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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Petition-LETTER to regulator Ben Lawsky of NY "The World is Watching on Bitcoin" on: February 06, 2014, 01:18:07 AM

2  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Petition-LETTER to regulator Ben Lawsky of NY "The World is Watching on Bitcoin" on: February 05, 2014, 09:30:07 PM
Something like this letter is also an example...with one person sending it it may not be read....with 500 or 1000 signatures it will likely be read.
3  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Petition-LETTER to regulator Ben Lawsky of NY "The World is Watching on Bitcoin" on: February 05, 2014, 08:35:07 PM

Remember to keep yourselves decentralized.  Bitcoin does not need a spokesperson or foundation.  
It will proceed with, or without approval or permission from folks like Lawsky.  

Creation of organizations dedicated to the progress of Bitcoin are nothing more than hobbies of those who found them.
They are not needed, and likely will be unwelcomed in the long term, even within the Bitcoin community.

Everything starts with good intentions, but the necessity for decentralization should not be ignored.
Any single point of failure in the bitcoin ecosystem only weakens the possibilities for Bitcoin.


I disagree with that a bit.

For example, next month I'll be back in the Mid East where I've done a ton of work over the last 10+ years.

If I go meet a Central Bank on behalf of "me, myself and I" a guy who really loves Bitcoin it doesn't have any weight and show any commitment or focus.   At least when done in the name of an organization it shows some focus and plan.

Now some would say it's not worth meeting central bankers -- but these are the guys who can simply ban Bitcoin in the country and make life very difficult for anyone attempting to do anything.

Same here...someone like Lawsky has a great deal of power to harm Bitcoin and if governments take a hard line it means more people charged with crimes, more fear, less adoption, less innovation.

Whether we like it or not there will be spokespeople -- our only choice is whether it's people we choose or people someone who hates Bitcoin chooses.   Professor "Bitcorn" Williams from the NY hearing is working hard to promote himself as a leading authority on Bitcoin....speaking circuit etc.

It seems there is value in a counter voice to that that comes in an organized manner in addition to all the one-off voices who might not be heard.
4  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Petition-letter to regulator Ben Lawsky of NY "The World is Watching on Bitcoin" on: February 05, 2014, 05:01:11 PM
The quote is at 57:00, I can't figure out who the regulator is though...
I don't think my long and detailed explanation is necessary.  I think just a sentence or two will suffice.  Maybe:

"In contrast to the comments made by Mr.  XXX (day 1, time 57:00) about how startups are created, the reality of the very early stage startup is that it often operates without funding or investors.  Venture capitalists often enter after a business model has proven itself in the local market to drive it nation or worldwide.  To require even 50k in regulatory fees or excessive time burden is going to eliminate startups like Intel and Facebook (which began in a garage and a dorm room, respectively) and perhaps more importantly, this barrier to entry will grant essentially a monopoly on Bitcoin startups to well-funded VCs at the expense of the individual hard-working entrepreneur.  Rather than face this burden, these very-early-phase startups will simply incorporate in another jurisdiction."

Good stuff, thanks
5  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Petition-LETTER to regulator Ben Lawsky of NY "The World is Watching on Bitcoin" on: February 05, 2014, 04:12:32 PM
Is membership only for ny people?

yes, otherwise you are not allowed to participate in this petition I think

No no, definitely not.  It's open to anyone -- I'm the author and do not live in NY -- this affects everyone in America and therefor ultimately the world.   

When you sign you can say where you are from....certainly New Yorkers, followed by other Americans have the most affect on influencing NY regulators but this is a national and global issue and I think that even people outside the US have some affect on regulatory decisions.
6  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Petition-LETTER to regulator Ben Lawsky of NY "The World is Watching on Bitcoin" on: February 05, 2014, 03:29:34 PM
Excellent letter.

You asked for typo's etc. The only one I have seen is in this section below.

Existing laws preventing computer hacking and violations of physical security related to Bitcoin holding companies and individuals involved Bitcoin are areas that most of us would be happy to see solid enforcement action on.

Perhaps it should say involved in Bitcoin.

Sorry for being picky mate.

I'll sign it too.


Thank you, not picky at all....I'm amazed there are not many more!
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Petition-letter to regulator Ben Lawsky of NY "The World is Watching on Bitcoin" on: February 05, 2014, 02:00:53 PM
Good letter, I'll sign it soon.

Thank you!
8  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Petition-letter to regulator Ben Lawsky of NY "The World is Watching on Bitcoin" on: February 05, 2014, 01:08:05 PM
Exactly!  Those two comments bothered me as well.

