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Author Topic: Bitcoin in France: first legal decision directly related to Bitcoin?  (Read 62309 times)
MagicalTux
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September 04, 2011, 01:46:57 PM
 #1

A few people around here know about the legal drama currently happening in France between us (Tibanne, MtGox and Macaraja, the company representing us in France) and french banks.

A few weeks ago, our previous French bank closed our bank account despite knowing about our activity, which we explained fully before starting. We challenged this decision in court, to which the bank tried to defend itself by saying "Bitcoin is an electronic money, Macaraja is not a bank, therefore it's illegal for Macaraja to be handling this". The court replied that it was not up to the bank to decide this, and ordered the bank to re-open the account.

The bank announced us they would close the account again, and did an appeal. They lost their appeal but closed the account anyway.

We have then brought them once again in front of a court, which this time again decided against the bank.

Court decision (in French): http://demo.ovh.com/en/ec220dc8ec6778a9455fa7c77c991224/

Now, that would be quite boring if there wasn't a little extra this time.


The bank keeps saying "Bitcoin is an electronic money, we saw it on internet. The internet is never wrong." (or something like that) while we have been citing parts of the laws regarding electronic money and how they have a fixed value against a fiat currency, and are issued by a central authority and can be exchanged back for fiat at anytime (that's what the law says).
This time, the court was not able to find a solution for this, so it declared the issue shall be reviewed by a regular court (we were using the court for emergency matters, as not having a bank account is having an enormous negative impact on our business in Europe) starting September 13th.

Chances are it'll take a few weeks/months before a final decision is taken, however starting September 13th, a French court will review the question "Is bitcoin a virtual currency". If it is, it'll be a real pain to handle it (will require a lot of declarations, and bitcoin exchanges operating in France will need to collect KYC-like information on every single customer - not mentionning the fact of being an online wallet will equivalent to be a bank), however if it's not, the question will remain open (we'll just know it's not a virtual currency, which will ease the requirements).

While this is just a decision made in France, under French laws, as the first decision ever taken in the world, it may set a precedent for other countries to look at before ruling on the status of bitcoin on their own.

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September 04, 2011, 01:55:34 PM
 #2

So basically what you're saying is that if we want a functioning exchange, we more or less have to stop telling people it's money?

^_^
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September 04, 2011, 01:59:41 PM
 #3

Aren't there fines for the bank going against the courts decion? So the bank would rather pay fines and dissobey a court order than give you guys a bank account?

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MagicalTux
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September 04, 2011, 02:01:45 PM
 #4

Aren't there fines for the bank going against the courts decion? So the bank would rather pay fines and dissobey a court order than give you guys a bank account?

It wouldn't play good for the bank's image either. They opened back a new account already, however it'll take a few days until we receive the access card for online access and can resume normal activity.

So basically what you're saying is that if we want a functioning exchange, we more or less have to stop telling people it's money?

What matters is not what you say, but what the law says.

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September 04, 2011, 02:07:54 PM
 #5

What matters is not what you say, but what the law says.

Okay, but if the law comes out in your favor, all the people saying "Bitcoin is money" are basically not telling the truth?

How much harder would it be for you to do what you do, if the court comes back and says it is money? Because if I'm not mistaken, that would be the favorable outcome for everyone who's not an exchange, right? Everyone else here, it sounds like, would really love for a court anywhere to rule "yep, it's money" so that all the people saying "Bitcoin isn't money, no one recognizes it as money except a couple hundred libertarian nutters" will finally shut up.

^_^
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September 04, 2011, 02:21:06 PM
 #6

What matters is not what you say, but what the law says.

Okay, but if the law comes out in your favor, all the people saying "Bitcoin is money" are basically not telling the truth?

How much harder would it be for you to do what you do, if the court comes back and says it is money? Because if I'm not mistaken, that would be the favorable outcome for everyone who's not an exchange, right? Everyone else here, it sounds like, would really love for a court anywhere to rule "yep, it's money" so that all the people saying "Bitcoin isn't money, no one recognizes it as money except a couple hundred libertarian nutters" will finally shut up.

