Bitcoin Forum
January 16, 2018, 06:22:09 PM *
News: Latest stable version of Bitcoin Core: 0.15.1  [Torrent].
 
   Home   Help Search Donate Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 »  All
  Print  
Author Topic: Report on the Bitcoin Foundation's Trip to Washington D.C.  (Read 12918 times)
MSantori
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 168



View Profile
August 27, 2013, 11:09:50 PM
 #1

As many of you know, in addition to being an attorney in private practice, I am Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation's Regulatory Affairs Committee.

The Foundation was invited to a private conference held yesterday by FinCEN in Washington, D.C.  In attendance were high-level representatives from FinCEN, IRS, FDIC, Federal Reserve, OCC, FBI, DEA, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and more.  It was a packed house.  FinCEN did an impressive job of bringing together in one room nearly all of the agency stakeholders in the Bitcoin issue.

At the conference, Patrick Murck, Peter Vessenes, Brian Klein, Jim Harper and I each gave presentations totaling about an hour.  We canvassed Bitcoin the protocol, bitcoins the currency, regulatory challenges, enforcement and investigation methodologies – everything under the Bitcoin sun.  We then responded to questions from the agency representatives for about an hour.  Our goal was to begin a frank dialogue with the federal government about Bitcoin and dispel some of the publicly-available misinformation.

It was a smashing success.  

First and foremost, we received a very friendly reception.  The attendees were engaged and interested in learning about distributed finance in general and Bitcoin in particular.  Each Foundation member lit the subject matter through his own lens.  Peter walked the government through a discussion of the core technology.  Brian, an ex-federal prosecutor, discussed investigative methodologies.

I, of course, discussed regulatory challenges.  I discussed some of the ways in which the regulatory landscape in the US did not achieve the government’s policy goals.  In particular, I spent a few minutes just going through the ambiguity in the March FinCEN Guidance, and emphasized the importance of supporting innovation in the Bitcoin industry.  I hit some points very hard – like how the regulatory environment has disincentivized businesses from launching in the US and from servicing US customers.  I also discussed how some businesses were simply picking up and leaving the US entirely.

Our message was straightforward: It is critical that the industry and the regulators work together to create a safe and sane regulatory environment for Bitcoin businesses in the United States.

To be sure, they asked the tough questions.  The agencies have some very real and legitimate concerns.  We often had to give the tough answers.  By the time we were through, though, many of the representatives approached me and some the other presenters to say that they had a much better understanding of the industry and the technology.  I don’t think anyone believes we achieved world peace, or solved the regulatory challenges once and for all.  

We started a dialogue – the first step in understanding each other.

Marco Santori is a lawyer, but not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.  If you do have specific questions, though, please don't hesitate to PM me.  We've learned this forum isn't 100% secure, so you might prefer to email me.  Maybe I can help!  Depending upon your jurisdiction, this post might be construed as attorney advertising, so: attorney advertising Smiley
1516126929
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1516126929

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1516126929
Reply with quote  #2

1516126929
Report to moderator
1516126929
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1516126929

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1516126929
Reply with quote  #2

1516126929
Report to moderator
Advertised sites are not endorsed by the Bitcoin Forum. They may be unsafe, untrustworthy, or illegal in your jurisdiction. Advertise here.
1516126929
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1516126929

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1516126929
Reply with quote  #2

1516126929
Report to moderator
1516126929
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1516126929

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1516126929
Reply with quote  #2

1516126929
Report to moderator
1516126929
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1516126929

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1516126929
Reply with quote  #2

1516126929
Report to moderator
bitcoinstarter
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 485



View Profile
August 27, 2013, 11:18:25 PM
 #2

Thank you sir , for this update. I was beginning to wonder what came of it.

