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Author Topic: List of Legal and Illegal Nations.  (Read 2554 times)
phillipsjk
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July 22, 2011, 03:36:50 PM
 #21


Following the link you provide, I note that China has banned the use of virtual currency for the purchase of real goods, as you report, but that it also restricts the use of virtual currency to virtual goods provided by the issuer of the currency, and thus Bitcoin is effectively banned in China.  You suggest that the definition of a virtual currency includes that it is backed by one issuer that can provide goods and services and that it is pegged to a specific exchange rate.  Do you have a reference for that definition as a general rule, or are referring to China only and extrapolating from the link?

Thanks!

I was only extrapolating from the link. Chinese residents should read the original Chinese circular from the Ministries of Culture and Commerce in case something got distorted in the translation/summarization:
Quote from: Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Commerce
The virtual currency, which is converted into real money at a certain exchange rate, will only be allowed to trade in virtual goods and services provided by its issuer, not real goods and services.

Edit: It may make sense to see a "virtual currency" as something like vouchers. Obviously bitcoin is distinct from that.

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MackTrow
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July 22, 2011, 04:17:19 PM
 #22

It is actually not illegal to transact commerce in the U.S., using foreign denominations. It is illegal to print dollars, or to print a competing currency here -- that's probably one of the points they'll use to go after BC.

Mack
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July 22, 2011, 04:33:07 PM
 #23

i contacted some web hosting companies about bitcoin in my country, portugal, and one got back to me saying that they were interested but for reasons of management and legislation they couldn't implement bitcoins as a way of paying the services

That's not completely true...
I think what they meant was that they can't pay the taxes in bitcoin nor have their prices displayed primarily in bitcoin, and therefore would have to exchange the values to EUR, and probably they don't want to go through the hassle of doing so, hence the "management" excuse.

I built the first legal digital downloads music shop in portugal, and i'm in the process of implementing bitcoin as a payment medium in that same webshop.
Their excuse is so bad, because, for instance, i can accept paypal payments in any currency, but, being my bank account in euros i will only be able to withdraw euros, but there is no legal obligation that tells me I should only accept euros as payment. Of course, by accepting dollars or any other type of currency, like bitcoin, i will have to pay my taxes in euros, so i will need to exchange any other currency i accept into euros.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, etc, etc, etc, nor am I an accountant, but i have informed myself(and the company I'm working with). Don't take this as the word of law, but only as the informed opinion of someone who is interested in the subject.

Sorry if my reply is confusing, english is not my first language, and when dealing with legal matters, just one word can completely change the meaning of a sentence Wink

Stephen Gornick
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July 22, 2011, 07:46:40 PM
 #24

The coin act of 1965 says something like this
Section 102 states: “All coins and currencies of the United States (including Federal Reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal Reserve banks and national banking associations), regardless of when coined or issued, shall be legal tender for all debts, public and private, public charges, taxes, duties, and dues.”

What "legal tender" means is that if I owe you money, you cannot refuse my currency that has been defined as legal tender (U.S. dollars, in this instance) as payment for that debt.

It cannot be construed to mean that only U.S. dollars can be used as money.  If both parties agree, bananas could be used to make a purchase or to settle a debt.

 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_tender

Xephan
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July 22, 2011, 08:24:08 PM
 #25

Following the link you provide, I note that China has banned the use of virtual currency for the purchase of real goods, as you report, but that it also restricts the use of virtual currency to virtual goods provided by the issuer of the currency, and thus Bitcoin is effectively banned in China.  You suggest that the definition of a virtual currency includes that it is backed by one issuer that can provide goods and services and that it is pegged to a specific exchange rate.  Do you have a reference for that definition as a general rule, or are referring to China only and extrapolating from the link?

There might had been a reversal/change in policy since then. I was trying to find the original announcement but could not figure out what exactly would the China government name it. Instead browsing through some articles and blogs, it seems that China has decided it is better off imposing a 20% income tax on virtual currency.

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trentzb
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July 23, 2011, 02:56:42 AM
 #26

It is illegal in the US to use foreign currency because it is illegal to use any money that is not denominated in US Dollars.

I am very interested in reviewing your evidence of this claim. Post here please.
indio007
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July 23, 2011, 03:03:16 AM
 #27

It is illegal in the US to use foreign currency because it is illegal to use any money that is not denominated in US Dollars.

I am very interested in reviewing your evidence of this claim. Post here please.

You will be waiting forever. No one in the US has to use US currency at all.

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July 23, 2011, 09:19:18 AM
 #28

wow, you guys need to wake up over the pond Smiley legalization does not have the power of law until the govererned, ie, you, goes into contract. this is as simple as giving you name and date of birth. I'd study the difference between law and legal, you may find your all been taken for a ride. wake up people, live by common law and get these controlling few out of control, for the sake of humanity Smiley
kparcell
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July 25, 2011, 06:49:50 PM
 #29

Here is a link to a PDF of a book excerpt that addresses many of issues involved in alternative currencies in the US:

http://www.smallisbeautiful.org/local_currencies/Book.pdf

Unfortunately, it's from photocopies and so not searchable.

