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Author Topic: Things getting interesting once we past $100  (Read 17261 times)
deathcode
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April 03, 2013, 03:40:03 PM
 #141

I realise that this is a very popular argument.......amongst those who don't understand finance and/or just haven't spent very long thinking about the issue.
We hear lots of popular ill-considered arguments here too, so I think it best for everyone arguing to show some modesty.
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If I could ... buy electronic equipment etc with Bitcoin, then I might give this line of reasoning more consideration.
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade#Electronics
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Also, if there were any danger of Bitcoin developing into the 'real deal'. It would be taken out by the established powers one way or the other and/or subjugated, controlled, and held well in its place, just as the precious metals are.
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Myths#Bitcoins_will_be_shut_down_by_the_government_just_like_Liberty_Dollars_were
The whole POINT of bitcoin is that the p2p model avoids subjugation. Despite the government's best efforts from Napster to Megaupload, p2p file sharing is still going strong.

I don't see the pirate bay down do you?

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MatTheCat
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April 03, 2013, 08:14:47 PM
 #142

The whole POINT of bitcoin is that the p2p model avoids subjugation. Despite the government's best efforts from Napster to Megaupload, p2p file sharing is still going strong.

Pirate Bay offers links to torrents, that put bits and pieces of data together from potentially millions of computers all around the world, Napster offered a free p2p service and although Megaupload was a (vast) profit making company, as far as I am aware it had no shares listed on any stock exchange.

Whilst two of the above internet phenomenena have been taken down and/or controlled, plenty other alternatives have sprung up in their place (if they never existed already). Whilst the creators of Pirate Bay may well be doing time, the Pirate Bay lives on and the only way to kill it would be to kill the internet (as it presently exists) altogether. Bitcoin of course, mostly resembles the Pirate Bay model, so it will be nigh on impossible to take it down by conventional means.

As mindtomatter has already extensively covered in his 'Central Bank' thread, it would however be a piece of piss to sabotage Bitcoin by means of a technical pump n dump attack. Whichever Wall St bank or group of banks need not even lose money in doing so, as once they pump enough capital into the market sufficient enough to cause a hysterical herd stampede into the coin, they can in a measured manner, start extracting their coin at great profit, thanks to the flock of fools queuing up outside MtGox, with big bundles of fiat in their fists. THIS SH!T HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! And it is happening now.

I was a relatively early user of Bitcoins (1st Silk Road purchase made in late 2010), and enthused to my brother about the whole concept and the massive potential they held as a game changer on a global scale. At the time, he was completely dismissive and couldn't give two craps. Recently, he has been at me constantly trying to get more info on Bitcoins, what they are, how to use them etc etc. I have to admit here that when Bitcoins were at $45, I put him off. I stated that the underlying market of real transactions that underpins the whole viability of Bitcoin, is becoming an exponentially tiny portion of the entire Bitcoin market, and that this is a bubble of the riskiest kind. I still believe this, although the bubble has trebled in size then, and my brother has lost a projected £20K worth of profit due to listening to me. Anyways, he has now wired £10K into his newly established Mt Gox account, the money will take 4 days to arrive. He still does not understand:

What a Bitcoin is
What a Bitcoin wallet is.
What the Bitcoin Dat file is.
What a Bitcoin client is.
etc etc.

This is the calibre of newcomers rushing into the Bitcoin market, and thus helping prop up the already hyperinflated prices. No enthusiasm for the concept of the coin or understanding of it, and certainly no means of ever using them as the currency that they are supposed to be. He is motivated only by the opportunity to make vast profits. And of course, first sign of a pull back, eating into any profits he has made, and he will be out of there, as he has no other use or purpose for the coins, other than to make a profit on the fiat currency he is putting in. I imagine that most new money coming into Bitcoin right now is coming from people like him.

