Bitcoin Forum
December 07, 2016, 10:41:55 AM *
News: To be able to use the next phase of the beta forum software, please ensure that your email address is correct/functional.
 
   Home   Help Search Donate Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 »  All
  Print  
Author Topic: Bitcoin Lawyer Introduction Thread  (Read 11334 times)
btclaw
Jr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 30



View Profile
June 09, 2011, 05:00:43 AM
 #1

Hello Bitcoin Forum Community,

I am Bitcoin Lawyer.  I'm here to participate in the community, to help bitcoin grow and thrive, and to provide commentary and discuss the law as it exists and develops regarding bitcoin.  I disclaim specifically any attorney-client relationship.  All my interactions with this website will be solely for general education.  I am not advertising, soliciting business or trolling for clients.

Qualifications: Yes I am a real, fully licensed attorney.  Yes I have an active, full-time brick and mortar practice.  Both these things could be put at risk by my participation here.  Therefore I am acting under a pseudonym to protect my identity.  I prefer not to state my age or geographical area of practice for the time being to help protect my identity.  However I am making every effort to comply with my local State's bar rules regarding news articles and blogs not intended for advertising.

Background: I first read about Bitcoins back around the time that eGold got shut down.  I was a computer programmer and entrepreneur before becoming an attorney but nonetheless failed to invest the time required to understand the promise and potential of Bitcoin until recently.  Of course I see it now, and I'm kicking myself for not being an early adopter.  Instead of crying over spilt milk, I have spent many hours over several days reading the forums, the wiki, and other sources to get up to speed.  I now feel comfortable enough with my knowledge to begin posting.

If there are any threads that are in need of a legal discussion, feel free to link to them in a response to this intro thread.  Once again, I can't promise anything with regard to responses to posts.  If there is an active case or you have any pending legal issue, even a potential one, please consult with a legal professional in your jurisdiction ASAP.

Very Truly Yours,
Bitcoin Lawyer
1481107315
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1481107315

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1481107315
Reply with quote  #2

1481107315
Report to moderator
1481107315
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1481107315

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1481107315
Reply with quote  #2

1481107315
Report to moderator
Advertised sites are not endorsed by the Bitcoin Forum. They may be unsafe, untrustworthy, or illegal in your jurisdiction. Advertise here.
1481107315
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1481107315

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1481107315
Reply with quote  #2

1481107315
Report to moderator
1481107315
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1481107315

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1481107315
Reply with quote  #2

1481107315
Report to moderator
1481107315
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1481107315

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1481107315
Reply with quote  #2

1481107315
Report to moderator
MyFarm
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 840


View Profile
June 09, 2011, 06:14:05 AM
 #2

Fantastic!  I'll be sure to donate to you as I see you dispense advice.
bitborse
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 6


View Profile
June 09, 2011, 08:22:07 AM
 #3

Understand the reasons why you may want anonymity, however which country are you licensed as a Lawyer at?  An important point as if your based in the US, your services for expertise on Australian law would be limited for example.
btclaw
Jr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 30



View Profile
June 09, 2011, 02:20:24 PM
 #4

United States license.  Another thing not mentioned, I specialize primarily in Criminal Law.

Australian law is very similar as a common law jurisdiction, U.S. lawyers can be licensed in Australia after a 1-year course in Australian law.  Same goes for U.K., Canada, and other Commonwealth jurisdictions like the Cayman islands.
meemo
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 2


View Profile
June 09, 2011, 06:09:20 PM
 #5

It's funny that I am seeing a sort of bitcoin law developing based off of reputation and the risk of loss of same.  Perhaps we could have a secure repository for evidence to back any claims of fraud or bad faith other than this message board with a verifiable chain of custody...
Coaster
Jr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 59


View Profile
June 09, 2011, 06:22:44 PM
 #6

This thread could serve a purpose as refrence in the future.. here are a few q's
Are there any aspects of bitcoin that are illegal? I know this is broad question so maybe narrow it to things about running bitcoin client, accepting a bitcoin for something and someone not supplying the tangible good or service. Could you say sue someone for BitCoins or its equivalence in dollars? And if someone was to succesfully create a poisoned fork in the chain, is there any way to have them prosecuted or sued?
Floomi
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 12


View Profile
June 09, 2011, 10:48:08 PM
 #7

For context, I'm in the UK, but I suspect the answer will apply regardless of the jurisdiction.

I'm of the understanding that if you buy BTC and then sell for profit at a later date, you're liable for Capital Gains Tax. But what's the tax situation if you're mining coins, and then selling them on your local exchange? My intuition is that it can't be CGT, because you didn't buy the coins in the first place - in the extreme case, you bought a mining rig, which was then used to produce coins, which you later sold. But I find it impossible to believe that you don't have to declare income gained like this. So what does it fall under?
Vladimir
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 812


-


View Profile
June 09, 2011, 11:13:58 PM
 #8

Welcome, Bitcoin Lawyer!