It mentions, for instance, that issuing coins or notes that are fractions of US dollars is illegal and subject to criminal penalty.  This seems to signify that any foreign currency used in commerce in the US or any scheme such as Bitcoin might do poorly in Federal Court because they were/are issued with values that are fractions of dollars.  Of course, nobody much cares until these currencies aim to circumvent law or replace US currency.

Here's a nice resource:

http://money.stackexchange.com/questions/3582/are-there-any-countries-where-citizens-are-free-to-use-any-currency

and another interesting post:

http://www.quora.com/Is-Bitcoin-legal

and from aljazeera

http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/bitcoin-and-alternative-currencies

Cheers!
kparcell
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July 26, 2011, 10:21:48 AM
 #30

It is illegal in the US to use foreign currency because it is illegal to use any money that is not denominated in US Dollars.

I am very interested in reviewing your evidence of this claim. Post here please.

You will be waiting forever. No one in the US has to use US currency at all.



Check out the links in the comment above and you'll find info that might be useful.  You are right that nobody has to use US currency in the US (or any money for that matter), but "legal tender" means that if anyone refuses payment in US currency then the debt can be canceled by court order, which means they cannot sue for payment.
noob777
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July 26, 2011, 02:11:38 PM
 #31

I firmly believe that Bitcoin's eventual success will also be it's downfall. Once it becomes so popular that the US Government perceives it to be a threat (no taxation, no control over monetary policy, and it's potential for illegal use & money laundering) they will simply outlaw it's use in the US.  If you think they won't, you should take a closer look at their draconian and painstaking efforts to control the financial system.  By this I mean forcing US banks to report cash transactions, taxing US citizens income abroad, efforts to shutdown offshore money havens, pressuring foreign governments to comply with their rules in the name of controlling terrorism, and more.  This isn't crazy conspiracy talk, this is fact.  When it comes to money, the US government is, frankly, the neighborhood bully.

Yes, there will still be ways to get around the ban. We'll all be able to keep using Bitcoins. But it will stop Bitcoin from going mainstream and being accepted by mainstream internet merchants -- which is exactly what is needed to make it function as a viable alternative to inflation-sensitive centralized currencies.

I fear it will always be just for us geeks   Shocked

dancupid
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July 26, 2011, 02:29:46 PM
 #32

Although there is some talk of the illegality of Bitcoin in China they are actively being sold with the top seller having nearly 29000 transactions in 1 month on TaoBao.

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=10579562551

Nothing is illegal anywhere until people start being arrested. People ignore laws that nobody worries about.
I live in China, and 'the law' is ignored by everyone, and if they get caught they just pay someone off or make a phone call to a friend of a friend in high places. No one is  actually worried about a meaningless law about virtual currencies. Most people here send in forged tax returns, manipulate their electricity meters and do whatever they like if it saves them money.

Unenforced laws are not laws.
TKHatch
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July 26, 2011, 03:52:37 PM
 #33

I don't think it would be illegal in the UK. There are many local currencies in Britain that I know about.

The Brixton Pound for example. I hear there's a local currency in Cornwall too.

kparcell
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July 26, 2011, 10:10:21 PM
 #34

I don't think it would be illegal in the UK. There are many local currencies in Britain that I know about.

The Brixton Pound for example. I hear there's a local currency in Cornwall too.



There are lots of local currencies in the US too, but one that tried to be more than a local currency was outlawed (Liberty Dollars).  Does anybody know a resource for the currency laws in the UK?
kparcell
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July 26, 2011, 10:14:17 PM
 #35

I firmly believe that Bitcoin's eventual success will also be it's downfall.


That seems to be the way of it for systems that promote themselves as ways to circumvent law.  Perhaps Bitcom will change into something less like a big bullseye and survive?
kparcell
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July 30, 2011, 11:15:08 AM
 #36

It is actually not illegal to transact commerce in the U.S., using foreign denominations. It is illegal to print dollars, or to print a competing currency here -- that's probably one of the points they'll use to go after BC.

Mack

This stuff gets confusing!  If you follow the links I've provided you'll find that it might not be clear WHAT Bitcoin is, and this might be why we don't see any definitive opinion on this from the US Treasury, inasmuch as they might not want to make a mistake that result in a court ruling in favor of Bitcoin.
alemaaltevinden
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July 30, 2011, 11:35:17 AM
 #37

Hey,

All nations having laws forbidding bitcoin are outdated and should be ignored/extinguished/change their laws.

Regards,
alemaaltevinden

I'm going to be the first worldleader, be prepared >Smiley
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