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Author Topic: The Government Cannot Outlaw Bitcoin, it's Impossible!  (Read 6262 times)
bitrebel
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August 12, 2011, 11:02:10 AM
 #1

If they outlawed Bitcoin, we would just change to name to BitMoney.
In order for the government to effectively outlaw bitcoin, they would have to outlaw the exchanging of encrypted numerical data. Nothing short of this, could effect bitcoin, legally.

Many people think of bitcoins as something semi tangible, but since it's nothing more than encrypted numbers, to outlaw bitcoin is to outlaw computers. Completely impossible.

Any attempt to legislate anything referring to the term bitcoin, would mean we have to call it botcoin, or bitmoney, or bitcents, etc etc. Then it becomes pointless for them to even try.

Anyone care to explain here just how a government can attempt to outlaw bitcoin?

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cbeast
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Let's talk governance, lipstick, and pigs.


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August 12, 2011, 11:09:22 AM
 #2

Exactly, the term bitcoin only exists on the open source client and can be changed as fast as it can be re-compiled. In fact, it will. See my post:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=36662.msg450946#msg450946

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
Rob Lister
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August 12, 2011, 12:06:11 PM
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Anyone care to explain here just how a government can attempt to outlaw bitcoin?

By outlawing the use of the concept rather than any particular implementation of it.

The law and associated penalties would only need be harsh enough to destroy market confidence.  It wouldn't take that much.
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August 12, 2011, 12:06:33 PM
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I think the theory is that the governments will collude and force all supporting sites to shut down.  What happens when you are no longer to move money into and out of an exchange?  I know the long term hope is that we no longer will need exchanges, but I think it's a required mid term step.

I read this article about egold and it scared me.   http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/06/e-gold/
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August 12, 2011, 12:27:31 PM
 #5

In order for the government to effectively outlaw bitcoin, they would have to outlaw the exchanging of encrypted numerical data. Nothing short of this, could effect bitcoin, legally.

if I follow your reasoning, in order for the government to effectively outlaw violence, they would have to outlaw the exchange of kinetic energy ?


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BubbleBoy
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August 12, 2011, 01:54:36 PM
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Just look at money laundry laws, many of them apply to Bitcoin unmodified. Any exchange or barter of valuable assets (gold, diamonds, currency, real estate, casino chips etc.) is money laundry if done with the purpose of misrepresenting the source or destination of wealth.

Since Bitcoin transfers shield the sender and the receiver from each other, they fit by default the broad definition of money laundry. It's easy to target any on-line shop or non-shady exchange. They could discourage the wast majority of US based shops from accepting Bitcoins by merely posting a message on the IRS site that accepting such payments without complying to know-your-customer is illegal. Nobody fancies a trip to "pound me in the ass" land for the sake of a few extra customers.

Would that destroy the concept of distributed currency ? I don't think so, but yet again, what good is an electronic currency that can't be used legally online ? It may still be significant for potheads, traffickers and other persons dealing in the black market, but not for most regular people.

The terms "transaction" and "financial transaction" are defined in § 1956(c)(3) and (4). In short, virtually anything that can be done with money is a financial transaction—whether it involves a financial institution, another kind of business, or even private individuals. Thus, the simple transfer of cash from one person to another may constitute a money laundering offense. See United States v. Otis, 127 F.3d 829 (9th Cir. 1997) (drug dealer's delivery of cash to a money launderer is a financial transaction). Other examples abound in the case law. See United States v. Herron, 97 F.3d 234, 237 (8th Cir. 1996) (wire transfer through Western Union is a financial transaction); United States v. Rounsavall, 115 F.3d 561 (8th Cir. 1997) (writing check to purchase cashier's checks is financial transaction); United States v. Brown, 31 F.3d 484, 489 n.4 (7th Cir. 1994) (processing credit card charges involves "payment, transfer, or delivery by, through, or to a financial institution").

Note that the transaction does not need to involve money or other monetary instruments. Simply transferring title to certain kinds of property, such as land or vehicles, falls within the statutory definition of a financial transaction. See United States v. Hall, 434 F.3d 42, 52 (1st Cir. 2006) (recording a mortgage is a financial transaction); United States v. Carrell, 252 F.3d 1193, 1207 n.14 (11th Cir. 2001) (transfer of title to real property is a financial transaction under section 1956(c)(4)); United States v. Westbrook, 119 F.3d 1176 (5th Cir. 1997) (purchase of a vehicle is a financial transaction because it involves transfer of title); 18 U.S.C. § 1956(c)(4)(A)(iii)

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August 12, 2011, 02:19:21 PM
 #7

Which government?

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cbeast
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August 12, 2011, 02:21:30 PM
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Which government?
^^ This! +1

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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August 12, 2011, 02:28:28 PM
 #9

In order for the government to effectively outlaw bitcoin, they would have to outlaw the exchanging of encrypted numerical data. Nothing short of this, could effect bitcoin, legally.

if I follow your reasoning, in order for the government to effectively outlaw violence, they would have to outlaw the exchange of kinetic energy ?


They already outlaw intentional aggravated application of Newton's Third Law of Motion to people's bodies.

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August 12, 2011, 02:43:16 PM
 #10

They could outlaw the use of "cryptographic peer-to-peer currency."

But I won't stop using it.
ampirebus
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August 12, 2011, 02:54:14 PM
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GOVERNMENT CAN DO WHATEVER IT WANTS

for real. unfortunately.
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August 12, 2011, 02:55:38 PM
 #12

GOVERNMENT CAN DO WHATEVER IT WANTS

for real. unfortunately.
Exactly

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August 12, 2011, 03:06:58 PM
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Well it looks like they'd just have to go right down the path to censoring the internet. But don't hold your breath!

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August 12, 2011, 03:16:47 PM
 #14

They can outlaw whatever they want, it doesn't mean people will stop doing the illegal activity, just makes it more fun Wink
 
See:  speeding, under-aged drinking, smoking pot, and sex with prostitutes

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BusmasterDMA
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August 12, 2011, 03:51:40 PM
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Don't discount the ability of a government to create poorly-phrased, ambiguous, and generally unenforceable laws.

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twobits
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August 12, 2011, 03:57:23 PM
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Anyone care to explain here just how a government can attempt to outlaw bitcoin?

Something like:


1) all transactions must be denominated in and carried out using our legal tender

2)  anyone doing fx or any international trade  must be licensed,   and per the terms of the license only approved units of trade may be used.

cbeast
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Let's talk governance, lipstick, and pigs.


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August 12, 2011, 04:36:58 PM
 #17


Anyone care to explain here just how a government can attempt to outlaw bitcoin?

Something like:


1) all transactions must be denominated in and carried out using our legal tender

2)  anyone doing fx or any international trade  must be licensed,   and per the terms of the license only approved units of trade may be used.

It's interesting how we came to the current financial system in the first place. I hate to use the "Tea Party" analogy, but The People did not create fractional reserve banking, nor establish a private bank to manage the US Treasury. They failed and bitcoin evolved. The genie is out of the bottle and bitcoin will flourish awhile until something comes along to restrict it, but that time is a long way off.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
Mousepotato
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August 12, 2011, 04:38:49 PM
 #18

Which government?

The one that shut down ThePirateBay.org.

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August 12, 2011, 04:41:58 PM
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America is a nation of the people, by the people. If your president are going to ban bitcoin, just go to the street and vote another candidate who are for bitcoin.

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August 12, 2011, 05:58:05 PM
 #20

Bitcoin transactions will be added to the taxcode at some point.

http://www.bitpools.com
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