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April 03, 2013, 08:22:55 PM
 #143

So now that there's another "bubble" at full speed, I'm reaching a point where crossing $100 will mean that me as well as others are making some serious money (I'll leave up to you to define what serious money is)
My concern now is, what if i want to sell and withdraw the money to my US Bank Account.
How do I avoid uncle sam to stick its hand in my cookie jar and takes the tax share?
What if I don't report it?
What if I transfer small amounts ($1000 at a time ever week or so..)
Any accountants in the forum to help me do the laundry? Tongue


Liberty Reserve. Thats what I did (a mite too early, I might add).

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April 03, 2013, 09:04:19 PM
 #144

so, this "central bank pump and dump scenario" that is being proposed:

will the dump kill every single last participant's interest?

if it doesn't will they try it again?

if they try it again you think it will work the second time? ... the third?

I think when you think about those questions it becomes clear, that the issue is not how does one stop this from happening, but "so what if it does".

The biggest hole in this scheme, is that this whole plan seems to be aimed at destroying bitcoin's legitimacy as a means of increasing relative wealth, by creating unpredictable boom/bust scenarios. Whilst BTC is to each, for his own, I was under the impression that this was not the primary 'goal' of bitcoin.

It's use as a means of value transfer remain largely unaffected. In particular there is little counterparty risk at this time to merchants using bitpay. The volatility does not seem to have hindered its use on silk road.

As 'money' it is performing reasonably well. As a store of value not so much. (There was a time when it didnt just go up Wink )

The point is it can't be killed by discrediting only one of its functions. Those that need it for what it does, well why would they stop using it because somebody was messing around with the exchange rate. BTC works whether it is worth $1m a coin, or $1 coin.

Now, if the central bank destroys any value as a speculative investment, then the exchange rate may drop, but it will only ever go as low as its utility value. This floor is some function of the amount of wealth that needs to be exchanged, and the number of 'circulating' coins.

Of course at that point it doesn't matter how good of a job was done destroying BTC as an investment. They will be so cheap that people are bound to gamble. It may be that billions were lost last time around, but im sure that millions were made. Human psychology is such that there are always going to be people that want to take a shot at that.

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April 03, 2013, 09:06:52 PM
 #145

so, this "central bank pump and dump scenario" that is being proposed:

will the dump kill every single last participant's interest?

if it doesn't will they try it again?

if they try it again you think it will work the second time? ... the third?

I think when you think about those questions it becomes clear, that the issue is not how does one stop this from happening, but "so what if it does".

The biggest hole in this scheme, is that this whole plan seems to be aimed at destroying bitcoin's legitimacy as a means of increasing relative wealth, by creating unpredictable boom/bust scenarios. Whilst BTC is to each, for his own, I was under the impression that this was not the primary 'goal' of bitcoin.

It's use as a means of value transfer remain largely unaffected. In particular there is little counterparty risk at this time to merchants using bitpay. The volatility does not seem to have hindered its use on silk road.

As 'money' it is performing reasonably well. As a store of value not so much. (There was a time when it didnt just go up Wink )

The point is it can't be killed by discrediting only one of its functions. Those that need it for what it does, well why would they stop using it because somebody was messing around with the exchange rate. BTC works whether it is worth $1m a coin, or $1 coin.

Now, if the central bank destroys any value as a speculative investment, then the exchange rate may drop, but it will only ever go as low as its utility value. This floor is some function of the amount of wealth that needs to be exchanged, and the number of 'circulating' coins.

Of course at that point it doesn't matter how good of a job was done destroying BTC as an investment. They will be so cheap that people are bound to gamble. It may be that billions were lost last time around, but im sure that millions were made. Human psychology is such that there are always going to be people that want to take a shot at that.

There is also the "enthusiast" aspect. I suspect there are at least tens of thousands of people around the world who will keep the project alive regardless of the price. Only a better cryptocurrency will stop it.
deathcode
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April 03, 2013, 09:07:34 PM
 #146

The whole POINT of bitcoin is that the p2p model avoids subjugation. Despite the government's best efforts from Napster to Megaupload, p2p file sharing is still going strong.