We included the 1000 flowers comment in the letter.

The other point would be great to include as well if we had space.

It's so odd for a regulator to suggest that as a solution to the massive burdens of regulation "oh, just have venture capitalists pick the best businesses and fund them"

First off all it's terrible business....VCs have enough risks without adding $2-3 million on regulatory costs which offer no ROI, second it discriminates against small and lifestyle businesses ...which are BY FAR the biggest employers in the US and the world.   Very wrongheaded thinking.
9  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Petition-LETTER to regulator Ben Lawsky of NY "The World is Watching on Bitcoin" on: February 05, 2014, 11:01:18 AM
A group of Bitcoiners and I have created a new non-profit organization called the Bitcoin Financial Association.

One of our first tasks is a letter to Mr. Ben Lawsky of NY.

Please read and sign if you agree.

(Also, please advise about any tips or typos etc.)

ALSO-  please join the association .....if you use member code BruceFB you will receive a free / 100% discount....obviously no credit card required.
10  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: DFS Hearing, Takeaway Thusfar on: January 28, 2014, 09:00:28 PM
Session 2 is ridiculous....100% of the panel in favor of regulation.

I'm investing a lot of time, money and energy in this and would prefer to see anyone in session two who comes close to representing my views.
11  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Bitcoin Middle East Conference -- Call for Speakers and Info on the region on: January 28, 2014, 07:39:40 PM

I've done a lot of work in the Mid East over the last few years -- I'm setting up some meetups and also planning a conference for later in the year.

(I've worked as an advisor to the Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, large investment groups, foundations etc. and have lived in Saudi Arabia, Dubai etc.)

Couple things the forum might help with:

- early "call for speakers" for an upcoming Gulf conference
- suggestions for speakers
- anyone who happens to be from or connected to the Gulf please let me know
- if anyone has questions on the business environment etc., let me know

Anyone interested in the Gulf states or with any questions about doing things there, please let me know.

The one question I know people have is what the reaction to  Bitcoin is's mixed and very early yet.  Some interest, everyone has read about it, few adopters yet.

12  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Fork The Blockchain And Block The Seized FBI Coins. on: January 27, 2014, 08:00:51 PM
And when one country is at war with another and one seizes Bitcoin from a person in the other country.....everyone in one country will want to fork the other guy.

If Al Qaida gets coins should we folk them?   If Russia's version of the FBI seizes some the same way?

Do we have an annual voting system about which ones to fork and burn?
13  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: How to Generate and Use a STRONG Bitcoin Password / Pasphrase on: January 27, 2014, 06:27:56 PM
The length/strength of your password wont mean shit if you've got a keylogger.

That's excellent, I've had 1000 coins on Mt Gox for a while with password 12345 which someone told me was bad, I've now changed the password to ySpx262.  I understand perfectly, thank you.


Seriously, good post, thanks
14  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin in Africa on: January 21, 2014, 01:56:32 PM

Please join the conversation if you are here in Africa and abroad so that we can grow on the same level playing fields.

I'd like to get in touch with anyone working on this.  I'm an economic advisor with an investment company and one of my clients is one of the worlds largest foundations which deals with the poor.   I've had some informal conversations about a Bitcoin with them and some others and think this area has a lot of potential.
15  Economy / Economics / Re: How and why to hold bitcoins in your Roth IRA (yes, you can do it today!) on: January 20, 2014, 01:24:09 PM

Does the IRS really have it set up that way, such that if you're audited, you're guilty until proven innocent?

That's the away it is with other things:  if I deduct a home office or the costs of employees, contractors, business trios etc....and they choose to audit they presume guilt until you can prove otherwise.   The more complex the thing, the more proof required.

I would rather steer clear.

I wish this would work, I really do.  I haven't done IRAs of any kind for probably 5 years or so...I used to do them all the time.  If I could confidently depend that a system like this would work I'd do it today, have a huge press release that our firm accepts Bitcoins in IRAs.....I bet we'd open 10,000 new accounts in a week
16  Economy / Economics / Re: How and why to hold bitcoins in your Roth IRA (yes, you can do it today!) on: January 20, 2014, 02:44:28 AM
This is what I'm saying....not suggesting one mix assets, I'm saying that someone could and the IRS knows that which is why they are extremely strict on these's a super red flag and almost certain audit which will require the owner to basically prove all of the above things didn't occur.

At the very least it would require a very good level of accounting etc.

That's all I'm saying.  I used to do a ton of work with IRAs....I've never seen this work ever, other than for the very wealthy.   I've seen lots of people try but never seen anyone do it right for a decent period of time and not have major trouble / headache.

