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Author Topic: Is Bitcoin Legal to use worldwide or in the USA?  (Read 4977 times)
steelhouse
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April 17, 2011, 06:42:58 PM
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Is bitcoin legal to have and use?  I think I read in the past it is legal to have your own currency in the United States.  Ithaca and Madison Hours is an an example.  It is not legal tender and legal tender laws do not apply.  If bitcoin is legal to use is there any risk of the government shutting down bitcoin?  Today, many in poker think it is legal to be played overseas and to transfer money from the site to your bank account.  The DOJ said no.  There are tons of online currencies, paypal dollars, 2nd life $L Linden dollars (their servers are in the USA), ...

However, this also does not prevent a hacker or government from trying to take the system down for the fun of it.

 
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Timo Y
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April 17, 2011, 06:56:19 PM
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Who cares?

The world is full of idiotic laws that make all sorts of everyday activities illegal, but people do them anyhow.

The important question is not whether Bitcoin is illegal but to what extent legislation applicable to Bitcoin is enforceable.

De facto, that's all that matters.
 

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RonnieP
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April 18, 2011, 04:36:42 AM
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Who cares?

The world is full of idiotic laws that make all sorts of everyday activities illegal, but people do them anyhow.

The important question is not whether Bitcoin is illegal but to what extent legislation applicable to Bitcoin is enforceable.


Exactly. Is speeding legal? Jay-walking? Certain sexual positions? Not everywhere, but who cares or pays attention?
If your action hurts no one, don't worry:)
Syke
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April 18, 2011, 05:29:30 AM
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Is bitcoin legal to have and use?
Of course it is legal. Bitcoin is hardly the only virtual currency around.

Buy & Hold
barbarousrelic
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April 18, 2011, 12:59:44 PM
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Yes it is legal to trade things for Bitcoin. Just as it is legal to trade cheddar cheese, lemonade, shiny shells, or firewood for things, so long as you do not claim they are legal tender (and that they differ in appearance from US legal tender by enough of a degree to convince a jury. I don't think this will be an issue for Bitcoin.)

However, in the US you are legally required to pay tax on any income or capital gains you may get through Bitcoin, based on their US dollar value.

Do not waste your time debating whether Bitcoin can work. It does work.

"Early adopters will profit" is not a sufficient condition to classify something as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. If it was, Apple and Microsoft stock are Ponzi schemes.

There is no such thing as "market manipulation." There is only buying and selling.
MarcelloM
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April 18, 2011, 01:10:10 PM
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Here in Italy is illegal to use different currencies than euro. You can't trade .. cheese (following your example) otherwise the government would have no means for calculating taxes. If I gave you 1Kg of cheese for 2kg of fish we 2 would be happy but the government would be unable to tax us. Barter is illegal.. it's tollerated on a small level. I bet is the same in US. But .. this is the point of BITCOIN.... Fuck The Government !!!
Alex Beckenham
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April 18, 2011, 01:11:02 PM
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definitely legal in less screwed-up countries (...Australia...)

Less screwed up? Please don't talk about my country that way. It's screwed up plenty, thank you.

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April 18, 2011, 04:28:03 PM
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If Bitcoin was made illegal, it would seem that a range of other digital currencies would be affected as well such as the Facebook credit, Linden dollar and Eve Online's isk. So hopefully there would be some big actors with deep pockets ready to both lobby and go to court to throw out any law threatening the digital economy.

Of course, the government has deeper pockets than anyone and if they believe for a moment they're losing their inflationary powers they'll take action even against Facebook, I imagine.

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April 18, 2011, 04:38:52 PM
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First BitCoin, doesn't "itself" promote the exchange. People have done that. So in reality, it should be worse than all those "Store Cards", ie WalMart, ITunes, OutBack, BestBuy, etc..  Which is a one way transaction from cash to store credit. That alone puts the Wal-Mart card as the best bang for your buck.

So if they "outlaw" BitCoin, the cards would have to go too.  However, they could outlaw the exchanges. Which would make BitCoin a oneway transaction and on parity with the dollar. If other countries follow suit, it would be on parity with their currency, and then we are back where we started. BitCoin as a transactional currency.

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tomcollins
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April 18, 2011, 05:07:36 PM
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Here in Italy is illegal to use different currencies than euro. You can't trade .. cheese (following your example) otherwise the government would have no means for calculating taxes. If I gave you 1Kg of cheese for 2kg of fish we 2 would be happy but the government would be unable to tax us. Barter is illegal.. it's tollerated on a small level. I bet is the same in US. But .. this is the point of BITCOIN.... Fuck The Government !!!

Barter is legal in the US, although you are supposed to pay taxes on it.
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