Pirate Bay offers links to torrents, that put bits and pieces of data together from potentially millions of computers all around the world, Napster offered a free p2p service and although Megaupload was a (vast) profit making company, as far as I am aware it had no shares listed on any stock exchange.

Whilst two of the above internet phenomenena have been taken down and/or controlled, plenty other alternatives have sprung up in their place (if they never existed already). Whilst the creators of Pirate Bay may well be doing time, the Pirate Bay lives on and the only way to kill it would be to kill the internet (as it presently exists) altogether. Bitcoin of course, mostly resembles the Pirate Bay model, so it will be nigh on impossible to take it down by conventional means.

As mindtomatter has already extensively covered in his 'Central Bank' thread, it would however be a piece of piss to sabotage Bitcoin by means of a technical pump n dump attack. Whichever Wall St bank or group of banks need not even lose money in doing so, as once they pump enough capital into the market sufficient enough to cause a hysterical herd stampede into the coin, they can in a measured manner, start extracting their coin at great profit, thanks to the flock of fools queuing up outside MtGox, with big bundles of fiat in their fists. THIS SH!T HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! And it is happening now.

I was a relatively early user of Bitcoins (1st Silk Road purchase made in late 2010), and enthused to my brother about the whole concept and the massive potential they held as a game changer on a global scale. At the time, he was completely dismissive and couldn't give two craps. Recently, he has been at me constantly trying to get more info on Bitcoins, what they are, how to use them etc etc. I have to admit here that when Bitcoins were at $45, I put him off. I stated that the underlying market of real transactions that underpins the whole viability of Bitcoin, is becoming an exponentially tiny portion of the entire Bitcoin market, and that this is a bubble of the riskiest kind. I still believe this, although the bubble has trebled in size then, and my brother has lost a projected £20K worth of profit due to listening to me. Anyways, he has now wired £10K into his newly established Mt Gox account, the money will take 4 days to arrive. He still does not understand:

What a Bitcoin is
What a Bitcoin wallet is.
What the Bitcoin Dat file is.
What a Bitcoin client is.
etc etc.

This is the calibre of newcomers rushing into the Bitcoin market, and thus helping prop up the already hyperinflated prices. No enthusiasm for the concept of the coin or understanding of it, and certainly no means of ever using them as the currency that they are supposed to be. He is motivated only by the opportunity to make vast profits. And of course, first sign of a pull back, eating into any profits he has made, and he will be out of there, as he has no other use or purpose for the coins, other than to make a profit on the fiat currency he is putting in. I imagine that most new money coming into Bitcoin right now is coming from people like him.


Sure, and UFOs are sighted everyday as well!

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April 03, 2013, 09:41:56 PM
 #147

so, this "central bank pump and dump scenario" that is being proposed:

will the dump kill every single last participant's interest?

if it doesn't will they try it again?

if they try it again you think it will work the second time? ... the third?

I think when you think about those questions it becomes clear, that the issue is not how does one stop this from happening, but "so what if it does".

The biggest hole in this scheme, is that this whole plan seems to be aimed at destroying bitcoin's legitimacy as a means of increasing relative wealth, by creating unpredictable boom/bust scenarios. Whilst BTC is to each, for his own, I was under the impression that this was not the primary 'goal' of bitcoin.

It's use as a means of value transfer remain largely unaffected. In particular there is little counterparty risk at this time to merchants using bitpay. The volatility does not seem to have hindered its use on silk road.

As 'money' it is performing reasonably well. As a store of value not so much. (There was a time when it didnt just go up Wink )

The point is it can't be killed by discrediting only one of its functions. Those that need it for what it does, well why would they stop using it because somebody was messing around with the exchange rate. BTC works whether it is worth $1m a coin, or $1 coin.

Now, if the central bank destroys any value as a speculative investment, then the exchange rate may drop, but it will only ever go as low as its utility value. This floor is some function of the amount of wealth that needs to be exchanged, and the number of 'circulating' coins.

