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Author Topic: [BTC-TC] Virtual Community Exchange [CLOSED]  (Read 315984 times)
drawingthesun
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September 23, 2013, 02:25:38 PM
 #2281

It seems highly unlikely to me that he's been told to close down by the SEC or any LE.  Were that to have happened then closure would have been more of a case of pulling the plug out than the gradual winding down that has been announced.  This feels far more like being told to stop by his own lawyers than a cease-and-desist or seizure by some government agency - they don't give you a month to sort things out in, they want immediate cessation of activity.

This sounds spot on. If it was the SEC they wouldn't allow an illegal exchange to continue operating for another month.

Deprived I have a question if you would be kind enough to answer.

What process would have Burnside had to go through to make the exchange legal?

Because exchanges are able to run in the USA. So I am sure there must be a path to create a legal compliant exchange.

Do you have any idea?
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stereotype
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September 23, 2013, 02:26:13 PM
 #2282

Let me explain what the most likely scenario is - and what the answers are then to your question and some other common ones...

If I were a bettin' man, I'd bet that Deprived has nailed this explanation correctly in almost every detail.

Agreed. Just wondering what the catalyst could have been. Labcoin, possibly? (rhetorical question).
Rannasha
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September 23, 2013, 02:28:53 PM
 #2283

Let me explain what the most likely scenario is - and what the answers are then to your question and some other common ones...

If I were a bettin' man, I'd bet that Deprived has nailed this explanation correctly in almost every detail.

Agreed. Just wondering what the catalyst could have been. Labcoin, possibly? (rhetorical question).

Burnside has been consulting legal experts for a while now. If the closure is due to them recommending it, then it has nothing to do with Labcoin.
Puppet
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September 23, 2013, 02:33:33 PM
 #2284

Because exchanges are able to run in the USA. So I am sure there must be a path to create a legal compliant exchange.

Do you have any idea?

I guess the first question would be how do you ensure the securities being exchanged are compliant. At the very least they would have to be registered (or fall under one the exemption rules, but not many would be applicable AFAICS). IMHO, the issuers of these securities run a greater legal risk than the operator of the exchange.

Maybe something can be done in the framework of this new crowd funding legislation, but i havent read up on it yet.
Herp
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September 23, 2013, 02:35:00 PM
 #2285

Let me explain what the most likely scenario is - and what the answers are then to your question and some other common ones...

If I were a bettin' man, I'd bet that Deprived has nailed this explanation correctly in almost every detail.

Agreed. Just wondering what the catalyst could have been. Labcoin, possibly? (rhetorical question).

Burnside has been consulting legal experts for a while now. If the closure is due to them recommending it, then it has nothing to do with Labcoin.

He received an offer from someone in Netherlands to move whole exchange there. https://forum.litecoin.net/index.php/topic,551.960.html

Quote
Hello Burnside,


It has come to our attention that operating BTC/LTC Global in the U.S. is no longer possible. We would like to help preserve this valuable initiative. Currently the Lands of Sheraga have VPS's in the Netherlands that could be used to continue hosting the BTC/LTC virtual stock exchange. Placing BTC/LTC Global operations on to other servers may be a solution.

The Lands of Sheraga are a decentralized nation with an aerocratic government. We host our own public services in a decentralized manner. We would love to help save BTC/LTC Global. Please see  http://sheraga.nl  for more information about who/what the decentralized Lands of Sheraga are.

You may contact us by PM, RetroShare, or using the contact form of the website. If there's anything else we can do to help, please let us know.


Best regards,

Agent725 - Ghelderun Regent
Laume - Ghelderun Watcher


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pascal257
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September 23, 2013, 02:41:30 PM
 #2286

    • And he can't sell the exchange as a going concern to anyone else - because if his lawyers told him BTC-TC was illegal then they'd also have told him that he couldn't sell it (as a going concern) to anyone else.  It's a bit like if you'd been dealing drugs : your lawyer would very strongly advise you NOT to sell your stock to some other dealer.
    • He MAY be able to sell the code-base - as that isn't illegal.  But obviously he's not going to even consider doing that until the exchanges are fully shut down.
    He should make the code open source and just release it, that way someone with sufficient know-how may start a new exchange.

    I really hope we don't have to rely on BitFunder in the future, let's hope Havelock wins something out of this!
    pascal257
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    September 23, 2013, 02:44:30 PM
     #2287

    • And he can't sell the exchange as a going concern to anyone else - because if his lawyers told him BTC-TC was illegal then they'd also have told him that he couldn't sell it (as a going concern) to anyone else.  It's a bit like if you'd been dealing drugs : your lawyer would very strongly advise you NOT to sell your stock to some other dealer.
    • He MAY be able to sell the code-base - as that isn't illegal.  But obviously he's not going to even consider doing that until the exchanges are fully shut down.
    He should make the code open source and just release it, that way someone with sufficient know-how can start a new exchange.

