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Author Topic: Reminder: you can and should abort in-person currency trades at any time  (Read 5468 times)
bg002h
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October 21, 2012, 11:03:40 PM
 #21

No, I was going to sell coins for CHF, not buy them. The amount in question was 100 CHF, which is about the same in dollars. It's not enough to do much of anything.

The fact that a supposed drug seller was wanting to acquire Bitcoins is one of the inconsistencies I mentioned. Presumably the problem people like that would have is selling Bitcoins for fiat.


That’s what I thought you were talking about. With due respect to your answers about image Mike C my question still remains. Does anyone know what the legal responsibility is or if there have ever been any cases internationally where a money exchanger not affiliated with a bank was convicted because he knew what the exchanged currency would be used for? Does the exchanger have any liability?

They have busted exchangers that dealt with online fraud rings like the guy who owns VFS an exchanger ratings site. They also went after people who accepted cash from cartels who then later wrote cheques for as little as $500 to a front in Mexico to launder it.


Do you have a link? If that’s true then the community should support the elimination of all in person currency exchange because there is no way for you to ever know what will be purchased with the exchanged money. It’s probably not even safe to give panhandlers money on the street because they could be buying heroine with it.

The government is going to want people to think that it is illegal to sell bitcoins just like it's illegal to sell drugs. It's no different than giving the panhandler money, however, the truth will be difficult for most people to tell apart.

Hardfork aren't that hard.
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October 22, 2012, 02:57:55 AM
 #22

Money is a technological information tool for deferring the exchange of goods ... medium of exchange, store of value, unit of account (all of that). It leads to all kinds of wondrous benefits for humanity, such as efficient market pricing, division of labour and etc, etc too numerous to mention. It was never designed to be a tool for "catching the bad guys". What is so difficult to understand about this simple concept?

Trying to shoehorn into the design of money hooks to turn into a tool of law enforcement will inevitably creating a deficient, inferior, compromised product that sucks at being good money (as defined above).

People on park benches talking about using meager sums to traffic drugs from USA to EU probably shouldn't be taken at all seriously, or no more seriously than some whacked out zombie from needle-park. People on the streets say all kinds of thing that have absolutely zero standing in any decent court of law, or public opinion. Good for a laugh, but really how do you know what anyone says in your presence is factual unless you have some independent knowledge of the proof of their claims??

Dragging KYC 'concerns' into local bitcoin exchanges seems like a stretch. I just trust no-one, money talks, BS walks.

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October 22, 2012, 05:23:54 AM
 #23

I disagree with my bud ~cypherdoc that anyone should stay away from person-2-person transactions no matter what their position.  This largely because I feel it important to 'work out the bugs' of doing such transactions absent functional exchanges.  Just in case.

That said, it would obviously make sense to be as careful as possible, particularly since BTC is useful for criminals and (possibly) of increasing interest to law enforcement.  Since my BTC and other assets tend to be pretty static I've not done any person-2-person BTC transactions but I intend to if/when I wish to liquidate some BTC (but will likely buy on an exchange if I buy more BTC and the exchanges remain viable.)  Thus, I've put some thought into how I would do things and it is along the lines as follows:

 - outline and document in detail with the other party how things should go ahead of time.  Including:

   - we meet in place which has good video surveillance, security staff, and other people around.  A large corporate campus would be swell, particularly if it is near a bank.
   - I send x-BTC to an address of other's choice (likely something like Instawallet so transactions are reliable without waiting for confirmations.)
   - other gives me {x} $$$  (likely a function of Mt. Gox spot price.)
   - I send another {x} BTC
   - other hands over some more fiat.
   - etc, etc, until transaction is complete.
   - say goodbye.

The step-wise nature of the transaction limites losses should one party run.  Now due to this note, add one more bullet point to the outline.