Of course at that point it doesn't matter how good of a job was done destroying BTC as an investment. They will be so cheap that people are bound to gamble. It may be that billions were lost last time around, but im sure that millions were made. Human psychology is such that there are always going to be people that want to take a shot at that.

What you see as a hole, I see as the whole purpose!  We both agree that there are people who you will not be able to chase away from bitcoin, and we agree that you can't destroy it through outward forces (like making it illegal) without causing a Napster/eMule cascade.   

So what is left?   

You can't make it go away, and you can't argue with its superior features, but you can scare people who don't understand either of those advantages away from it by causing them to lose money.

The new people who don't know anything are exactly the people who the central bank has the ability and means to impact, once they come to appreciate Bitcoin for its many and varied advantages they can no longer be scared out with this.

It is a means to limit the overall pool of users, if they successfully pull this trick with more than 80% of a population over any number of repetitions they can probably stave off the loss of functional reserve status.  Technically legal tender laws would still apply, so people setting prices only in bitcoin with floating dollar amounts would be in violation.  But once we're there the battle is over, Dollar is functionally replaced with Bitcoin as the reserve.

And for the central bank, that is game over - I lose all the majority of my power to impact and implement monetary policy since continued issuance of currency no longer has an implied buyer no matter the amount.

Does that help?

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April 03, 2013, 10:36:35 PM
 #148


Now, if the central bank destroys any value as a speculative investment, then the exchange rate may drop, but it will only ever go as low as its utility value. This floor is some function of the amount of wealth that needs to be exchanged, and the number of 'circulating' coins.

Of course at that point it doesn't matter how good of a job was done destroying BTC as an investment. They will be so cheap that people are bound to gamble. It may be that billions were lost last time around, but im sure that millions were made. Human psychology is such that there are always going to be people that want to take a shot at that.

See, this thing that 'the exchange rate may drop', is key. For example. If I were a business accepting payment in Bitcoin today for example. At some point, I may have received a $1500 order, paid for in Bitcoin, so ~ 10 Btc. Now however, that I need to turn my Bitcoin into money, that 10 Btc is only worth $1150. My profit on the order was only $250, so I am working to be down $100! This is a fkn crazy way to conduct business, and simply not viable. If I am prepared to put up with this kind of risk in the running of the business which provides my daily bread, I may as well just sell up, go down the casino, and put everything on red!

With sort of volatility we are seeing in Bitcoin, it is strangling real world transactions on the way up, but will destroy the real Bitcoin economy on the down. Yes, there will always be people looking to buy back in, and the market places that rely upon its use will also seek to rearrange themselves after the dust settles, but as mindtomatter describes, in this manner, Bitcoin can be held in its place as a fringe asset, popular with high risk tolerant speculators, and online drug customers. It will bring a few people exceedingly large profits, but leave the majority with a disgusting taste in their mouths.


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April 03, 2013, 10:57:25 PM
 #149


See, this thing that 'the exchange rate may drop', is key. For example. If I were a business accepting payment in Bitcoin today for example. At some point, I may have received a $1500 order, paid for in Bitcoin, so ~ 10 Btc. Now however, that I need to turn my Bitcoin into money, that 10 Btc is only worth $1150. My profit on the order was only $250, so I am working to be down $100! This is a fkn crazy way to conduct business, and simply not viable. If I am prepared to put up with this kind of risk in the running of the business which provides my daily bread, I may as well just sell up, go down the casino, and put everything on red!


If you're a merchant accepting bitcoin and are concerned about exchange rate volatility then it's no different from being a merchant accepting any other foreign currency.  There are already providers out there that will handle this for you and "lock in" your prices.  If the cost of doing so is less than the cost of handling credit cards or cash, then it's a win for the merchant.

And if you're a merchant accepting bitcoin and discover that one of your suppliers also accepts bitcoin, all of a sudden you don't need to convert all your bitcoin to fiat, providing a further saving.