    I really hope we don't have to rely on BitFunder in the future, let's hope Havelock wins something out of this!
    San1ty
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    September 23, 2013, 02:45:44 PM
     #2288

      • And he can't sell the exchange as a going concern to anyone else - because if his lawyers told him BTC-TC was illegal then they'd also have told him that he couldn't sell it (as a going concern) to anyone else.  It's a bit like if you'd been dealing drugs : your lawyer would very strongly advise you NOT to sell your stock to some other dealer.
      • He MAY be able to sell the code-base - as that isn't illegal.  But obviously he's not going to even consider doing that until the exchanges are fully shut down.
      He should make the code open source and just release it, that way someone with sufficient know-how can start a new exchange.

      I really hope we don't have to rely on BitFunder in the future, let's hope Havelock wins something out of this![/list]

      QFT! I had a look at BF, no way in hell I'll own any shares there... Go Havelock or Go Home.

      Found my posts helpful? Consider buying me a beer :-)!:
      BTC - 1San1tyUGhfWRNPYBF4b6Vaurq5SjFYWk NXT - 17063113680221230777
      Deprived
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      September 23, 2013, 02:53:12 PM
       #2289

        • And he can't sell the exchange as a going concern to anyone else - because if his lawyers told him BTC-TC was illegal then they'd also have told him that he couldn't sell it (as a going concern) to anyone else.  It's a bit like if you'd been dealing drugs : your lawyer would very strongly advise you NOT to sell your stock to some other dealer.
        • He MAY be able to sell the code-base - as that isn't illegal.  But obviously he's not going to even consider doing that until the exchanges are fully shut down.
        He should make the code open source and just release it, that way someone with sufficient know-how may start a new exchange.

        I really hope we don't have to rely on BitFunder in the future, let's hope Havelock wins something out of this!

        Selling the code is the only chance LTC-Global shareholders have of getting anything back.[/list]
        velacreations
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        September 23, 2013, 02:53:50 PM
         #2290

        2 questions:

        1. Why is the manual threshold still in place (can anyone get their coins out)?
        2. Why is there still a 0.0025 BTC fee reserve?

        Lohoris
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        September 23, 2013, 03:04:11 PM
         #2291

        He should make the code open source and just release it, that way someone with sufficient know-how may start a new exchange.
        And were's the profit in that?
        It's not like it coded itself, developing such a project takes a huge amount of hours.

        1LohorisJie8bGGG7X4dCS9MAVsTEbzrhu
        DefaultTrust is very BAD.
        bitzox
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        September 23, 2013, 03:10:30 PM
         #2292

        Maybe something can be done in the framework of this new crowd funding legislation, but i havent read up on it yet.

        That would require the SEC to get off their asses and finalize the crowd funding regulations.

        18QpV8ZF3Y4oK8guDQiwTAK73W9r5nvBtm
        Deprived
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        September 23, 2013, 03:11:41 PM
         #2293

        It seems highly unlikely to me that he's been told to close down by the SEC or any LE.  Were that to have happened then closure would have been more of a case of pulling the plug out than the gradual winding down that has been announced.  This feels far more like being told to stop by his own lawyers than a cease-and-desist or seizure by some government agency - they don't give you a month to sort things out in, they want immediate cessation of activity.

        This sounds spot on. If it was the SEC they wouldn't allow an illegal exchange to continue operating for another month.

        Deprived I have a question if you would be kind enough to answer.

        What process would have Burnside had to go through to make the exchange legal?

        Because exchanges are able to run in the USA. So I am sure there must be a path to create a legal compliant exchange.

        Do you have any idea?

        Well I'd say that, pretty obviously, his lawyers have told him there's NO practical way it can be turned into something legal.  That doesn't mean it's impossible to run a legal exchange - just that it's not possible to turn BTC-TC into one.  I don't think there's one simple reason why that's the case - it's a mix of a few things.  None of the things on their own are a problem - but put them all together and as soon as he hired a lawyer it was pretty obvious that at a minimum US investors (and probably issuers) would be getting the boot.

        1.  There was no restriction on who could use the exchange.  Neither in terms of a membership fee/referral system (making it private) or in terms of restricting access to those meeting certain criteria (such as $X in cash).
        2.  There was no AML/KYC process.
        3.  Despite the site claiming everything was virtual, many securities explicitly refer to USD in their contracts - including some with dividends and/or face values defined in fiat rather than BTC.
        4.  Some securities relate to real businesses/companies.
        5.  The site makes contradictory claims (and actions) in terms of due diligence conducted by the operator.

        The problem with trying to continue would largely be that MASSIVE work would be needed on some securities - and others would end up having to be delisted.  But if BTC-TC were to try to become 'legitimate' then it would no longer be able to claim protection against any losses incurred as a result of actions its operator took.  Continuing would gut the site (in terms of securities - and possibly of investors) and expose burnside not just to liability going forward but also liability for actions he'd taken in the past.  Which is another reason he won't be able to comment much about the legal advice he received - doing so could increase his liability.

        I believe he was naive believing the "it's a game" thing would work - but genuinely did his best to try to make it happen until he spoke to lawyers who likely just laughed at the idea.  I'm sure he'd LIKE to explain everything in detail but can't as it would be very risky for him to do so.