 - neither party says a peep about anything not necessary for the transaction.  If we want to meet up for a beer several hours later and talk about politics, drugs, guns, etc, fine and good.  My USD will be tucked into bed well before that.  And if the transaction goes the other way, my BTC will similarly be squirreled away in cold storage.


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October 22, 2012, 08:06:37 AM
 #24

Question:  What if on your website or an email signature you say something like...'I do not sell bitcoins to people participating in illegal activities.'

That hopefully should filter out people when you meet them.

Also you could add 'I sell up to $100 in bitcoins.'  Thoughts?
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October 22, 2012, 09:13:49 AM
 #25

It is illegal to aid and abet a criminal. Selling bitcoins claims to a known drug dealer would be a form of aiding and hence criminal.

This assertion is very poorly thought-out, and frankly wrong.  Selling groceries, for instance, to a "known drug dealer" is not a crime, even though groceries might be considered a form of "aid".

Selling Bitcoins, or anything really, with the knowledge that they would be used in the commission of a crime could be illegal.  But it depends largely on the circumstances.

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October 22, 2012, 07:20:04 PM
 #26

So, you met with a cop who was trying to entrap you...

Oh sure ... law enforcement trying to entrap someone?   Like what you see on TV?  That doesn't really happen, does it?

- http://www.ktvb.com/news/134150428.html


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October 22, 2012, 07:26:09 PM
 #27

So, you met with a cop who was trying to entrap you...

Oh sure ... law enforcement trying to entrap someone?   Like what you see on TV?  That doesn't really happen, does it?

- http://www.ktvb.com/news/134150428.html



Ofcourse it never really happens. Rumours, just rumours Roll Eyes

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October 22, 2012, 07:51:57 PM
 #28

I haven't done any in person trade, so how does it work? does the person hand you the cash first? or do you send them the BTC first?

btc: 15sFnThw58hiGHYXyUAasgfauifTEB1ZF6
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October 22, 2012, 08:39:07 PM
 #29

I haven't done any in person trade, so how does it work? does the person hand you the cash first? or do you send them the BTC first?

If it is just an over-the-counter (OTC) transaction, like from an offer to buy on Craigslist, then you'll want to make sure to meet in a public place.

LocalBitcoins suggests:

Quote
Remember to propose meeting place
Good meeting places are public cafes and restaurants with wifi-connection.

With LocalBitcoins, they have this "Transactions" feature which works as an EWallet with additional useful features for doing face-to-face trades (e.g., after releasing the bitcoins to your account, the seller is sent an SMS text message with the release code that was previously known only to you.)

As far as cash first or BTC first, it probably works best when the buyer presents the cash  and counts it.  The terms of the trade are verified, and then the bitcoins are sent.  Upon receipt of the coins the buyer then hands over the cash and the trade is complete.

Of course, this gives the opportunity for the buyer to run off without handing over the cash.  If that is a concern you as the seller may wish to ask for someone to witness the sale, or perhaps even have an intermediary hold onto the buyer's cash before sending the coins.

The recommendations from the wiki are still valid:

Quote
Make sure both parties agree to the terms of the trade with signed messages
This allows either party to go public if the trade has become sour and stops your trading partner from claiming the details of the agreement were somehow different.
(now a face-to-face trade doesn't have to be GPG signed, but an invoice reviewed in advance would be the equivalent)
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Secure_Trading

As a buyer in a face-to-face trade that is not being done through LocalBitcoins.com, you might want to consider the risk of a double spend from a 0/unconfirmed transaction -- especially for any transactions that are for larger amounts.    These are relatively rare and hard to successfully pull off, but if a $500 wad of cash is at stake, you might want to wait until there is at least one confirmation first before completing the trade.

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October 22, 2012, 08:51:26 PM
 #30

I disagree with my bud ~cypherdoc that anyone should stay away from person-2-person transactions no matter what their position.  This largely because I feel it important to 'work out the bugs' of doing such transactions absent functional exchanges.  Just in case.