🔥BitcoinStarter.com🔥- Crowdfunding with Bitcoin. Fund a project or start your own
acoindr
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1036


View Profile
August 27, 2013, 11:19:13 PM
 #3

+1

I discussed some of the ways in which the regulatory landscape in the US did not achieve the government’s policy goals.  In particular, I spent a few minutes just going through the ambiguity in the March FinCEN Guidance, and emphasized the importance of supporting innovation in the Bitcoin industry.  I hit some points very hard – like how the regulatory environment has disincentivized businesses from launching in the US and from servicing US customers.  I also discussed how some businesses were simply picking up and leaving the US entirely.

I'm particularly glad you emphasized this.
Singlebyte
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 854



View Profile
August 27, 2013, 11:20:35 PM
 #4

Thank you sir , for this update. I was beginning to wonder what came of it.

Update very appreciated.  Thanks.
jbreher
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1890


lose: unfind ... loose: untight


View Profile
August 27, 2013, 11:37:04 PM
 #5

I am skeptical over engaging TPTB in any fashion. BTAIM, I am appreciative of the follow-up report. I would welcome additional missives from your colleagues, if they deign to inform us -- the great unwashed masses.

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

I've been convicted of heresy. Convicted by a mere known extortionist. Read my Trust for details.
str4wm4n
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1616


View Profile
August 27, 2013, 11:45:28 PM
 #6

 Cry
superduh
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 602


View Profile
August 27, 2013, 11:48:21 PM
 #7

toughest questions and response? if you are allowed to disclose

ok
LightRider
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1485


I advocate the Zeitgeist Movement & Venus Project.


View Profile WWW
August 27, 2013, 11:59:43 PM
 #8

What regulatory and enforcement methodologies did you endorse?

Bitcoin combines money, the wrongest thing in the world, with software, the easiest thing in the world to get wrong.
Visit www.thevenusproject.com and www.theZeitgeistMovement.com.
wopwop
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Activity: 252



View Profile
August 28, 2013, 12:02:31 AM
 #9

Lol, USGOV is just probing the Bitcoin Foundation, not Bitcoin.

They are checking the legitimacy of the members of Bitcoin Foundation, to see if they are fit.
The members of Bitcoin Foundation know this (if not, oops). This isn't a quest of Bitcoin, this is a quest for becoming a high-ranked advisor of the USGOV.
It's a battle for people like MSantori though, they are fighting to become part of the high club.

Now that in itself is nothing to be ashamed off. Just that it's on the back off others is slightly itchy, but that's all. Go for it.
acoindr
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1036


View Profile
August 28, 2013, 12:27:28 AM
 #10

I am skeptical over engaging TPTB in any fashion. BTAIM, I am appreciative of the follow-up report. I would welcome additional missives from your colleagues, if they deign to inform us -- the great unwashed masses.

I think this course is the only chance we have at softer interaction from the inevitable collision of the two communities, and therefore entirely appropriate. Your post puts a huge grin on my face, though.  Cheesy
QuestionAuthority
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1750


You lead and I'll watch you walk away.


View Profile
August 28, 2013, 01:19:09 AM
 #11

Were the attending community members "invited" or issued a "subpoena" to attend? The difference would set the tone of the meeting. Did the government representatives offer any advice to the Bitcoin businesses operating in the US currently as a friendly gesture to keep more seized bank accounts from happening? I'm sure Mark Karpeles would like to know how to get back his 5 million dollars.

I trust a thief in the night more than I trust the US Federal government because I always know the exact motivation of the thief.

acoindr
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1036


View Profile
August 28, 2013, 01:27:24 AM
 #12

Were the attending community members "invited" or issued a "subpoena" to attend? The difference would set the tone of the meeting. Did the government representatives offer any advice to the Bitcoin businesses operating in the US currently as a friendly gesture to keep more seized bank accounts from happening? I'm sure Mark Karpeles would like to know how to get back his 5 million dollars.

I trust a thief in the night more than I trust the US Federal government because I always know the exact motivation of the thief.

