Say there is a cryptocurrency whose issuers use electronic signatures issued by the government to prevent Sybil attacks (identity forging) to the voting mechanism when new currency units are created. The identity of currency issuers is pseudonymous to the general public but the issuers can be exactly identified by the government.

Lets assume the cryptocurrency is reliable and gets widely adopted among the public. After some time someone commits a crime using the cryptocurrency as a medium (maybe to pay for a murder etc.). Can the original currency issuers be judged for accessory (helping to commit crime) since they were the origin of the money? There may be many transactions from money creation to the final criminal. The transactions may either be pseudonymous (=traceable, like bitcoin) or fully anonymous. The type of transactions may be set before the cryptocurrency is created.

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    How exactly would this be different from holding the official whose signature is on a banknote accountable if the note was used in a crime? – Tim Lymington Dec 21 '17 at 18:12
  • Yes I too think these 2 situations are the same but I am not a lawyer. Does transaction anonymity level play a role here? If transactions were 100% anonymous then issuer could not prove he did not do the crime? – Kozuch Dec 21 '17 at 18:19
  • I.m not sure whether you're asking about philosophy or law, and what crime you think might be committed. Voting to close until you clarify (and showing some research wouldn't hurt). – Tim Lymington Dec 21 '17 at 18:43
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on politics.stackexchange.com – BlueDogRanch Dec 21 '17 at 18:50
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    If the government is actually issuing certificates for the purpose of use in cryptocurrency, they'd have a hard time arguing that the miners were then criminally liable for using those certificates for their intended purpose. – D M Dec 21 '17 at 18:59

Here are the suggested federal jury instructions for aiding and abetting:

To "aid and abet" means intentionally to help someone else commit a crime. To establish aiding and abetting, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

First, that someone else committed the charged crime; and

Second, that [defendant] consciously shared the other person's knowledge of the underlying criminal act, intended to help [him/her], and [willfully] took part in the endeavor, seeking to make it succeed.

[Defendant] need not perform the underlying criminal act, be present when it is performed, or be aware of the details of its execution to be guilty of aiding and abetting. But a general suspicion that an unlawful act may occur or that something criminal is happening is not enough. Mere presence at the scene of a crime and knowledge that a crime is being committed are also not sufficient to establish aiding and abetting.

[An act is done "willfully" if done voluntarily and intentionally with the intent that something the law forbids be done - that is to say with bad purpose, either to disobey or disregard the law.]

Based on this, I would say a miner would not be guilty. They would have no more than a "general suspicion that an unlawful act may occur" at most, and that's not enough.

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