If bitcoin is an electronic currency, it means we will have to report to the different countries of origin of our customers the identity of anyone buying, selling or owning bitcoins, how much they own, etc. just like banks are doing in most countries.
Not mentioning that exchange or online storage of bitcoins would require to be a bank, which involves a lot of fees and time (can take up to 5 years to create one). Banks as we know can do that as they run fractional reserve and can spend the money you put with them, but bitcoin won't allow that (it's here to prevent this kind of nonsense from happening).

It would also make transit of bitcoin between countries subject of customs declaration requirement, and a lot of more crap that would be bad for everyone.


Bitcoin is not a money, it's bitcoin. Don't try to interpret it with current laws, we'll most likely need a new set of laws to accommodate the way it works and the anonymity required.

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September 04, 2011, 02:25:51 PM
 #7

A few weeks ago, our previous French bank closed our bank account despite knowing about our activity, which we explained fully before starting. We challenged this decision in court, to which the bank tried to defend itself by saying "Bitcoin is an electronic money, Macaraja is not a bank, therefore it's illegal for Macaraja to be handling this". The court replied that it was not up to the bank to decide this, and ordered the bank to re-open the account.


I'll be extremely interested to read the Court's decision (not the summary civil court one, but the later one). The relevant part of the Directive 2009/110/EC (Electronic Money Institutions Directive) reads:

2. "electronic money" means electronically, including magnetically, stored monetary value as represented by a claim on the issuer which is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions as defined in point 5 of Article 4 of Directive 2007/64/EC, and which is accepted by a natural or legal person other than the electronic money issuer;"


Your best defence is to claim that you are not the issuer.

However, that would still not solve your problems in Europe, as you may still need to register as a credit institution in order to take deposits and keep accounts. You actually may be better off as an electronic money institution than as a credit institution.
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September 04, 2011, 02:26:26 PM
 #8

Thanks for that answer, it helps a lot.

Maybe if this doesn't go in your favor (from what I've read that seems unlikely), look at starting a "bank" in Switzerland? Tongue

^_^
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September 04, 2011, 02:28:49 PM
 #9

Not mentioning that exchange or online storage of bitcoins would require to be a bank, which involves a lot of fees and time (can take up to 5 years to create one).

Not true. Where I live (Bucharest/Romania) there are dedicated exchange houses which are not banks. You go in, give cash, get cash in another currency. I've seen these in other countries.
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September 04, 2011, 02:30:04 PM
 #10

I'll be extremely interested to read the Court's decision (not the summary civil court one, but the later one). The relevant part of the Directive 2009/110/EC (Electronic MOney Institutions Directive) reads:

2. "electronic money" means electronically, including magnetically, stored monetary value as represented by a claim on the issuer which is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions as defined in point 5 of Article 4 of Directive 2007/64/EC, and which is accepted by a natural or legal person other than the electronic money issuer;"

Your best defence is to claim that you are not the issuer.

However, that would still not solve your problems in Europe, as you may still need to register as a credit institution in order to take deposits and keep accounts. You actually may be better off as an electronic money institution than as a credit institution.

We are basing our defense on the fact Bitcoins are not issued for money, but issued ("created" or "mined") for "free" (in exchange of a specific work, in fact, but anyone can have their computer do it and expect to have bitcoins within a more or less long timeframe). Because of this, one bitcoin (or 0.00000001 bitcoin) has no defined value.

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September 04, 2011, 02:45:43 PM
 #11

Not mentioning that exchange or online storage of bitcoins would require to be a bank, which involves a lot of fees and time (can take up to 5 years to create one).

Not true. Where I live (Bucharest/Romania) there are dedicated exchange houses which are not banks. You go in, give cash, get cash in another currency. I've seen these in other countries.

Those still need to be licensed (and are legally treated as a bank in most countries).
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September 04, 2011, 02:45:55 PM
 #12

I'll be extremely interested to read the Court's decision (not the summary civil court one, but the later one). The relevant part of the Directive 2009/110/EC (Electronic MOney Institutions Directive) reads:

2. "electronic money" means electronically, including magnetically, stored monetary value as represented by a claim on the issuer which is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions as defined in point 5 of Article 4 of Directive 2007/64/EC, and which is accepted by a natural or legal person other than the electronic money issuer;"

Your best defence is to claim that you are not the issuer.