Let's give it a try...

in comments to this article  http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2011/06/08/bitcoin_under_attack/ someone said:

Quote
My reading of the law is that bitcoins are already illegal, and it is primarily the miners that are breaking the law by not registering as electronic money issuers, not keeping appropriate reserves to cover redemptions of their magic numbers, not employing "fit and proper persons", not having complaints procedures and so on.

your opinion?


-
enmaku
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 742



View Profile WWW
June 09, 2011, 11:19:04 PM
 #9

For context, I'm in the UK, but I suspect the answer will apply regardless of the jurisdiction.

I'm of the understanding that if you buy BTC and then sell for profit at a later date, you're liable for Capital Gains Tax. But what's the tax situation if you're mining coins, and then selling them on your local exchange? My intuition is that it can't be CGT, because you didn't buy the coins in the first place - in the extreme case, you bought a mining rig, which was then used to produce coins, which you later sold. But I find it impossible to believe that you don't have to declare income gained like this. So what does it fall under?

This is a very good point that I hadn't considered. I'd imagine it would be the equivalent to how some CEOs take all or part of their salary as stock which they can then liquidate for cash. Never occurred to me whether that kind of liquidation would qualify as capital gains tax, income tax or some third kind of tax that I'm not aware of... I await a response!

lizthegrey
Jr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 56


View Profile
June 09, 2011, 11:27:26 PM
 #10

For context, I'm in the UK, but I suspect the answer will apply regardless of the jurisdiction.

I'm of the understanding that if you buy BTC and then sell for profit at a later date, you're liable for Capital Gains Tax. But what's the tax situation if you're mining coins, and then selling them on your local exchange? My intuition is that it can't be CGT, because you didn't buy the coins in the first place - in the extreme case, you bought a mining rig, which was then used to produce coins, which you later sold. But I find it impossible to believe that you don't have to declare income gained like this. So what does it fall under?

This is a very good point that I hadn't considered. I'd imagine it would be the equivalent to how some CEOs take all or part of their salary as stock which they can then liquidate for cash. Never occurred to me whether that kind of liquidation would qualify as capital gains tax, income tax or some third kind of tax that I'm not aware of... I await a response!
I plan to declare the cost of electricity as an expense, and the bitcoins generated as profit; the net profit will go under self-employment (Schedule SE). I haven't bought any additional hardware, but if I did, I'd list it as a capital expense, take depreciation, etc.
Anonymous
Guest

June 10, 2011, 12:50:16 AM
 #11

For context, I'm in the UK, but I suspect the answer will apply regardless of the jurisdiction.

I'm of the understanding that if you buy BTC and then sell for profit at a later date, you're liable for Capital Gains Tax. But what's the tax situation if you're mining coins, and then selling them on your local exchange? My intuition is that it can't be CGT, because you didn't buy the coins in the first place - in the extreme case, you bought a mining rig, which was then used to produce coins, which you later sold. But I find it impossible to believe that you don't have to declare income gained like this. So what does it fall under?

Couldnt you claim a tax refund on the purchase of the equipment if thats the case ?
xf2_org
Member
**
Offline Offline

Activity: 70


View Profile
June 10, 2011, 01:51:53 AM
 #12

in comments to this article  http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2011/06/08/bitcoin_under_attack/ someone said:

Quote
My reading of the law is that bitcoins are already illegal, and it is primarily the miners that are breaking the law by not registering as electronic money issuers, not keeping appropriate reserves to cover redemptions of their magic numbers, not employing "fit and proper persons", not having complaints procedures and so on.

your opinion?

I'm not BTC lawyer, but I thought I would throw this heretofore unpublished gem out there:  that legal risk is why I stopped running pool servers.

SgtSpike
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1344



View Profile
June 10, 2011, 05:23:06 AM
 #13

For context, I'm in the UK, but I suspect the answer will apply regardless of the jurisdiction.

I'm of the understanding that if you buy BTC and then sell for profit at a later date, you're liable for Capital Gains Tax. But what's the tax situation if you're mining coins, and then selling them on your local exchange? My intuition is that it can't be CGT, because you didn't buy the coins in the first place - in the extreme case, you bought a mining rig, which was then used to produce coins, which you later sold. But I find it impossible to believe that you don't have to declare income gained like this. So what does it fall under?
It would simply be classified as ordinary income, which is taxed as your normal income tax rate.  At least, in the US.

And you could claim electricity, rig-building, and any other expenses as deductions against the income.
Karmicads
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 185



View Profile
June 10, 2011, 05:42:54 AM
 #14

Thanks for joining us Bitcoin Lawyer. I'm sure you'll be able to make a very valuable contribution to this place.

