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Author Topic: FinCEN responds to clarification requests  (Read 8755 times)
Nagle
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August 16, 2013, 05:44:22 PM
 #21

Did anyone ever get clarification on whether being a miner in the USA requires registration?
The fincen guidance from march 18th says:

' A person that creates units of this convertible virtual currency and uses it to purchase real or virtual goods and services is a user of the convertible virtual currency and not subject to regulation as a money transmitter. By contrast, a person that creates units of convertible virtual currency and sells those units to another person for real currency or its equivalent is engaged in transmission to another location and is a money transmitter. In addition, a person is an exchanger and a money transmitter if the person accepts such de-centralized convertible virtual currency from one person and transmits it to another person as part of the acceptance and transfer of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency.'
That's clear enough. Bitcoin mining coupled with sale of the Bitcoins for cash is money transmission.

That makes sense.  Miners are issuers of a currency.

No big deal. Mining is going all-ASIC anyway. The big pools will have to register, and everybody else will be making so little money they'll be below the reporting threshold.

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August 16, 2013, 05:55:41 PM
 #22

Like moths to a flame.

Meaning what, exactly?

People are listening (and bothering to care) what FinCEN thinks about something that was invented to avoid organizations like FinCEN from having any say in your money.

It's like being a drug dealer and asking the police where the safest areas to peddle are.
Bitcoin can be used either with or without the government's blessing. Let people make their choice - those that choose to comply won't affect those that don't.

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August 16, 2013, 06:11:17 PM
 #23

Mining is interesting, as per their vague definitions technically miners are issuers of money (however miners are not exchanges of money, particularly from BTC to USD), but can also be classified services business because technically a miner is just a transaction processor, from which you are granted new currency as a reward for operating one. I doubt FinCEN has any classification that actually fits this accurately.

Seems FinCEN still isn't sure what to make of this, and so much the better.

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August 16, 2013, 07:42:12 PM
 #24

Mining is interesting, as per their vague definitions technically miners are issuers of money (however miners are not exchanges of money, particularly from BTC to USD), but can also be classified services business because technically a miner is just a transaction processor, from which you are granted new currency as a reward for operating one. I doubt FinCEN has any classification that actually fits this accurately.

Seems FinCEN still isn't sure what to make of this, and so much the better.
I would speculate that FinCEN jumped the gun a bit with their earlier recommendations; I wouldn't be surprised if they amended their guidance on miners.

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August 17, 2013, 01:09:12 AM
 #25

That makes sense.  Miners are issuers of a currency.

If someone finds a dollar bill on the sidewalk, are they issuers of currency? No. They are 'discoverers' of the unit of currency.

If a miner discovers a number that unlocks 25 of the 21M existing bitcoins, are they an issuer of currency? Magic 8 ball says 'reply hazy - ask again'.

There is room in the definitions to argue with FinCEN's interpretation. Not that I can afford enough lawyerly badassery to get the job done, but it seems to me there is an argument to be made.

Anyone with a campaign ad in their signature -- for an organization with which they are not otherwise affiliated -- is automatically deducted credibility points.

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August 18, 2013, 02:33:24 AM
 #26

Did anyone ever get clarification on whether being a miner in the USA requires registration?
The fincen guidance from march 18th says:

' A person that creates units of this convertible virtual currency and uses it to purchase real or virtual goods and services is a user of the convertible virtual currency and not subject to regulation as a money transmitter. By contrast, a person that creates units of convertible virtual currency and sells those units to another person for real currency or its equivalent is engaged in transmission to another location and is a money transmitter. In addition, a person is an exchanger and a money transmitter if the person accepts such de-centralized convertible virtual currency from one person and transmits it to another person as part of the acceptance and transfer of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency.'
That's clear enough. Bitcoin mining coupled with sale of the Bitcoins for cash is money transmission.

That makes sense.  Miners are issuers of a currency.

No big deal. Mining is going all-ASIC anyway. The big pools will have to register, and everybody else will be making so little money they'll be below the reporting threshold.