However, that would still not solve your problems in Europe, as you may still need to register as a credit institution in order to take deposits and keep accounts. You actually may be better off as an electronic money institution than as a credit institution.

We are basing our defense on the fact Bitcoins are not issued for money, but issued ("created" or "mined") for "free" (in exchange of a specific work, in fact, but anyone can have their computer do it and expect to have bitcoins within a more or less long timeframe). Because of this, one bitcoin (or 0.00000001 bitcoin) has no defined value.

Yes, that would definitely be a good argument. However, it all depends on how they read the Directive's definition, as mining could be considered value issued on receipt of funds, it depends on whether they consider that the cost of issuing the value is more than 0, which technically it is (depreciation and electricity have monetary value).

I still believe that your best argument is to state that you are not the ones issuing the money.

I am still very interested in how you intend to operate in Europe regardless of the decision, as technically you would be a regulated financial institution because of what you do. European financial markets are highly regulated, as I'm sure you are discovering.
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September 04, 2011, 02:49:18 PM
 #13

Bitcoin is not a money, it's bitcoin. Don't try to interpret it with current laws...
The state will naturally try to interpret it with current laws. If you don't want to irritate the state, stop scratching it.
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September 04, 2011, 02:49:26 PM
 #14

Not mentioning that exchange or online storage of bitcoins would require to be a bank, which involves a lot of fees and time (can take up to 5 years to create one).

Not true. Where I live (Bucharest/Romania) there are dedicated exchange houses which are not banks. You go in, give cash, get cash in another currency. I've seen these in other countries.

These are regulated in the EU, and you need a licence to operate one. Moreover, Romania is a recent addition to the EU, so it is possible that the relevant legislation is just being implemented (accession countries had a grace period to implement legislation).
MagicalTux
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September 04, 2011, 02:55:03 PM
 #15

Bitcoin is not a money, it's bitcoin. Don't try to interpret it with current laws...
The state will naturally try to interpret it with current laws. If you don't want to irritate the state, stop scratching it.

In Japan we will most likely see new laws and new regulations adapted to bitcoin (nothing is set yet, talks are still in progress). Other countries could see the same thing if current laws are deemed "not enough".

Anyway if you just read the law, Bitcoin is not a virtual currency.

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September 04, 2011, 03:12:01 PM
 #16

Thanks Mark for the update!

Bitcoin are most probably not money under any existing law but more or less digital collectibles with their value entirely determined by supply and demand. See https://blogdial.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/bitcoins-are-baseball-cards/ for a good writeup.

According to this view, you shouldn't have to comply to any additional regulations other than if you would operate an online exchange for say, Magic: The Gathering playing cards Wink

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September 04, 2011, 03:17:10 PM
 #17

This is actually mayor news!!!  Shocked

A court of law saying BTC is fine is a great step!

Can we get the name of the bank? It wouldn harm you more to let people know the bank doing this against our community.

<helo> funny that this proposal grows the maximum block size to 8GB, and is seen as a compromise
<helo> oh, you don't like a 20x increase? well how about 8192x increase?
<JackH> lmao
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September 04, 2011, 03:24:21 PM
 #18

Very interesting, thanks for the post Tux. I think the phrase, "Bitcoin is a protocol" should be used ad nausem.

This whole question of whether Bitcoin is legally defined as money is a double-edged sword. If it is defined as money, then it lends legitimacy (not that it needs it). If it's not defined as money, it can remain more anonymous and more disconnected from current financial regulations.

And indeed, if Bitcoin is defined as online currency due to the fact it has market value and is traded in exchange for things, then WoW gold must also be online currency. Indeed, WoW gold even has a central issuer.
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September 04, 2011, 03:27:31 PM
 #19

Mark, if the court does decide in favor of Bitcoin being a currency, will you give account holders a period of time to withdraw funds before enforcing KYC requirements, or should concerned individuals remove their funds ahead of the court decision?

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September 04, 2011, 03:33:14 PM
 #20

Fascinating!

I'd speculate that that bitcoin will be declared as a "virtual currency" by the court. But this is not very educated guess (since I know next to nothing about French law).