I read a couple news articles on this. I believe everyone was invited by FinCEN. One news article said the Foundation was 'host' which fits with MSantori's account. The Foundation was essentially presenting information and answering questions about Bitcoin to a regulatory community very much curious about and new to it.
acoindr
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1036


View Profile
August 28, 2013, 01:41:32 AM
 #13

I think that is highly unlikely.  They would have to announce a public meeting.  I suspect the BF requested a meeting and was granted a meeting and then they chose who would attend and they probably ran the list by FinCEN to make sure they wouldn't object.  (I am just speculating but this is usually the way it goes).

I didn't mean FinCEN made the initial invitation. That may have happened, but I don't know. I meant FinCEN was more of the lead agency orchestrating the meeting. Whether it was the Bitcoin community or regulatory community that reached out first I don't know. I don't think that really matters as both would have motivation for such a meeting to happen.
blockgenesis
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Activity: 285

Bitcoin.org maintainer


View Profile
August 28, 2013, 01:42:25 AM
 #14

Great critical job being done, thanks for taking this seriously. You seem to have done a very profesionnal job and I wish that you continue this education effort. You're helping them to better understand Bitcoin and make more informed and coherent decisions about it.

Donation: 18XXXQs1vAQGBAZbXKA322r9Zy1nZac2H4
QuestionAuthority
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1750


You lead and I'll watch you walk away.


View Profile
August 28, 2013, 01:51:25 AM
 #15

Thanks for the clarification. I would like to know if the gradual education of the government is going to be a process of court trials involving businesses until none are left that are willing to operate in this country. The best way for the agencies to act from this point forward is using complete transparency and communication with business operators. If regulators feel that a business is violating a law they should clarify and seek compliance. Unfortunately, they are more likely to grandstand and prosecute. Sensationalism and media attention wins votes even if the prosecuting agency later loses the case.

jbreher
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1890


lose: unfind ... loose: untight


View Profile
August 28, 2013, 01:53:27 AM
 #16

I am skeptical over engaging TPTB in any fashion. BTAIM, I am appreciative of the follow-up report. I would welcome additional missives from your colleagues, if they deign to inform us -- the great unwashed masses.

I think this course is the only chance we have at softer interaction from the inevitable collision of the two communities, and therefore entirely appropriate. Your post puts a huge grin on my face, though.  Cheesy

...and with that, my work here is done.

waitaminnit - nope, not quite

MSantori - was this meeting recorded? Is there a transcript available? If not, why not?

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

I've been convicted of heresy. Convicted by a mere known extortionist. Read my Trust for details.
LightRider
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1485


I advocate the Zeitgeist Movement & Venus Project.


View Profile WWW
August 28, 2013, 02:02:35 AM
 #17

I am skeptical over engaging TPTB in any fashion. BTAIM, I am appreciative of the follow-up report. I would welcome additional missives from your colleagues, if they deign to inform us -- the great unwashed masses.

I think this course is the only chance we have at softer interaction from the inevitable collision of the two communities, and therefore entirely appropriate. Your post puts a huge grin on my face, though.  Cheesy

...and with that, my work here is done.

waitaminnit - nope, not quite

MSantori - was this meeting recorded? Is there a transcript available? If not, why not?

Government industry collusion is not a very transparent process.

Bitcoin combines money, the wrongest thing in the world, with software, the easiest thing in the world to get wrong.
Visit www.thevenusproject.com and www.theZeitgeistMovement.com.
MSantori
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 168



View Profile
August 28, 2013, 02:21:00 AM
 #18

To address a few questions:

FinCEN hosted the meeting, not the Foundation.

It did not subpoena the foundation. We went willingly Smiley

As far as I know, it was not recorded.  It wasn't open to press either.

The Foundation did not endorse any particular investigative or regulatory methods, nor did we lobby for any particular policy position.  The meeting was the beginning of a conversation, not a debate.  Moreover, the Foundation has not developed any particular policy position as of yet.  It is in the midst of determining its policy positions by democratic, community-driven process.  If you'd like your voice heard in this process, or would like to know more about how it works, you should consider joining the Foundation.  

I should say that we made one particular point very strongly, that the Foundation does not represent "Bitcoin".  We represent our constituent members.  We tried to be as transparent as possible about that.

