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Author Topic: 2013-05-13 Financial Times: Taxmen, police and spies look at bitcoin threat  (Read 4270 times)
jgarzik
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May 13, 2013, 08:53:53 PM
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Taxmen, police and spies look at bitcoin threat

URL: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/42ca6762-bbfc-11e2-82df-00144feab7de.html#axzz2T3OP4P3R

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Bitcoin has come onto the radar of the UK government, with officials gathering in London on Monday to discuss the security threats and tax concerns posed by the digital currency.

About 50 civil servants from HM Revenue and Customs, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Home Office and GCHQ – the intelligence listening service – held a one-day conference which examined how bitcoin works and how criminals might seek to exploit the electronic cash system, which is currently unregulated by any financial authority.

The meeting, entitled The Future of Money, focused on the implications that widespread adoption of the currency might have. As bitcoin users are anonymous, authorities worry that it could be used for purposes such as money laundering, and that transactions between individuals fall outside boundaries of tax collection.

The Revenue said that its attendance at the conference had been to further its understanding of “current tax-related issues” and that it was monitoring the development of the bitcoin market. “The tax system already deals with transactions in currencies other than sterling,” the department said. “Any such transaction will be potentially taxable.”

Also under consideration was the idea of creating a regulated exchange, which would be the world’s first. Such an entity would go some way to addressing concerns about criminality by requiring users to provide proof of identity. An unregulated exchange was set up in London in 2011 but closed a year later after its bank account was shut down.
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Jeff Garzik, Bloq CEO, former bitcoin core dev team; opinions are my own.
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May 13, 2013, 09:02:31 PM
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FT with scaremongering negative slant.  Again.  Cry.

Possibly Jon Matonis was/is at this event?  Any attendees can give us a less biased account of what happened?
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May 13, 2013, 09:37:25 PM
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reads more and more just like out of this "A Lodging of Wayfaring Men" novel, amazing.

https://localbitcoins.com/?ch=80k | BTC: 1LJvmd1iLi199eY7EVKtNQRW3LqZi8ZmmB
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May 13, 2013, 11:46:33 PM
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About 50 civil servants from HM Revenue and Customs, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Home Office and GCHQ – the intelligence listening service – held a one-day conference which examined how bitcoin works and how criminals might seek to exploit the electronic cash system, which is currently unregulated by any financial authority.

50 of them ! ... I don't think there are even that many developers working on bitcoin are there?

..gonna keep the moochers and parasites busy for decades, they must be rubbing their hands together thinking of the pensions and overtime ... and when alls said and done they can just shrug their shoulders and blame it on the mathematics was too hard when they are found to be wasting hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars on fruitless snooping.

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May 14, 2013, 04:03:19 AM
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It's fascinating to watch people who share absolutely no common trait with geeks getting nervous over this geeks' toy daily.

And surrealistic to see anarchistic crazy talks we are all familiar with becoming realities. Shocked

https://tlsnotary.org/ Fraud proofing decentralized fiat-Bitcoin trading.
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May 14, 2013, 04:09:54 AM
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These people probably left the meeting more lost than ever...

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May 14, 2013, 11:01:24 AM
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Would like to hear someone cleverer than me's opinion on what the implications of this are. It seems quite... big?

And what's this about a "regulated exchange"?

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May 14, 2013, 11:06:48 AM
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so, the motherfuckers are thinking about opening a honeypot? They could just ask Mtgox to be their private snitch, I bet they would comply Roll Eyes

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May 14, 2013, 12:32:40 PM
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Would like to hear someone cleverer than me's opinion on what the implications of this are. It seems quite... big?

And what's this about a "regulated exchange"?

Sounds like they are considering an exchange with the government's blessing. It could pave a way for Bitcoin in the Forex markets, and solidify it as a government-recognized currency. This is quite positive news.
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May 14, 2013, 02:28:45 PM
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Would like to hear someone cleverer than me's opinion on what the implications of this are. It seems quite... big?

And what's this about a "regulated exchange"?

Sounds like they are considering an exchange with the government's blessing. It could pave a way for Bitcoin in the Forex markets, and solidify it as a government-recognized currency. This is quite positive news.

Agreed, I believe a regulated exchange blessed by lawmakers is quite good news. It's inevitable users exchanging fiat for bitcoin will have to provide proof of identity at some point to combat fraud anyway.

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May 14, 2013, 02:40:26 PM
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Nice rebuttal:

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Imagine such a meeting taking place in 1995, before the internet and the web exploded and increased the flow of goods and knowledge beyond anyone’s imagination. Imagine that these same people met and decided that an unregulated internet was “not acceptable” and that legislation needed to be tabled to regulate who could publish on the internet, who could be an email provider, etc etc.

http://irdial.com/blogdial/?p=3600
marcus_of_augustus
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May 14, 2013, 10:00:49 PM
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Nice rebuttal:

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Imagine such a meeting taking place in 1995, before the internet and the web exploded and increased the flow of goods and knowledge beyond anyone’s imagination. Imagine that these same people met and decided that an unregulated internet was “not acceptable” and that legislation needed to be tabled to regulate who could publish on the internet, who could be an email provider, etc etc.

http://irdial.com/blogdial/?p=3600


It is a valiant effort but the thing about gatherings like 50 bureaucrats considering new technologies as "threats" is it sends an unshakeable chill into potential business communities that are extremely difficult to ignore. Because they have power of the law (and increasingly arbitrary 'rulings') behind them businesses just try to stay well away in case of being blind-sided and put out of business overnight by some edict or another ... who in their right mind would put up risk capital for a start-up in that environment, (except big players who corruptly 'own' the regulators of course).

I fear it is too late and the UK has just put a great big red sign to start-up businesses ... "BITCOIN REGULATION IN PROGRESS, STAY AWAY!"

UK is obviously NOT the place to be setting up BitCoin business ventures right now, they have made that message perfectly clear. It is going to take a massive change of perception for UK to come back from this in order to encourage Bitcoin ventures that they are business friendly ....

Edit: it would really be too sad if Satoshi was actually a British polymath ... yet another one that got away for the Brits who are prolific inventors but seem endlessly stymied by their rentier class ... jet aircraft, computing, web, the list is pretty long Sad

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