In any case I wish you guys the very best of luck with this. Please keep us informed how it goes.

-
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September 04, 2011, 03:35:18 PM
 #21

And indeed, if Bitcoin is defined as online currency due to the fact it has market value and is traded in exchange for things, then WoW gold must also be online currency. Indeed, WoW gold even has a central issuer.

That's the major difference I took away from MagicalTux' post with regards to how Bitcoin compares to WoW gold, Zynga poker chips etc.

Quote
“This case is particularly interesting because it involved a UK court recognising virtual currency - in this case, Zynga chips - as legal property which can be protected by existing UK criminal laws.

“The court effectively found that, even though virtual currency isn't real and is infinite in supply, it still can deserve legal protection in the same way as real world currency”.


http://www.develop-online.net/news/36921/Zynga-hacker-faces-jail-after-12m-theft

MagicalTux
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September 04, 2011, 03:43:15 PM
 #22

Mark, if the court does decide in favor of Bitcoin being a currency, will you give account holders a period of time to withdraw funds before enforcing KYC requirements, or should concerned individuals remove their funds ahead of the court decision?

If this happens we'll probably stop operating in France. This has no impact in Japan where we are doing other efforts to get a status for bitcoins by talking directly with the FSA (not the UK one, the Japanese one), MOF (Ministry of Finance) and KLFB (Kanto Local Finance Bureau).

I'd speculate that that bitcoin will be declared as a "virtual currency" by the court. But this is not very educated guess (since I know next to nothing about French law).

I'd doubt that since French law is based on EU regulation, which states a few things that bitcoin is not. On top of that French laws define virtual currencies as a form of debt (so you can cash out anytime from the issuer), which is clearly not what bitcoin is.

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September 04, 2011, 03:45:12 PM
 #23

I posted it as news post on my site here: www.italkcash.com

Hopefully this story will catch on in the larger media, as this is super good news!

<helo> funny that this proposal grows the maximum block size to 8GB, and is seen as a compromise
<helo> oh, you don't like a 20x increase? well how about 8192x increase?
<JackH> lmao
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September 04, 2011, 04:36:01 PM
 #24

i live in france and i not know this problem with bitcoin, can you explain me what is really the problem, because macaraja shop not propose on their website the bitcoin paiement can you send me the link please

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September 04, 2011, 04:37:28 PM
 #25

Speaking about wow gold and other mmo things, it's stated that ALL the mmo things are property of the software house. So every wow gold is property of Blizzard, no matter what. Of course if you are playing wow you can use them, but you can't go around and say "i OWN 100 wow gold"

As for bitcoin well we need them to treat it like gold
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September 04, 2011, 04:44:33 PM
 #26

Speaking about wow gold and other mmo things, it's stated that ALL the mmo things are property of the software house. So every wow gold is property of Blizzard, no matter what. Of course if you are playing wow you can use them, but you can't go around and say "i OWN 100 wow gold"

As for bitcoin well we need them to treat it like gold

You don't own bitcoins. You own keys that allows you to give authorization to other people's key to use some coins. The coins really are in the blockchain, which is everywhere.

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September 04, 2011, 04:45:53 PM
 #27

Yes, that's true.
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September 04, 2011, 04:59:54 PM
 #28

I think if bitcoin is to survive its value needs to be dictated by something other than fiat currency.

Why cant we base its value on the supply of orange juice? or maybe tuna fish?

Anything to keep the gooberment out of it.
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September 04, 2011, 05:23:29 PM
 #29

Not mentioning that exchange or online storage of bitcoins would require to be a bank, which involves a lot of fees and time (can take up to 5 years to create one).

Not true. Where I live (Bucharest/Romania) there are dedicated exchange houses which are not banks. You go in, give cash, get cash in another currency. I've seen these in other countries.

These are regulated in the EU, and you need a licence to operate one. Moreover, Romania is a recent addition to the EU, so it is possible that the relevant legislation is just being implemented (accession countries had a grace period to implement legislation).

It's possible, I don't know the legal status of these. But I am pretty sure that they don't need to follow the same rules, don't need to pay the same fees and most definitely will not take years to create one.