Marco Santori is a lawyer, but not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.  If you do have specific questions, though, please don't hesitate to PM me.  We've learned this forum isn't 100% secure, so you might prefer to email me.  Maybe I can help!  Depending upon your jurisdiction, this post might be construed as attorney advertising, so: attorney advertising Smiley
Phinnaeus Gage
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1358


Bitcoin: An Idea Worth Spending


View Profile
August 28, 2013, 02:43:19 AM
 #19

As many of you know, in addition to being an attorney in private practice, I am Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation's Regulatory Affairs Committee.

The Foundation was invited to a private conference held yesterday by FinCEN in Washington, D.C.  In attendance were high-level representatives from FinCEN, IRS, FDIC, Federal Reserve, OCC, FBI, DEA, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security and more.  It was a packed house.  FinCEN did an impressive job of bringing together in one room nearly all of the agency stakeholders in the Bitcoin issue.

At the conference, Patrick Murck, Peter Vessenes, Brian Klein, Jim Harper and I each gave presentations totaling about an hour.  We canvassed Bitcoin the protocol, bitcoins the currency, regulatory challenges, enforcement and investigation methodologies – everything under the Bitcoin sun.  We then responded to questions from the agency representatives for about an hour.  Our goal was to begin a frank dialogue with the federal government about Bitcoin and dispel some of the publicly-available misinformation.

It was a smashing success.  

First and foremost, we received a very friendly reception.  The attendees were engaged and interested in learning about distributed finance in general and Bitcoin in particular.  Each Foundation member lit the subject matter through his own lens.  Peter walked the government through a discussion of the core technology.  Brian, an ex-federal prosecutor, discussed investigative methodologies.

I, of course, discussed regulatory challenges.  I discussed some of the ways in which the regulatory landscape in the US did not achieve the government’s policy goals.  In particular, I spent a few minutes just going through the ambiguity in the March FinCEN Guidance, and emphasized the importance of supporting innovation in the Bitcoin industry.  I hit some points very hard – like how the regulatory environment has disincentivized businesses from launching in the US and from servicing US customers.  I also discussed how some businesses were simply picking up and leaving the US entirely.

Our message was straightforward: It is critical that the industry and the regulators work together to create a safe and sane regulatory environment for Bitcoin businesses in the United States.

To be sure, they asked the tough questions.  The agencies have some very real and legitimate concerns.  We often had to give the tough answers.  By the time we were through, though, many of the representatives approached me and some the other presenters to say that they had a much better understanding of the industry and the technology.  I don’t think anyone believes we achieved world peace, or solved the regulatory challenges once and for all.  

We started a dialogue – the first steps in understanding each other.

Try accomplishing that without a The Bitcoin Foundation.

+1(+) for The Bitcoin Foundation.

I guess it's time for me to become a member and support them.
bg002h
Donator
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1358


I outlived my lifetime membership:)


View Profile WWW
August 28, 2013, 02:43:46 AM
 #20

Were the attending community members "invited" or issued a "subpoena" to attend? The difference would set the tone of the meeting. Did the government representatives offer any advice to the Bitcoin businesses operating in the US currently as a friendly gesture to keep more seized bank accounts from happening? I'm sure Mark Karpeles would like to know how to get back his 5 million dollars.

I trust a thief in the night more than I trust the US Federal government because I always know the exact motivation of the thief.

I read a couple news articles on this. I believe everyone was invited by FinCEN. One news article said the Foundation was 'host' which fits with MSantori's account. The Foundation was essentially presenting information and answering questions about Bitcoin to a regulatory community very much curious about and new to it.

The deadline for these agencies to report back to the senate is august 30...see the last paragraph on page 3:
http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/download/letter-to-secretary-napolitano-on-virtual-currencies

I'm sure getting help understanding this stuff was greatly appreciated...kinda like getting tutored the day before a test...

Hardfork aren't that hard.
1GCDzqmX2Cf513E8NeThNHxiYEivU1Chhe
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 »  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Sponsored by , a Bitcoin-accepting VPN.
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!