I'm an aussie and I'm also interested in the tax and liability issues surounding trade and consumer protection. Just reading some of the points above, it has occoured to me (at least, intuitavely to me it seems) that if the government expects you to pay tax on any income surounding trade with bitcoin, wheter mining them or tradeing with them, then wouldn't that implicitly deem them responsible to consumer / trader protection. In Australia, we have a GST so not only is the vendor required to declare (and pay) income tax, but the buyer also contributes to tax revinue in the purchace, provided that the transaction is legal and done strictly by the book.

How interesting, as it seem this would put the government in something of a dilemma. If it want's to forbid bitcoin as a medium of currency, yet it has set a precedent of accepting revinue from ligitemate bitcoin transactions, it should thwart any attempt to dissabuse themselves of the responsibility, to bring bitcoin trading under the umbrella of the trade practices act, and the consumer protection authority.

Would it be a fair implication then, to expect that as a result, responsible (above board) business practices, by ethical bitcoin traders who keep ligitimate books and pay their taxes honestly, might force governments to honor bitcoin as a ligitimate way of trading, if not a ligitimate form of legal tender. I expect it will come under the various provisions for bartering as would the existing quasi-curencies and trading systems already on the net and in the real world. I think govermnents will have to see that bitcoin just works and that nothing will stop it. Better they embrace it (at both ends) and offer full legistative support. What's the bet they try to disown it as a responsibility, while still demanding that tax be paid on its revinues.  Roll Eyes Interesting time ahead.

Again, welcome to the club btclaw.  Wink
royalecraig
Jr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 56


View Profile WWW
June 10, 2011, 05:55:51 AM
 #15

Technically speaking, if the Govt has surrendered Sovereignty, either to the UN, the EU, Nafta, etc, then Govts have comitted Treason, this makes them felons, Common law prohibits us from aiding and abetting lest we be guilty of Misprision of Felony / Treason.
IE we are not allowed to assist, financially or otherwise anyone engaged in Gross criminal acts, acts like causing the deaths of 1 million Iraqi's for example.
In the UK the case for Treason is pretty robust.

http://www.acasefortreason.org.uk/

If that is not enough, you need to realise that the Statutes passed by Parliament are not Laws, the are Acts, in that they act as laws but only with the Consent of the Governed.
For example it's illegal to drive without a seatbelt in the UK, but it's not unlawful, of course most of the general public do not know the difference between legal and lawfull, they are tricked into obeying statutes they would probably rather not by the legal profession changing the linguistic meaning of words.
For example, in Blacks law dictionary the word MUST means MAY.
So when you get a summons saying you MUST attend court, it means you may Attend Court.  
Here's a Good introductory Video on this enormous subject.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=meet+your+strawman&aq=o

So, technically speaking, none of us are compelled to do what our respective Govts do anyway, our only obligation is to common law which can be summed up as saying you can do anything you like ( including trade in virtual currrency, they may make it illegal but it will never be unlawful )

So long as you cause none harm, nor loss, nor commit mischief ( fraud ) in your dealings with others.
It would seem to me Common law is a vital weapon in defending our right to our own Currency to carry out free trade, especially as Fiat currency, issued by foreign offshore Private Bankers is unlawful.
 

Our Govts are a bunch of Crooks, under common law we are forbidden to fund nor obey them.

Sign Up at TradeHill with code TH-R14804
caveden
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1106



View Profile
June 10, 2011, 07:47:40 AM
 #16

So, technically speaking, none of us are compelled to do what our respective Govts do anyway, our only obligation is to common law which can be summed up as saying you can do anything you like ( including trade in virtual currrency, they may make it illegal but it will never be unlawful )

And how do you make them understand this when they come to bust you?

18rZYyWcafwD86xvLrfuxWG5xEMMWUtVkL
royalecraig
Jr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 56


View Profile WWW
June 10, 2011, 08:13:43 AM
 #17

On our own, we can do very little, but by informing others about the true nature of the 'law' we cn change the 'consensus''

Sign Up at TradeHill with code TH-R14804
Karmicads
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 185



View Profile
June 10, 2011, 10:25:42 AM
 #18

On our own, we can do very little, but by informing others about the true nature of the 'law' we cn change the 'consensus''

+1 (I'll buy that.)  Wink
ColdHardMetal
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 701



View Profile
June 10, 2011, 10:46:48 AM
 #19

Posting to subscribe.

eturnerx
Member
**
Offline Offline

Activity: 70


View Profile WWW
June 10, 2011, 05:15:00 PM
 #20

Posting to subscribe.
me too

WatchMine - get Bitcoin prices and pool stats on your Mobile
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 »  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Sponsored by , a Bitcoin-accepting VPN.
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!