The point of my comment was that I don't believe the issue to be as bad as MagicalTux implied. There are solutions to open an exchange other than become a bank. There are also other countries other than France in the SEPA zone. Even Romania, why not? Smiley
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September 04, 2011, 05:52:57 PM
 #30

Not mentioning that exchange or online storage of bitcoins would require to be a bank, which involves a lot of fees and time (can take up to 5 years to create one).

Not true. Where I live (Bucharest/Romania) there are dedicated exchange houses which are not banks. You go in, give cash, get cash in another currency. I've seen these in other countries.

These are regulated in the EU, and you need a licence to operate one. Moreover, Romania is a recent addition to the EU, so it is possible that the relevant legislation is just being implemented (accession countries had a grace period to implement legislation).

It's possible, I don't know the legal status of these. But I am pretty sure that they don't need to follow the same rules, don't need to pay the same fees and most definitely will not take years to create one.

The point of my comment was that I don't believe the issue to be as bad as MagicalTux implied. There are solutions to open an exchange other than become a bank. There are also other countries other than France in the SEPA zone. Even Romania, why not? Smiley

There are lots of places like this all over Europe. I have never been outside Europe so I can't speak for other continents, but if you make a eurotrip, these houses sometimes come in handy.
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September 04, 2011, 05:55:41 PM
 #31

This is interesting and could have a major impact on the future of bitcoins and of course also on bitcoin prices.

Two questions:
1) What is the issue to become an official bank for MtGox? (apart from the costs, which could be covered also by investors) Forget about anonymity for the moment as well.
2) If MtGox dows not (want to) become a bank, we could engage with one existing bank or broker (i.e. CMCmarkets, igmarkets, swissquote, etc) to allow bitcoin trading. If this would be accepted, how difficult would it be to integrate bitcoin into their trading software and systems?

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September 04, 2011, 06:10:15 PM
 #32

Of course it will be judged to be a virtual currency. Because that is what it is. Even "official" bitcoin frontpage says so: "P2P Virtual Currency".

And lets be honest, we've seen this coming all along, right? We've been talking on these forums about the legal status of bitcoin and what it would mean when companies legally wanted to use bitcoin.
The criticasters have always said that it'd be virtually (pun intended) impossible to really work with bitcoins for tax, legal and official stuff.
The counterargument was always that bitcoin can not be regulated and that even if declared illegal it will still continue to exist and flourish. And it might. For drugs, porn, gambling and some niche stuff.
Not for the masses though, but again... we already knew that.

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September 04, 2011, 06:19:02 PM
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@MagicalTux: this is a very exciting report! I've just reposted it on the Polish Bitcoin forum. Good luck in the court and please keep us informed.
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September 04, 2011, 06:22:34 PM
 #34




You don't own bitcoins. You own keys that allows you to give authorization to other people's key to use some coins. The coins really are in the blockchain, which is everywhere.

You are mistaking "owning" and "posessing". You don't posess your bitcoins, but you do own them.

And if not, then bitcoin is doomed anyway. It's hard enough to explain all of  this to non-nerds without having to add "but after all of that effort... you don't technically OWN anything though...".

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September 04, 2011, 06:40:47 PM
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You don't own bitcoins. You own keys that allows you to give authorization to other people's key to use some coins. The coins really are in the blockchain, which is everywhere.

You are mistaking "owning" and "posessing". You don't posess your bitcoins, but you do own them.

Are you sure you didn't goof that up? If possession is 9/10ths of the law and someone stealing a copy of your wallet gives them the right to use it without you being able to stop them, I think it is in fact that you possess them but you don't own them.

I'm not  a native english speaker, so I might have swapped them around then... But then see my edit-added comment. If you technically don't even own the bitcoins you went through all that trouble for, then the masses won't want anything to do with it anyway.

But to stick to the wallet example. IRL... if I steal your wallet (not the .dat one, the real one), I technically posess it. It  is in my posession. But I don't legally own it, since it is stolen and you are still the rightful owner.

So with bitcoins, you do not posess them, because they are in the blockchain. But you have the right to do with them what you want,because you own them.