What is the reporting threshold? This is completely unclear to me
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August 21, 2013, 04:54:23 AM
 #27

That makes sense.  Miners are issuers of a currency.

If someone finds a dollar bill on the sidewalk, are they issuers of currency? No. They are 'discoverers' of the unit of currency.

If a miner discovers a number that unlocks 25 of the 21M existing bitcoins, are they an issuer of currency? Magic 8 ball says 'reply hazy - ask again'.

There is room in the definitions to argue with FinCEN's interpretation. Not that I can afford enough lawyerly badassery to get the job done, but it seems to me there is an argument to be made.
These are all good points. Everyone should try and come up with as many interpretations as possible, then carefuly consider consequenes of each. Be careful what you wish for. Share your thoughts with others - these are critical moments for Bitcoin, as legal precedents are being set.

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August 22, 2013, 09:50:44 PM
 #28

Mining is interesting, as per their vague definitions technically miners are issuers of money (however miners are not exchanges of money, particularly from BTC to USD), but can also be classified services business because technically a miner is just a transaction processor, from which you are granted new currency as a reward for operating one. I doubt FinCEN has any classification that actually fits this accurately.

Seems FinCEN still isn't sure what to make of this, and so much the better.
I would speculate that FinCEN jumped the gun a bit with their earlier recommendations; I wouldn't be surprised if they amended their guidance on miners.

They did "jump the gun" and are getting shot in the belly for their exuberance.  The FinCEN folks were responding to pressure to "do something", and issued preliminary guidance, it will certainly be amended, and it will be due to the inquiries from impacted individuals. 

They will respond to reason, they will respond to money, they will respond to fame.  They do want to appear that they are "doing something".  If we were to act like scoundrels, drug dealers, and the things that the media may imagine that we are, that is how we will be treated by them.  If we act like reasonable responsible members of their constituency who are interested in lawfully engaging in commerce which makes the people within the geographies in which it occurs more resilient to central banking failures, we are likely to get a very different response.

Much of law relies upon the framing of the questions to be answered.  Government has many branches, they don't work together, or for a unified agenda.  FinCEN is not the Federal Reserve.  They care about money laundering, terror funding and financial crimes.  They don't care so much what currency we are using.

So yes it is not a bad idea to funnel questions through Bitcoin Federation, and folks like Jon Matonis for Forbes, but FinCEN does welcome questions directly from affected parties, but please do be aware that you are talking to Law Enforcement if you do it, and comport yourself appropriate to that.

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August 23, 2013, 03:40:54 AM
 #29

You can mine and process as much gold as you want and stack it up to the stars, but you are not taxed unless you convert it. I believe Bitcoin will be found to exist under similar principle.

The tax issues are much more clear than the registration issues. 
What constitutes a registration requirement is at issue here.

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August 23, 2013, 01:58:30 PM
 #30

You can mine and process as much gold as you want and stack it up to the stars, but you are not taxed unless you convert it. I believe Bitcoin will be found to exist under similar principle.

I don't think that is true.  I believe you have to declare the market value at the time you mine it.  I am not sure where people get this notion that nothing is taxed until you convert it.  If you invest in Bitcoin and then make a profit when you sell it you are taxed when you sell it but that is not the same thing as mining or earning Bitcoins for work.  If that were true people would be exploiting that all the time.  Here is a link about bartering income which is related to that issue:

http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc420.html

...along a similar line, catch a baseball, keep it, owe $200,000 in taxes. The tax man is scum.

http://development1.blogspot.com/2007/08/756-irs.html
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August 29, 2013, 02:27:39 AM
 #31

I have a question about FinCEN, what is published by them a law? Or law is what published by Federal Government and different US states? There seem to be differences.  Huh

Also if you want to register as a money transmitting business there are certain prerequisites. For examples some states require you to meet certain Tangible Net Worth, does that mean if you don't meet that you cannot be licensed as a money transmitting business?