        Let's be clear about one thing here.  ALL of us who used the sites knew (or should have known) that the sites were, at best, in a bit of a grey area.  Trying to lump all the blame for that on burnside is totally unfair.  If he was naive then so was everyone else who acts all surprised now.  I'm not surprised nor do I blame him for what losses I'll make - that's the result of MY decision to 'gamble' NOT his decision to allow me to 'gamble'.  I'm mainly grateful that he's shutting down in an orderly fashion rather than the cluster-fuck/theft that occurred when GLBSE ended.
        killerstorm
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        September 23, 2013, 03:13:39 PM
         #2294

        • And once your lawyers have told you that you must not do something then you lose the ability to claim that you believe it to be OK.  As if your lawyers strongly advise you on a course of action and you choose not to follow it they are typically going to ask you sign a statement that they advised you NOT to do what you're doing - so their ass is covered.
        • He MAY be able to sell the code-base - as that isn't illegal.  But obviously he's not going to even consider doing that until the exchanges are fully shut down.

        Why can't he simply transfer everything to a different operator?

        E.g. suppose it was a forum. One could transfer post database and forum software to a different operator, no formal sale is necessary: he is simply sharing information.

        Things are more complicated because there are also balances, and transfer of money to other people has consequences.

        But he could force everybody to withdraw all funds, then transfer database, and once new operator runs the server deposits can be re-enabled.

        It isn't illegal to share trade/ownership database, is it? (Especially as ownership is already shared with asset issuers.)

        Only transfer of money (cryptocurrency) is a potential problem.

        As for LTC-GLOBAL investors, it can be informal agreement with new operator that he will honor their ownership. IIRC they only own 10% of exchange, so it shouldn't be the problem.

        Disclaimer: IANAL and I'm talking out of my ass.

        colored coins proof-of-concept: private currencies, stock/bond p2p exchange

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        glendall
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        September 23, 2013, 03:15:27 PM
         #2295

        Well no doubt some folks made money in today's panic.... like Labcoin, wow: 24hr low of 0.00025, high of 0.0027    (yup , those are the correct amount of 0's in that).

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        Puppet
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        September 23, 2013, 03:15:51 PM
         #2296

        Let's be clear about one thing here.  ALL of us who used the sites knew (or should have known) that the sites were, at best, in a bit of a grey area.  Trying to lump all the blame for that on burnside is totally unfair.  If he was naive then so was everyone else who acts all surprised now.  I'm not surprised nor do I blame him for what losses I'll make - that's the result of MY decision to 'gamble' NOT his decision to allow me to 'gamble'.  I'm mainly grateful that he's shutting down in an orderly fashion rather than the cluster-fuck/theft that occurred when GLBSE ended.

        Well put, couldnt agree more.
        pascal257
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        September 23, 2013, 03:17:04 PM
         #2297

        He should make the code open source and just release it, that way someone with sufficient know-how may start a new exchange.
        And were's the profit in that?
        It's not like it coded itself, developing such a project takes a huge amount of hours.

        Thanks Captain Obvious.

        Maybe there are legal reasons why he isn't considering selling the project. If he was willing to sell it, I'm sure he'd written it in the shutdown notice.
        Lohoris
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        September 23, 2013, 03:22:46 PM
         #2298

        He should make the code open source and just release it, that way someone with sufficient know-how may start a new exchange.
        And were's the profit in that?
        It's not like it coded itself, developing such a project takes a huge amount of hours.

        Thanks Captain Obvious.

        Maybe there are legal reasons why he isn't considering selling the project. If he was willing to sell it, I'm sure he'd written it in the shutdown notice.
        And what does this have to do with your suggestion of "just giving it away for free"?

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        Deprived
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        September 23, 2013, 03:26:36 PM
         #2299

        Why can't he simply transfer everything to a different operator?

        E.g. suppose it was a forum. One could transfer post database and forum software to a different operator, no formal sale is necessary: he is simply sharing information.

        It doesn't work like that.

        Imagine it's a forum with lots of child-porn posted on it.  You CAN'T sell the forum complete with content.  But you could sell the forum software.

        If something is illegal to own/do and you have some of it then you can't (legally) sell it once you realise it's illegal - even if it's bundled together with other stuff that's perfectly innocent.  And that extends to conducting an illegal business.  The software on its own could be used to run things that are perfectly legal.  Selling it with data relating to specific things are aren't (as his lawyers will have told him) legal crosses the line.

        The problem here isn't the exchange itself or the software - it's the investors, issuers and securities.  And not only is the issue whether they're legal - it's also that if he sells the exchange on fully functional then he has no closure in terms of getting away from liability in respect of the software, exchange and securities on it.
        pascal257
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        September 23, 2013, 03:30:44 PM
         #2300

        Thanks Captain Obvious.

        Maybe there are legal reasons why he isn't considering selling the project. If he was willing to sell it, I'm sure he'd written it in the shutdown notice.
        And what does this have to do with your suggestion of "just giving it away for free"?
        As you just stated, writing the code behind the exchange consumed multiple hundred, possibly even thousands of hours of work. Why should that just go to waste if it can't be sold?
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