I have encountered criminal conduct from CIA officers personally, it seems that the only way that Karpeles could have gotten away with the stuff documented by Beck is if he were a French intelligence officer in the DGSE.
In any case, of more general concern is the possible trend of Bitcoin becoming an accepted medium for so-called “ecommerce” transactions conducted internationally. In this article from 2014 featuring Riney cohort (and claimed co-founder of ResuPress) Takuro Mizobe (溝部拓郎) (http://www.coindesk.com/japanese-bitcoin-growth-continues-new-e-commerce-platform/, which was derived from this website: http://bitcoinminingpro.com/bitcoin-news/japanese-bitcoin-growth-continues-with-new-e-commerce-platform/), the push for domestic use in Japan is apparent:
Takuro Mizobe, one of Coincheck's lead engineers, told CoinDesk the company was in negotiations with several online merchants who had contacted the company, looking for the marketing edge they would potentially gain by accepting bitcoin.He said:
"As you might know, the number of people who have bitcoin hasn't been scaled in Japan, and they are lacking knowledge of cryptocurrencies. For this reason, [Coincheck's] all-in-one service and brands are user-friendly and accessible [...] Having all of bitcoin ecosystem services in house [is] quite advantageous against competition."
Mizobe said Japan's massive content industry, that includes manga, anime and games, offered enormous opportunities for bitcoin – especially in terms of micropayments. According to a report by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), that industry was worth a whopping ¥12 trillion ($111.3bn) in 2012.
From the TEAM page:
Takuro Mizobe Managing Director
An offhand translation of the Japanese text follows:
From 2010 I worked for Pixiv, Inc., as a web application developer.
Then, my dream was to develop Nintendo DS software, but I found something more interesting than video games, and entered a foreign investment bank.
At ResuPress, I am participating as a developer.There is some other archived inforamtion I have to go through, which includes the short story called "F**ck the boring resume" Mizobe tells about the launch of ResuPress, here: http://web.archive.org/web/20131026143653/http://storys.jp/story/204
But it is clear that I will be addressing Mizobe, Otsuka, and others on the posts about Riney, so I am uploading this note as is. I should note that there are several such "stories" to read from the archives of the Storys.JP website by the early "team" members of ResuPress.