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August 29, 2013, 02:46:20 AM
 #32

I have a question about FinCEN, what is published by them a law? Or law is what published by Federal Government and different US states? There seem to be differences.  Huh

Also if you want to register as a money transmitting business there are certain prerequisites. For examples some states require you to meet certain Tangible Net Worth, does that mean if you don't meet that you cannot be licensed as a money transmitting business?

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=270173.msg2891729#msg2891729
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August 29, 2013, 03:12:55 AM
 #33

You must include on your return income from an activity from which you do not expect to make a profit. An example of this type of activity is a hobby or a farm you operate mostly for recreation and pleasure.

It is stuff like this which just goes to show how much the modern nation state has descended to obscene depths of micro-management and surveillance, reducing people to peons of servitude.

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August 30, 2013, 04:11:38 AM
 #34

I updated my request.  I asked FinCEN if they regulate the people who collect cans and bottles and turn them in for the prepaid deposit.  If not, then I asked them explain the difference between that activity and Bitcoin mining and why one activity would get regulated and not the other. 

Fincen needs to get busy!

That's a really good question for them to collaborate on.
 
I was thinking about how they define their terms in the document.
"The term money transmission services means the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means."
"By contrast, a person that creates units of convertible virtual currency and sells those units to another person for real currency or its equivalent is engaged in transmission to another location and is a money transmitter."
Unless I am thinking something wrong, those 2 contradict each other. The first one states that in order to transmit money you have to take it from a person and then give it to another person or location whereas the second one states that you just need it to transmit to another location.

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August 30, 2013, 04:18:00 AM
 #35

I've been trying to pay very close attention to the legal status of anything related to bitcoin transactions, and it all seems like it's a gigantic grey area for the time being.  I've decided to put 20 % of any profit in a savings account and have it ready should they come knocking for capitol gains.  I have yet to find anyone who can give a solid answer to these questions at all, including FinCen. I think a lot of them don't know what to do because 90 percent of the financial "experts" said bitcoin would never make it.  I spoke with my lawyer which was totally useless (not surprised though) and will probably talk to a CPA should it become necessary.  I think your statement seems right on point, but the government doesn't care what I think.  Looks like there's plenty of room for some lawyer to make a name for himself defending bitcoin clients against Uncle Sam, even though there is no official law in place.  Our government designs laws with loopholes designed for the very people passing the laws as standard practice.  The outcome should be very interesting.   


-MW





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http://bitcoin.thefrogspot.com






I paid 15% on my BTC that i sold last year.  Went to the accountant, she stated that it was all good.  CPA signed off on it.. so... wasn't a lot of money though.  This coming years taxes will be different. My tguess is that we will see the .gov start to come after people after the huge run this year.

.

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August 30, 2013, 04:19:35 AM
 #36

You can mine and process as much gold as you want and stack it up to the stars, but you are not taxed unless you convert it. I believe Bitcoin will be found to exist under similar principle.

I don't think that is true.  I believe you have to declare the market value at the time you mine it.  I am not sure where people get this notion that nothing is taxed until you convert it.  If you invest in Bitcoin and then make a profit when you sell it you are taxed when you sell it but that is not the same thing as mining or earning Bitcoins for work.  If that were true people would be exploiting that all the time.  Here is a link about bartering income which is related to that issue:

http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc420.html

It isn't taxed until you sell it for USD.  Same for any investment in IBM, for example.  There is also no wash sale rule for BTC so far, AFAIK.

.

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achillez
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August 30, 2013, 04:20:50 AM
 #37

I've been trying to pay very close attention to the legal status of anything related to bitcoin transactions, and it all seems like it's a gigantic grey area for the time being.  I've decided to put 20 % of any profit in a savings account and have it ready should they come knocking for capitol gains.  I have yet to find anyone who can give a solid answer to these questions at all, including FinCen. I think a lot of them don't know what to do because 90 percent of the financial "experts" said bitcoin would never make it.  I spoke with my lawyer which was totally useless (not surprised though) and will probably talk to a CPA should it become necessary.  I think your statement seems right on point, but the government doesn't care what I think.  Looks like there's plenty of room for some lawyer to make a name for himself defending bitcoin clients against Uncle Sam, even though there is no official law in place.  Our government designs laws with loopholes designed for the very people passing the laws as standard practice.  The outcome should be very interesting.   


