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Author Topic: Would the sale of bitcoin for cash be protected by the US constitution?  (Read 1112 times)
jubalix
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December 28, 2013, 09:37:33 AM
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if bitcoin could be considered an form of written expression, sort of like a book, pamphlet, or ticket, would it be protected under US 1st amendment free speech constitutional rights?

Eg you can sell a book on say computer code, poetry of whatever for how much you want, and what another person will pay for it.

When some one gives money for a bitcoin the are giving money for a counter-party to change the expression of the block chain to a new form. The blockchain would be the form of expression in question.

It may seem the right of freedom of speech in the form of the blockchain, may have constitutional protection. Indeed one wonders if AML legislation can sound/stand against this.

Consider that bitcoin is not a recognized currency of the US or any other state that may gain various treaty rights. So how would AML stand up against the fact I wish to pay money for a form of data to another person and sell data in a particular form to another person.

My understanding that certain forms of encryption have been banned for export in the US history, but the blockchain does not fall under any of the exceptions and seem to gain some strength from American Civil Liberties Union v. Ashcroft (2002).

This would force the US the legally recognize BTC as a currency, and thus perhaps gain some power from other heads of power in constitution to regulate it, that pertain to currency, or not recognize, which means it would not be able to institute AML provisions, as among other things free speech provisions could be used to strike it down. Either way a win for BTC.

I would be interested in others views.




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Honeypot
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December 28, 2013, 09:49:33 AM
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Typical. Bitch about EBIL US government then try to live under its protection and benefits.

Pathetic fools.
Voogru
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December 28, 2013, 10:08:36 AM
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You're asking to be protected by a document which the government regularly, and flagrantly, violates.

Not going to happen.
justusranvier
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December 28, 2013, 10:18:22 AM
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US constitution is a very old piece of paper in a glass box that would fall apart very rapidly if you tried to use it to protect anything.
cr1776
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December 28, 2013, 12:15:26 PM
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Yes, if it wasn't completely ignored now.

It was a document of enumerated powers until the Commerce clause was stretched beyond all reasonable bounds by the statists to transform it into a document of enumerated liberties.
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December 28, 2013, 12:51:31 PM
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There is constitutional support from Article 1 Sec 10

Quote from: Article 1 Sec 10
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

States shall not make any law impairing the obligation of contracts.  You are free to choose the means of exchange between individuals.

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marcus_of_augustus
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December 28, 2013, 07:09:15 PM
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Typical. Bitch about EBIL US government then try to live under its protection and benefits.

Pathetic fools.

Is that the only line you got??

Pretty tiresome, bump the player your grampaphone's stuck in a groove.

jubalix
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December 29, 2013, 11:07:44 AM
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in any event it may be an action some entity might want to take......

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December 29, 2013, 12:09:51 PM
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in any event it may be an action some entity might want to take......

Take what action?

Using a free speech defense is not going to force the US government to do anything in particular in response. It will not force a definition of currency, nor would such a definition by the supreme court cause the result you are contemplating (AML law authority reduction), it would instead do the opposite and cement the AML requirement, like MoneyGram.
In any case the issue would have to rise to the supreme court of the US before it would have any meaningful constitutional impact, which is not likely.

Despite this:
http://bitcoinmagazine.com/5027/freedom-of-speech-in-financial-commerce/

Commercial speech has LOWER protection with respect to freedom than other speech in the US.
http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/commercial_speech

Ohralik v. Ohio State Bar Ass'n, 1978:
"To require a parity of constitutional protection for commercial and noncommercial speech alike could invite dilution, simply by a leveling process, of the force of the Amendment's guarantee with respect to the latter kind of speech. Rather than subject the First Amendment to such a devitalization, we instead have afforded commercial speech a limited measure of protection, commensurate with its subordinate position in the scale of First Amendment values, while allowing modes of regulation that might be impermissible in the realm of noncommercial expression."

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