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Author Topic: Is bitcoin legal? Not according to U.S. government  (Read 6538 times)
Megabitcoinaire
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June 17, 2011, 04:56:09 AM
 #41

Bitcoin is money. That's the whole point of bitcoin, is to be able to use it as a means of payment. If you want to get "technical", Wikipedia describes money as "Money is any object or record, that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context." Bitcoin certainly falls within those boundaries.

At this point, Bitcoin is not stable enough to be used as a mainstream currency, so the majority of Bitcoin is just involved in stock-like transactions, but the intended end result of Bitcoin is to be able to use it as a currency.
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NoFeeMining
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June 17, 2011, 05:08:37 AM
 #42

Its still ok AFAIK

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June 17, 2011, 06:07:38 AM
 #43

the majority of Bitcoin is just involved in stock-like system.

Yes, for a short term. The long term will slowly steady out as we get closer to 21 million. I noticed that most of of my friends are supporting the bitcoin commodity which is fantastic. They are mining as well. We will have even more mining players in the system thus, the calculation to mine blocks will dramatically reduce as more miners appear. Although, the difficulty blocks bound to get harder to mine which will scrape the lower end miners. They will not able mine very well and not very efficient plus, it's just a waste of time.


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June 17, 2011, 07:23:57 AM
 #44

IMO the US Constitution is unlikely to exert a meaningful influence on the outcome of Bitcoin.  Especially if the DOJ, FBI, NSA, CIA or any other US Federal TLA's are involved -- US Federal LEO's mostly think the Constitution is an historical relic and anyone taking it seriously is probably some kind of "Taxi Driver" type whose phone should be tapped as a safety precaution.

If I had to bet, I'd bet that a US Federal campaign to destroy Bitcoin will happen sooner or later.  Because Bitcoin offers a kind of anonymity it will be labeled as "money laundering."  However I suspect the Feds will go to great lengths to ensure that Bitcoin never gets its day in court, unless, of course, an opportunity arises to prosecute an individual or group who is jurisprudentially clearly guilty of a bunch of crap unrelated or tangentially related to Bitcoin (i.e.: wire fraud + racketeering + tax evasion + money laundering, all using Bitcoin).

As others have posted, it may take them a while to figure out what Bitcoin actually is.  But don't expect Feds to live up to their infamy as misinformed dolts in 2011.  In the Internet era, facts are cheap.  Anyone with access to Google, git, and an abacus has the requisite tools to figure out what Bitcoin is and the Feds will make sure they have at least a cursory understanding before they send the goon squads to round  up their citizens.

Here's my reasoning: since 9/11, it has become -- I suspect -- sacrosanct in the Federal LE community that highly traceable, highly seizable money is going to be the cornerstone of a new anti-terrorism and internal revenue enforcement regime, and that protecting the control and monitoring of the movement of all practical money instruments is a a top priority -- much higher priority than, say, enforcing actual laws.

So once Bitcoin reaches a certain critical mass -- and I fear it looms dangerously close already -- its going to light up pretty big on their radar.  Even if the real money supply of Bitcoins were to remain unexpectedly small, a high velocity of money could still threaten the control of the Fed and the Feds over their money-power security blanket -- by which I don't mean an actual high velocity of Bitcoin, just the perception that it is possible for Bitcoin to accelerate in the future without real expansion of the monetary base.

Personally, I'm just grateful for Bin Laden -- that could very well have bought the US an extra six months or more.  I wish I were kidding  Sad

On the other hand, I think any US Federal attempt to shutdown and outlaw Bitcoin will most likely fail.  I suspect that, due to the design of Bitcoin, they will be forced to trample on some fairly fundamental human rights or to implement some sort of Great Firewall to fight any "war on Bitcoin;" ultimately it will be a PR disaster.  Eventually some US administration will be smart enough to know when to back down.  I could see it being put into some sort of legal-gray-area status or even recognized as legal but with some onerous tax accountancy burden attached to it to make any real-world, practical usage of Bitcoin a de jure crime even if it's technically allowed.

Of course this is all wild speculation and even if I'm right, the whole process could take decades.  But if I had to wager on an outcome it would be something along those lines.