-MW





My Bitcoin Adventures / Mis-Adventures
http://bitcoin.thefrogspot.com






I paid 15% on my BTC that i sold last year.  Went to the accountant, she stated that it was all good.  CPA signed off on it.. so... wasn't a lot of money though.  This coming years taxes will be different. My tguess is that we will see the .gov start to come after people after the huge run this year.

Have you signed up as a MT?


For @HELP:

  I assume based on your latest postings you still have not received a response from FinCen on the question for MTs.  Has anyone else tried emailing them directly to ask in their situation, e.g., mining and NOT selling coins, or mining and selling coins whether they are a MT? There are quite a few folks in the wings on this one who would be very interested in the results. Maybe we should offer a bounty for a brave soul to go ask this question and see what they find out.
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August 30, 2013, 04:25:15 AM
 #38

I've been trying to pay very close attention to the legal status of anything related to bitcoin transactions, and it all seems like it's a gigantic grey area for the time being.  I've decided to put 20 % of any profit in a savings account and have it ready should they come knocking for capitol gains.  I have yet to find anyone who can give a solid answer to these questions at all, including FinCen. I think a lot of them don't know what to do because 90 percent of the financial "experts" said bitcoin would never make it.  I spoke with my lawyer which was totally useless (not surprised though) and will probably talk to a CPA should it become necessary.  I think your statement seems right on point, but the government doesn't care what I think.  Looks like there's plenty of room for some lawyer to make a name for himself defending bitcoin clients against Uncle Sam, even though there is no official law in place.  Our government designs laws with loopholes designed for the very people passing the laws as standard practice.  The outcome should be very interesting.  


-MW





My Bitcoin Adventures / Mis-Adventures
http://bitcoin.thefrogspot.com






I paid 15% on my BTC that i sold last year.  Went to the accountant, she stated that it was all good.  CPA signed off on it.. so... wasn't a lot of money though.  This coming years taxes will be different. My tguess is that we will see the .gov start to come after people after the huge run this year.

Have you signed up as a MT?


For @HELP:

  I assume based on your latest postings you still have not received a response from FinCen on the question for MTs.  Has anyone else tried emailing them directly to ask in their situation, e.g., mining and NOT selling coins, or mining and selling coins whether they are a MT? There are quite a few folks in the wings on this one who would be very interested in the results. Maybe we should offer a bounty for a brave soul to go ask this question and see what they find out.

Should have clarified.  Im not a miner.  I talked to the CPA about it though.  She said it was just like if you dug up gold in your yard.  There is no reason to claim anything until you sell it.  

I sold my BTC for cash, and I made sure I made that a point when I spoke the CPA.  She just stated, tell me what you bought it for and tell me what you sold it for.  Pretty hassle free.  I have never purchased coins from an exchange, only in person and I only trade for cash.  So, YMMV.

EDIT:  She said that there is a 3 year lookback window from the IRS.  She stated that it was in my best interest to keep everything above the table, because I do believe BTC will continue to climb higher in the following years, you know the IRS will not sit idly by this entire time.  My advice, pay your taxes!

.

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August 30, 2013, 05:18:56 AM
 #39

She said that there is a 3 year lookback window from the IRS.
Looks like there is a market for keypairs to 3 year old bitcoins Smiley

Of course I gave you bad advice. Good one is way out of your price range.
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August 30, 2013, 03:34:09 PM
 #40

She said that there is a 3 year lookback window from the IRS.
Looks like there is a market for keypairs to 3 year old bitcoins Smiley
Are you accusing the IRS of creating a market? Smiley

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Bulk premiums as low as .0012 BTC "BETTER, MORE COLLECTIBLE, AND CHEAPER THAN SILVER EAGLES" 1Free of Government
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