And that's where it gets interesting, because the more people that accept bitcoin, the more people will be willing to use bitcoin.  We all know how network effects work, and if it takes off then pretty soon anyone not accepting bitcoin will be the one that has to deal with the fiat/bitcoin conversion. 

As for volatility, I think it's not unreasonable to presume that once transaction-usage volume (ie people buying and selling stuff with bitcoin) dwarfs speculative volume then the exchange rates will become less volatile, making retail BTC prices a feasible option.  And once prices are set in bitcoin, it won't be the bitcoin price that is volatile, it will be the fiat price which is volatile.

We have a long way to go though.


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April 03, 2013, 11:01:43 PM
 #150

Coins are now in weak hands that rushed in for the gold fever

But each dip, each flash crash, each big crash is a buying opportunity. And the coins will slowly move to stronger hands.

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April 03, 2013, 11:03:49 PM
 #151

To get back to the original topic of this message...

I have the same issue you do, and here is what I learned.

First of all the IRS is NOT like judicial system. You are not innocent until proven guilty. If the IRS notices unaccounted for deposits in your bank account or spending that is not consistent with your declared salary, the burden of proof is on YOU to show where that money came from. You can not say "I bought those bitcoins for $72 last year and sold them for $73 this year so I only made a dollar a coin on them". You need to have some kind of documentation showing that you did in fact buy them for $72. You need proof to establish you basis or the whole thing could get declared a capital gain.

If you are going to do things the "right" way, you probably want to hold on to your coins for at least a year so you can pay long-term capital gain tax which is much less than the short-term tax.

Now, one thing I looked into was the possibility of simply spending the coins outright without ever converting to dollars. If bitcoins could be considered a foreign currency, this would be totally legit and you would owe no taxes on the appreciated value. Think about if you exchange dollars for euros and then went on vacation in Europe. You wouldn't owe any capital gains tax if your euros happen to appreciate before you spent them. As long as you don't convert them back to dollars, you are ok. The problem is that bitcoin isn't a foreign currency because it is not back by any government. Therefore you can't treat it as such. You could try anyways as the IRS hasn't really said how to deal with bitcoins but if they found out, they probably will say "You can't do that, pay us the taxes." and you'd have to pay anyways. You might not get hit with an interest or penalty though in which case you'd be in the same place as if you just paid the taxes up front. Also note that you would likely have to file an FBAR form if you are going to consider bitcoins a foreign currency if you have any large amount of them. The FinCEN announcement doesn't say anything about taxes unfortunately and while it uses the term "virtual currency", I don't think the IRS has ever used that term before. And they definitely don't call it a "foreign currency".

Finally, if you wish to take the tax evasion route, well than that is simply. Use localbitcoin and sell your coins directly. And convert some to gold. You probably won't get caught. But you would be in big trouble if you did, and it isn't the ethical solution no matter how you try to justify it.

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April 03, 2013, 11:07:56 PM
 #152

and it isn't the ethical solution no matter how you try to justify it.
I know what you mean. There is no ethical way to avoid recognizing that taxation is immoral, no matter how they try to justify it.
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April 03, 2013, 11:22:44 PM
 #153

and it isn't the ethical solution no matter how you try to justify it.
I know what you mean. There is no ethical way to avoid recognizing that taxation is immoral, no matter how they try to justify it.

Well, the question is, do you agree with following the laws or breaking them? This is not about being a libertarian or not. Libertarians still are, for the most part, law-abiding citizens. It's whether you are a good citizen or if you are a leech. Personally, I stay away from leeches, sneaks, thieves, and sneaks. Maybe your system of ethics believes that stealing is ok. I'm not going to argue against that. But I think you would be in the minority in that case. People use the argument that taxation is immoral, or "i didn't vote for these taxes" to justify tax evasion. It is a just a cop out excuse to get out of doing something you don't want to do. But philosophically, you are going to have a hard time arguing that doing so is ethical.
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April 03, 2013, 11:28:16 PM
 #154

and it isn't the ethical solution no matter how you try to justify it.
I know what you mean. There is no ethical way to avoid recognizing that taxation is immoral, no matter how they try to justify it.