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June 17, 2011, 09:59:36 AM
 #45

Something to consider...unless you have an Austrian (real) economic background, you may just think bitcoin will fail or is not a threat. You won't see it as the most magnificently beautiful and elegant monetary solution man has seen thus far. So even though the CIA was given a presented about bitcoin, they probably won't understand the full potential. People in general won't understand the potential either. People will probably come out with conspiracy theories claiming the bitcoin technology was handed down by aliens to save humanity. I guess my point is that most people today can't think rationally, so bitcoin should have some time before governments start going hysterical.

A group of people or better yet Govt. with power to protect itself that will adopt Bitcoin will RULE THE WORLD.

It's up to the US Govt. to decide if they want to bullshit about "Full Spectrum Domination", or really do something.  Yes, crooks running Federal Reserve should be prosecuted for what they've done. It's also up to the US people to DO SOMETHING NOW.
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June 17, 2011, 10:05:59 AM
 #46

the majority of Bitcoin is just involved in stock-like system.

Yes, for a short term. The long term will slowly steady out as we get closer to 21 million. I noticed that most of of my friends are supporting the bitcoin commodity which is fantastic. They are mining as well. We will have even more mining players in the system thus, the calculation to mine blocks will dramatically reduce as more miners appear. Although, the difficulty blocks bound to get harder to mine which will scrape the lower end miners. They will not able mine very well and not very efficient plus, it's just a waste of time.



But good hackers/engineers will have an advantage. That is REALLY what I like about Bitcoin - not financial crooks, that can do nothing, but down to earth practitioners will benefit. What a relief for a change, after all the "outsourcing" done by greedy assholes not willing to consider implications of their unlimited greed (defined as a desire to improve your position 10 times at the cost of making position of 1000 people 10 times worse). That is generally road to nowhere, whereas Bitcoin is a road to sanity.
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June 17, 2011, 11:08:02 AM
 #47

Something to consider...unless you have an Austrian (real) economic background, you may just think bitcoin will fail or is not a threat. You won't see it as the most magnificently beautiful and elegant monetary solution man has seen thus far. So even though the CIA was given a presented about bitcoin, they probably won't understand the full potential. People in general won't understand the potential either. People will probably come out with conspiracy theories claiming the bitcoin technology was handed down by aliens to save humanity. I guess my point is that most people today can't think rationally, so bitcoin should have some time before governments start going hysterical.

This. I can imagine the FED getting hysterical in the future and i do look forward to it. Ahhh just reminds me of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPWH5TlbloU
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June 17, 2011, 11:33:04 AM
 #48

Is it any different to trading in a squillion other international currencies? Bitcoins are the most international of all, except owned by all and none alike.
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June 17, 2011, 12:34:30 PM
 #49

Something to consider...unless you have an Austrian (real) economic background, you may just think bitcoin will fail or is not a threat. You won't see it as the most magnificently beautiful and elegant monetary solution man has seen thus far. So even though the CIA was given a presented about bitcoin, they probably won't understand the full potential. People in general won't understand the potential either. People will probably come out with conspiracy theories claiming the bitcoin technology was handed down by aliens to save humanity. I guess my point is that most people today can't think rationally, so bitcoin should have some time before governments start going hysterical.

This. I can imagine the FED getting hysterical in the future and i do look forward to it. Ahhh just reminds me of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPWH5TlbloU

I'm going to pass this vid on for ever, awesome stuff mate, thanks for linking it.
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June 17, 2011, 01:58:04 PM
 #50

Federal Reserve notes are not lawful tender either.

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June 17, 2011, 02:20:46 PM
 #51

This. I can imagine the FED getting hysterical in the future and i do look forward to it. Ahhh just reminds me of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPWH5TlbloU

AAAmazing! So clear, easy to understand and historically and factually correct.

In view of current issues with nuclear energy, a very appropriate analogy.

MONEY is like NUCLEAR ENERGY. Very powerful invention, that requires a LOT OF CARE even when used by good people, and CAPABLE OF ENORMOUS DAMAGE when used by evil ones.