That said, it would obviously make sense to be as careful as possible, particularly since BTC is useful for criminals and (possibly) of increasing interest to law enforcement.  Since my BTC and other assets tend to be pretty static I've not done any person-2-person BTC transactions but I intend to if/when I wish to liquidate some BTC (but will likely buy on an exchange if I buy more BTC and the exchanges remain viable.)  Thus, I've put some thought into how I would do things and it is along the lines as follows:

 - outline and document in detail with the other party how things should go ahead of time.  Including:

   - we meet in place which has good video surveillance, security staff, and other people around.  A large corporate campus would be swell, particularly if it is near a bank.
   - I send x-BTC to an address of other's choice (likely something like Instawallet so transactions are reliable without waiting for confirmations.)
   - other gives me {x} $$$  (likely a function of Mt. Gox spot price.)
   - I send another {x} BTC
   - other hands over some more fiat.
   - etc, etc, until transaction is complete.
   - say goodbye.

The step-wise nature of the transaction limites losses should one party run.  Now due to this note, add one more bullet point to the outline.

 - neither party says a peep about anything not necessary for the transaction.  If we want to meet up for a beer several hours later and talk about politics, drugs, guns, etc, fine and good.  My USD will be tucked into bed well before that.  And if the transaction goes the other way, my BTC will similarly be squirreled away in cold storage.



my recommendation only applies to guys like MH; a dev, high visibility, excellent job at Google -> an excellent target to take down by law enforcement to damage Bitcoin.

everyone else is ok and i actually like your method of conducting a p2p exchange.  i'll have to sticky this method.
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October 22, 2012, 08:56:57 PM
 #31

That’s what I thought you were talking about. With due respect to your answers about image Mike C my question still remains. Does anyone know what the legal responsibility is or if there have ever been any cases internationally where a money exchanger not affiliated with a bank was convicted because he knew what the exchanged currency would be used for? Does the exchanger have any liability?

Generally speaking ... yes.  If you are aware your actions are in furtherance of a crime your "plausible deniability" is gone.  You "could" be charged with everything from receipt of stolen goods, laundering money, or even engaging in conspiracy for the furtherance of a criminal enterprise".  Now you not be prosecuted but you have crossed the line and now are merely hoping for the mercy of the state to keep you out of trouble.  The details of the scenario(s) will play a large part in the likelihood of an arrest.

TL/DR:
It is the difference between your friend giving you a good "deal" on an HDTV we doesn't want anymore and your buddy saying "dude I got this HDTV I just stole from the house down the street, want it for $300".   While you may be out $300 in either scenario, agreeing to the later is a crime (even if your "buddy" is an undercover cop).

Note the above post is just informational, always consult legal counsel for specific advice about your situation.
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October 22, 2012, 09:06:58 PM
 #32

You can also bring a weapon to the trade in legal jurisdictions.
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October 22, 2012, 09:55:45 PM
 #33

You can also bring a weapon to the trade in legal jurisdictions.

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October 22, 2012, 10:16:44 PM
 #34

You can also bring a weapon to the trade in legal jurisdictions.

My feelings about guns generally are that they mostly just cause more problems than they are worth.  Even though I have them and some training with them, I would go a long way not to use them in any circumstance.  Guns are not my first line of protection for anything, and I would not even consider bringing them to a BTC transaction.  I see almost no scenario where they would be useful (in part because I would only perform a transaction under well controlled conditions.)  I don't even concealed carry at this time because I feel that it limits the types of responses to certain types of events that I could legitimately undertake.  But that's a personal choice, and I can accept other people making a different one.  Fortunately (in my opinion) many people in most states in the US have the option.

Now perhaps you are talking about bringing weapons other than firearms to a Bitcoin transaction?  I'd probably avoid that as well, and for similar reasons.  It would be worthwhile to have a trusted observer hanging out in the same general area though, but this goes for any transaction which is similar.


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