Small businesses, closely held businesses, non public stock, real estate / income property, metals etc. there is huge demand for this from many many people.   

I guess the question to ask is if you've ever seen anyone do this successfully over a few can also ask accountants and lawyers. 
17  Economy / Economics / Re: How and why to hold bitcoins in your Roth IRA (yes, you can do it today!) on: January 19, 2014, 11:44:55 PM

Simply not true.  Major investment firms do not do this for a couple of reasons.  One is the risk of being trustee on an assets they can't "control", like a mutual fund or stock.  Two is fees.  You can charge an IRA fee for holding alternative assets but its a lot harder to convince an investor to pay an asset management fee when all Morgan Stanley, Goldman etc is doing is providing an IRA.

I think people would gladly pay -- there is huge demand out there.

I looked into this for years when I was doing retail investments -- the main challenge is that the accounting is nearly impossible -- if the IRA LLC buys a small apartment building, separating the expenses of repairs, upkeep, income from rents etc. in a way that satisfies the IRS is very tough.

For Bitcoin the challenges would be great as well....suppose someone put those bitcoin in MtGox through the IRA LLC....then traded.....they could easily jury rig the trades so all profitable trades were accounted to the IRA and all unprofitable ones accounted to a regular account.....then they'd have a large loss in the taxable account and the IRA would have all the (tax deffered) gains.   The only way the IRS could be satisfied that this wasn't the case is to 1) receive an audit of the owners Mt Gox account and 2) audit the other related accounts of that person --- if there are transfers back and forth from Coinbase etc. it's even harder.

Make it more simple:  suppose Joes IRA LLC only buys and holds and that's it..... if he bought Bitcoin for $134, $300, $800 and $900 during 2013.... what is to prevent him from claiming all purchases at $134 and ignoring the $900?

Better yet.....Steve is a brilliant free state guy.....he bought $10,000 worth of Bitcoin at $10 and he has an existing IRA LLC for his real estate business.....what's to stop him TODAY when he files his taxes on claiming those were done on behalf of his IRA

Better yet, how about someone finding someone with Bitcoin they've held for a couple years and making a dummy receipt from Jan 5, 2013 payable to the person from the LLC.

The big firms always want a way to make a buck....if they could they would for sure at least offer it.

I've never ever seen it work other than for ultra wealthy.
18  Economy / Economics / Re: How and why to hold bitcoins in your Roth IRA (yes, you can do it today!) on: January 19, 2014, 04:28:41 PM

Perhaps those who have already done it are trying to keep it a secret.  Maybe they're afraid if too many people start doing it, the IRS will change the rules and disallow it.

If there was a way to do it a major investment firm would do it and make billions of dollars in a week.

19  Economy / Securities / Re: If you own 3000 or more Bitcoin, Wall Street wants your advice on: January 19, 2014, 04:20:14 PM

It's not nearly as hard to own bitcoins in an IRA as this post suggests.  For about $1,500 and a small amount of effort, you can have a company like Broad Financial set up an IRA LLC for you, which allows you to invest IRA funds directly in bitcoins or a wide variety of other investments.

I'd be super cautious of the Broad Financial option....there are many similar companies which have come and's not easy to research them to get a comfort level with thier quality...The site doesn't even have much info about the company.

I've seen hundreds of people try this but never actually seen it work for anyone.

The challenge lies in the actual implementation.   Sure anyone can follow IRS regs and set up a compliance LLC to be invested in an IRA....but the actual implementation is the killer.    Who is the custodian?  Who does the accounting?  How do you segregate bitcoins out?

I might be wrong but I've never, ever seen it work for anyone other than the ultra rich through specialized family offices.

There is a HUGE market for these kinds of fully self directed IRAs for people to buy real estate etc. -- the reason NO major firm (like Fidelity, Schwab or Merrill) has ever done one is because NONE have been able to figure out how to do it.   It would be a huge profit area for any firm who did so.   I don't trust the small companies who say they have figured it out.
20  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: This months plan - [ Boycotting the FBI Coins ] on: January 14, 2014, 01:49:27 AM
A Bitcoin proponent saying he wants to be the first to block certain coins is like a free speech proponent saying he wants to be the first to censor something.

We don't need blocks, blacklists, whitelists, labels or bans.

We already have what we need:  math.

If the recipient of Bitcoin can solve the math, they get the coin.  Period.  End of story.

Opening the door to ban lists is a door open for major banks and regulators to do the same.
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