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Author Topic: Bitcoin transactions made retroactively illegal?  (Read 4277 times)
Ian Maxwell
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June 12, 2011, 09:52:53 PM
 #21

From a formalist perspective, many (though not all) bodies of law have restrictions against retroactive criminalization or punishment. The United States is one of these---the constitution forbids ex post facto application of law.

From a realist perspective, this hasn't stopped the government from slapping ever-more-arduous restrictions on people convicted of sex crimes, even if those crimes were committed thirty years ago, because being forced to live under a bridge after you are pushed out of every residential zone and forbidden to leave the county isn't "punishment." There's nothing to stop the legislature from passing a 500,000% tax on all e-currency income, defining "e-currency" so narrowly that Bitcoin is the only one in existence, and applying this to the 2011 tax year. This would probably be upheld by SCOTUS since they've been so willing to interpret the law in a robotic manner in the past (see their decision that any finite number of years is a "limited term" w.r.t. copyright---thus the next copyright extension will probably be to 100,000,000,000,000 years). This would effectively ban the use of Bitcoin in the United States, retroactively to January 1.

Ian Maxwell
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AnonymousBat
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June 12, 2011, 10:43:12 PM
 #22

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

- Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

- Article 1, Section 10 of the US Constitution

Since when does the Constitution mean anything to our politicians anymore?

I don't understand what that text means.

My condolences for being a product of our public school system. Perhaps this might help you get started on what you should have been taught.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sNWbiAMf80

Have a nice day.
Anders
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June 12, 2011, 11:01:26 PM
 #23

I think the Bitcoin system is really cool with many nice features such as distributed control, open source, secure transactions and having a real intrinsic reserve value. Then there are some not so good things imo such as too much fluctuation in value to be practical as a real currency, and too deflationary, and too limited (and in the long run decreasing) supply, and too cumbersome decimal placement, and too easy to corner the market of, and too slow transactions taking several minutes each.

For example the UN should issue a new digital currency similar to Bitcoin that most if not all government would agree on. Similar to Bitcoin but improved and approved.  Cool
AnonymousBat
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June 12, 2011, 11:48:43 PM
 #24

For example the UN should issue a new digital currency similar to Bitcoin that most if not all government would agree on. Similar to Bitcoin but improved and approved.  Cool

Ha ha ha ha ha ha, very funny.
niemivh
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June 13, 2011, 01:14:03 AM
 #25

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

- Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

- Article 1, Section 10 of the US Constitution

Constitution, oh that thing?  That thing in the museum that the government rides roughshod over on a daily basis? 

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

16LdMA6pCgq9ULrstHmiwwwbGe1BJQyDqr
tehcodez
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June 13, 2011, 02:14:59 AM
 #26

No, the Constitution works pretty well where applicable (it's not the only law). Last I checked I don't have troops quartered in my house, nor If you don't like the interpretation of it, contact the interpreters :-)

Now who, o who, interprets law? If only there were people who interpreted law...

...And citizens who knew the power they wield, not the powers they yield....
AnonymousBat
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June 13, 2011, 02:19:12 AM
 #27

No, the Constitution works pretty well where applicable (it's not the only law). Last I checked I don't have troops quartered in my house, nor If you don't like the interpretation of it, contact the interpreters :-)

Now who, o who, interprets law? If only there were people who interpreted law...

...And citizens who knew the power they wield, not the powers they yield....

The states (aka the people), ARE the ultimate interpreters of the United States Constitution, not the Federal Supreme Court.

James Madisons words, not mine.

The founders were not stupid, they knew that the FEDERAL Supreme Court could be baised in favor of unconstitutional federal laws.

If you like, go read up on the history of the creation of the Senate and the House, and why the Senate is the entity that confirms supreme court justices.

Then investigate the abolition of the senate in 1913 (it has been converted into a second house of reps that they just call senate)

My my, how far we have fallen from the tree.
tehcodez
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June 13, 2011, 02:33:21 AM
 #28

Yes, we have fallen far. I don't agree with the current flavor of judicial review, and think justices should be term limited. That being said, we all still see that there is a basis for laws with which the machines, both ours and theirs, must work.

The issue still resolves to the fact that the Constitution is still the basis for US Federal law/operations, and that operation can not retroactively screw someone. They can be put on notice for said-plundering, and they can plunder in the present, but they can't be historically plundered.

Just think of it like this: if they did outlaw btc transactions, best chain history will provide is circumstantial evidence for crimes of the present.

That, and think of the fact that most every law now clearly has an enforcement date in the future. The man doesn't want his hard legislation overturned on "constitutionality."
Vladimir
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June 13, 2011, 06:43:50 AM
 #29

Could someone tell how many clauses of the US Constitution, percent-wise, are being routinely violated in US? 0, 5, 10, 20, 50?

AFAIK there is no 'Habeas Corpus' in force for a while now while there is no Rebellion and no Invasion.

Now another question.

Could someone tell how many clauses of the US Constitution related to money, percent-wise, are being routinely violated in US? 0, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100?


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AnonymousBat
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June 13, 2011, 07:02:29 AM
 #30

Could someone tell how many clauses of the US Constitution, percent-wise, are being routinely violated in US? 0, 5, 10, 20, 50?


2nd Amendment, 4th Amendment, the 6th & 7th Amendment has been violated where peoples liberty and or property are in jeopardy and there is no jury, so it's state vs citizen with no unbiased third party, and then the 10th Amendment.

Immunity to double jeopardy is has also been violated, as now they simply just use technicalities so that they can try to convict a person again.

17 Amendment has also caused astronomical damage (abolishing the Senate), along with the 16th amendment. The 3 worst amendments are the 16th, 17th, and 18th. They at least had the smarts to repeal the 18th amendment.

Notice how they needed a constitutional amendment in order to ban alcohol, but they didn't go that route to ban drugs. They needed an amendment to ban alcohol because, the federal government doesn't have the power to declare alcohol illegal, nor do they have the power to declare drugs illegal.

But making a new constitutional amendment is hard, reinterpreting the constitution is much easier, look at how 'General Welfare' has been blown far beyond it's original intention.

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
-James Madison

"With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."
- James Madison

General Welfare = Taxing everybody exactly the same, and providing them the same exact benefits.
Not General Welfare = Taxing people differently, and only some are able to qualify for benefits. Redistribution of wealth is not general welfare.

Social security and Medicare violate the constitution as well. Doesn't mean we can't have those things, but it's the job of the state to implement those types of systems, the federal government doesn't have that power. Nearly every single law that exists violates the 10th amendment.

If congress obeyed the constitution, they'd really have nothing to do. They'd probably only be in session one month out of a year.
timmo11
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June 13, 2011, 08:17:59 AM
 #31

Can laws be made that make certain actions retroactively illegal?

Is possible in Australia but exceedingly rarely used.

The one time I recall it being used was when the government announced that a particular tax evasion scheme known as "bottom of the harbour" would be made illegal. They said there's no law on the books yet, but we will draft and pass one and it will apply from today.

Retrospective legislation is EXTREMELY unpopular.

Tim
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