After watching it  I feel that America HAS future, in spite of all damage done by banksters.
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June 17, 2011, 02:22:37 PM
 #52

They wont give a shit about bitcoin for one reason...IN THE END SOMEONE IS CONVERTING IT TO USD AND THEY WILL TAX THAT ASS! Until then...its a worth peice of code.
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June 17, 2011, 02:57:00 PM
 #53

In the end the US is going to be more worried about taxing bitcoin use than it is about trying to get rid of it. If they can find a way to tax it, then they will most likely promote it. For example: a store would associate their bitcoin address with their merchant/tax number and now they have a very easy accounting system of how much came in through the use of bitcoins.
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June 17, 2011, 03:11:55 PM
 #54

No, Nothing's happened yet, but it might in the future.  I'm not worried about myself, but it will effect the viability of bitcoins and their marketability.  The Feds love to let these type of things roll along, let people get invested, and then shut em down.  They might not be able to stop bitcoin, but they will be able to shut down websites if they want to, which could make things very difficult I think.  Another thing don't think the Feds won't consider this a threat, all they've got is their money. Without it they're toast. 

I agree this is entirely likely, in fact it will almost certainly happen. There's no way Bitcoins will become as successful as speculators are hoping without some hostility from the fed. It will be interesting to see which countries attack it and how quickly. Hidden transactions make taxation difficult, but as long as Bitcoin is competing as a virtual currency it's fine, next it will be traded like physical currency when there is some fixed value attached to it (1 Bigmac will ALWAYS cost 1 BTC), finally it will be traded like the semi-virtual currencies of the exchanges, credit cards, etc.

Until the last point it's of laughable threat to established currencies.

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June 17, 2011, 03:19:25 PM
 #55

Without going into a big huge diatribe on the terrible state the US has fallen into lets just say this..

The bitcoin is just another example of people flight from the dollar.

Bitcoins,
Gold,
Silver,
Euro's,
Commodities,
Little toys from vending machines outside the supermarket...

ANYTHING TO GET AWAY FROM THE USD

The whole systems coming down, and its finger is going to be pointed in one direction. I think we all know where.

So when the dollar collapses, or hyper inflates, or whatever it does, do to QE3 under another name, or QE15, it doesn't matter, bitcoins and other currencies will be the benefit.

Bottom line, i wouldn't worry about the US government for much longer. A few years from now and they wont be able to support the police state we've all grown to know and "love"
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June 17, 2011, 05:48:16 PM
 #56

They wont let the dollar hyper inflate. At least not for long.

They will kill the dollar and either create another US currency or push in the Amero if we ever get near hyper-inflation.


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June 18, 2011, 04:44:31 AM
 #57

Another thing don't think the Feds won't consider this a threat, all they've got is their money. Without it they're toast.

If they would do their job, which is to figure out what their citizens want and make it happen, then they would have people who wanted them to continue running things instead of shrink to a smaller government, but instead "all they've got is their money".

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June 18, 2011, 04:48:39 AM
 #58

I hope bitcoin does not get banned! That would suck.

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June 18, 2011, 05:37:43 AM
 #59

Bottom line, i wouldn't worry about the US government for much longer. A few years from now and they wont be able to support the police state we've all grown to know and "love"

Unfortunately, this doesn't take into account who actually has the money and their agenda.  It doesn't matter if the US gov't is bankrupt - that will simply justify further liquidation of assets stolen from US citizens.  If the banksters want the police state, they'll have it.  The only way this will change is if enough 'services' provided by the US gov't are available at higher quality and lower cost on the open market. 

BTC is a great step forward because it breaks their stranglehold on money.  Arbitration companies now settle twice as many cases in a year as gov't courts in the US - this is beginning to weaking the gov'ts strangehold on law and disputes.  The only domino yet to fall is the gov'ts strangehold on military power.  Without an effective means of collective defense outside of the traditional means of gov't armies and militias, we can never move in the direction of real freedom.   

As I see it, step 1 is bring BTC and similar fiat-money-replacements mainstream.  Step 2 is use it as a means of financing goods and services that the gov't currently has a legal monopoly on and would shut down if it could regulate, trace and manipulate financial transactions.  Step 3 is bringing those alternatives mainstream, until the average 'man on the street' begins to wonder why he's paying taxes when everything the government supposedly 'provides' him is available more cheaply and at vastly higher quality on the open market.

Why would the man on the street pay for stuff when he already gets that service through taxation?  For the same reason people pay for DSL and Cable internet when dial up is provided nearly free in certain geographies.

BTC is the beginning of the future.  We can make it happen together.
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June 18, 2011, 06:36:13 AM
 #60

Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited about bitcoin, but I think the Feds are not going to be happy.

With all due respect, but... who gives a damn about the US?

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