The following post was originally posted on this thread by Friendlyprogrammer.
I have suggested this idea here many times, but I suppose I could have been more clear for some. A while back one of my comments was turned into a post about the future of Cheap energy if LENR (or something else) is successful.
I am not talking about a few people building it for themselves. I meant we will see an unprecedented amount of ecats in the black market, and not everyone will just be producing hundreds in their basements, there will be fully operational plants building black market units with automation and skilled workers.
This will happen for a few reasons. The first is that the ecat does not look very complicated. If we examine some of the earlier models they appeared to be simple pipe surrounded by lead and tin foil. Once a functional unit is torn apart everyone will know the exact dimensions of an efficient model.
Another reason that this will tear up the underground markets is that even if Rossi licensed a dozen manufacturers in every country (if he decides not to build them all himself in a Robot plant) they never would keep up with demand.
If you are looking at $500 to heat your house for the winter or you can buy an ecat from the laid off solar panel distributor down the street for $200, what would you do?
That doesn’t even include the electricity potentials of it. If an advanced ecat is put out that can create enough electricity to power a car or truck then there will be a demand for an extra 600 million as we all drive our gas guzzlers into the lake (or convert to hydrogen created on board).
Laws will not stop me from putting one in my house, car, boat, and even the police would all likely want one as quick as possible.
My age is showing here, but Cable television used to “scramble” their signals and subscribers needed to purchase a special descrambling box to watch HBO/Superchannels. Then somebody put out the pattern for a do it yourself $7 box that could be made yourself. Not many actually built this box, but those that did build them made hundreds and sold them for $50-$100. This is the type of thing that will happen if the ecat becomes easy to construct, and works well enough.
I enjoy writing and took law courses as an extension of my knowledge of English, so I am somewhat familiar with what is legal here.
I should also say this to Omega Z, as my building in basement comment also was misleading inferring I meant they would only build a few in their homes and for themselves. People will build them in their basements, but they will be doing it full time.
Let’s now imagine that the government actually cared about the blackmarket ecats and wanted to stop their sale because too much taxes are being lost. How would you suggest they do it?
Imagine a hundred shipping containers arrived in port from china filled with fake ecats. What is illegal? The Chinese shipper could call them flower pots and nobody could say otherwise. They could even stick a plant in one to prove it.
Are they going to make metal/lead containers contraband?
Even the ingredients cannot be made illegal.
Operator: Hello 911
Snitch: Yeah I saw my friend with a bag of powdered Nickel
Operator: (click from hanging up phone)
Rossi’s best hope would be to license as many people as possible and keep the price low. Sell a holographic sticker that can be attached like Microsoft puts on any windows based computer.
If you use rational thought, you will see stopping blackmarket “containers” might seem foolish.