Well, the question is, do you agree with following the laws or breaking them? This is not about being a libertarian or not. Libertarians still are, for the most part, law-abiding citizens. It's whether you are a good citizen or if you are a leech. Personally, I stay away from leeches, sneaks, thieves, and sneaks. Maybe your system of ethics believes that stealing is ok. I'm not going to argue against that. But I think you would be in the minority in that case. People use the argument that taxation is immoral, or "i didn't vote for these taxes" to justify tax evasion. It is a just a cop out excuse to get out of doing something you don't want to do. But philosophically, you are going to have a hard time arguing that doing so is ethical.


No one even knows what the laws are... You need to wait until someone goes to court, and even after pay someone hundreds or thousands to tell you what it means for your circumstances. Its a crappy system. I would want to follow the laws if I could know what they are.
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April 03, 2013, 11:31:48 PM
 #155

But philosophically, you are going to have a hard time arguing that doing so is ethical.
Quite the opposite, in fact, but I see no reason to continue because either you are using words you do not understand, or else you do understand and are using that knowledge to spread disinformation.
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April 03, 2013, 11:33:19 PM
 #156

i sit here looking at the price go up and up...also thinking how stupid i was to sell my modest 150 coins @ 45... for some it's not a lot of money, but damn.. right now i`m down to ~45 coins if i were to buy, would doesn't make any sens anymore
I would buy those 45.. could make you a millionaire one day.

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April 04, 2013, 12:03:11 AM
 #157

But philosophically, you are going to have a hard time arguing that doing so is ethical.

eth·i·cal 
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Adjective

    Morally correct.

Resisting theft is always morally correct.

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April 04, 2013, 12:11:24 AM
 #158

But philosophically, you are going to have a hard time arguing that doing so is ethical.
Quite the opposite, in fact, but I see no reason to continue because either you are using words you do not understand, or else you do understand and are using that knowledge to spread disinformation.

Give it a shot. I'm interested to hear what your argument on why no one should pay taxes.
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April 04, 2013, 12:21:34 AM
 #159

But philosophically, you are going to have a hard time arguing that doing so is ethical.
Quite the opposite, in fact, but I see no reason to continue because either you are using words you do not understand, or else you do understand and are using that knowledge to spread disinformation.

Give it a shot. I'm interested to hear what your argument on why no one should pay taxes.
I doubt he will. But I'm willing.

I even have a meme:

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April 04, 2013, 12:24:47 AM
 #160

and it isn't the ethical solution no matter how you try to justify it.
I know what you mean. There is no ethical way to avoid recognizing that taxation is immoral, no matter how they try to justify it.

Well, the question is, do you agree with following the laws or breaking them? This is not about being a libertarian or not. Libertarians still are, for the most part, law-abiding citizens. It's whether you are a good citizen or if you are a leech. Personally, I stay away from leeches, sneaks, thieves, and sneaks. Maybe your system of ethics believes that stealing is ok. I'm not going to argue against that. But I think you would be in the minority in that case. People use the argument that taxation is immoral, or "i didn't vote for these taxes" to justify tax evasion. It is a just a cop out excuse to get out of doing something you don't want to do. But philosophically, you are going to have a hard time arguing that doing so is ethical.


No one even knows what the laws are... You need to wait until someone goes to court, and even after pay someone hundreds or thousands to tell you what it means for your circumstances. Its a crappy system. I would want to follow the laws if I could know what they are.

Yes, that's the problem. But the IRS is going to look more kindly if you attempt to follow some of the rules. They are definitely not going to buy "there aren't any regulations that specifically address bitcoins so I don't feel I have to pay anything." The best way to stay on their good side is to pick a set of rules to follow and try to apply them to bitcoins. At least you won't be deliberately evading taxes in their eyes. You might be wrong and they will correct you, but the penalties won't be as severe.
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