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Author Topic: 2013-06-17 American Banker: Jon Matonis: The Fincen Whistleblowers  (Read 1786 times)
n8rwJeTt8TrrLKPa55eU
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June 17, 2013, 05:11:50 PM
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At a conference last week, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children trotted out Bitcoin and the anonymized web browser Tor as whipping boys in a gross and misguided attempt to paint certain technologies as indirectly enabling immoral behavior. The theme of the conference was brainstorming possible ways to reconcile the opportunities of innovative financial technologies with the needs and concerns of law enforcement.

Some type of back door, or exception, for law enforcement must certainly be possible – to protect the children, you know. Although virtual currency exchange endpoints can be regulated, two representatives of the Bitcoin Foundation clearly stated the obvious limitations in altering the Bitcoin transaction protocol itself. Also, for the life of me, I cannot imagine how the Tor Project could compromise itself in an acceptable way. It would be like asking a toaster not to toast.

In her opening remarks at the conference, Fincen Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery cited the two wildly different lenses through which observers see the virtual currency issue. Generally, it's thwarting financial innovation versus establishing a clear and safe regulatory environment. She happens to be correct about this framework.

However, upon leaving the director's U.S.-centric bias, two other lenses emerge – U.S. interests versus rest-of-the-world interests. And, this is where we find our elusive whistleblower.

The Fincen whistleblower is other sovereign nations and they are starting to speak.

In April, the Dutch Minister of Finance and president of the Board of Governors of the European Stability Mechanism, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, answered questions from his country’s parliament regarding bitcoin. (His remarks were later translated by a Dutch member of the Bitcoin community).

When asked if "the activities as performed by Bitcoin fall under the Financial Supervision Act or is this a private activity," Minister Dijsselbloem responded, "Anyone is free to develop and/or use alternative (digital) products, as long as it does not conflict with the Dutch law, such as the law on gambling."

He continued: "The current understanding is that Bitcoin is not electronic money as meant in the Financial Supervision Act, partly because Bitcoins are not issued in exchange for received money and they do not represent a claim on the issuer. Because of this, Bitcoin does not meet at least two of the four requirements set out in the law. Also, Bitcoin is not in any other way a financial product as meant by the law. (Mediation in) the purchase or sale of Bitcoins is not a financial service either, so the Financial Supervision Act does not apply."

http://www.americanbanker.com/bankthink/the-fincen-whistleblowers-1059910-1.html?zkPrintable=1&nopagination=1
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June 17, 2013, 05:21:04 PM
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good article.
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