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September 04, 2011, 07:29:18 PM
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I don't mean to be rude, but the glowing support in this thread took me by surprise.  It is unwarranted, and Tux deserves a rebuke.  Tux:

First you royally screw up running your site and end the big rally by closing the exchange on which it was occuring while simultaneously leaking the emails and password hashes of practically every bitcoin user onto the public internet.  

Now, in the same quarter(!), you are royally screwing up a bitcoin court case of first impression by discussing the ongoing litigation informally in a public forum.  What law firm or lawyer advised you to come here and tell us all this information?  Isn't it bad enough that all your statements made in the past are going to be a part of the litigation, why oh why can you possibly think it is a good idea to continue making statements during the litigation.  

Instead, you should have started a legal defense fund from the very beginning, sought the help of the EFF (is there a french equivalent or sister organization?), and had some discussion about what firm/lawyer would best represent the interests of the community as a whole.  You probably would have been able to raise quite a bit of money for your case.  You also could benefit greatly from the guidance of older, wiser, more experienced businessmen and lawyers than yourself.  

Do you have any experience in business before running mtgox?  My guess: no!

Is this your first experience with a lawsuit, as a litigant?  My guess: yes!

Why a pseudo-socialist, nanny state, police state, big-government country like France, out of all the EU nations?  My guess: you're french!

Going this alone without seeking input from the bitcoin user base is nothing less than foolish arrogance.  You are not qualified to decide, for all of us, which court is most likely to grant a favorable ruling, and on which issues?  

The whole case seems ridiculous, as well.  You are trying to FORCE a specific bank to hold your money and perform banking functions?  That is completely against the spirit of capitalism and free enterprise.  I can't make any sense of your goal at all.  Besides screwing over bitcoin, presumably inadvertently, what could you possibly hope to accomplish?


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September 04, 2011, 07:35:13 PM
 #37

I like to criticize from the sidelines. It's so easy!

What have you done to help Bitcoin? What are you building?

There are two kinds of people in this community: those who are doing to the work, and those who spend all their time arguing, speculating, and gossiping.
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September 04, 2011, 08:02:16 PM
 #38

If someone wants to come along and say they could do better, Tux has to argue why that person should not be given a chance to do so. I don't see anyone stepping up to take responsibility though, just some harmless advice that Tux should take.

I agree with your post overall, but not this part. Tux knows 100x more about his situation than anyone else in this thread, so to think you know better than him is arrogance. Big Time just expressed his less politely than you did ("you suck" vs "advice that Tux should take"). I'm all for making suggestions, but they should be phrased as such, and politely to boot.
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September 04, 2011, 08:04:27 PM
 #39

Well, this is pretty amazing. It's undoubtedly the first serious attempt by a government to regulate BTC, and as it's France it's going to strongly influence the currents in the EU if not the rest of the world. And of course, there are darker forces behind this attempt to regulate the market.

I don't buy the defense that bitcoin ≠ money, nor do I buy the defense that it's just a protocol. But I do think it's clearly a commodity. If Bitcoin wasn't worth money, there wouldn't be a whole lot of reasons for us to accept it as a gambling payment method, would there? But it's just a commodity -- we take it as barter and convert it in and out of currency. It's not a form of money in and of itself; it's a bridge, an e-currency, a store of value. A commodity holds its value indefinitely against fiat currencies, regulated only by supply and demand; as a limited resource, that's exactly what Bitcoin does. As a commodity, betting on it is just another speculative gamble against floating currencies. Does France stop its investors from buying pork bellies on the CME? Doubt it. What jurisdictional right would they have to do so? Under what law can France stop its citizens from paying a company in another jurisdiction to invest in a commodity on their behalf? Investing in Bitcoin isn't any different from investing in gold or copper or anything else with a limited supply. That's the way to approach it and to fight this thing.

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September 04, 2011, 08:06:19 PM
 #40

This is interesting and could have a major impact on the future of bitcoins and of course also on bitcoin prices.

Two questions:
1) What is the issue to become an official bank for MtGox? (apart from the costs, which could be covered also by investors) Forget about anonymity for the moment as well.
2) If MtGox dows not (want to) become a bank, we could engage with one existing bank or broker (i.e. CMCmarkets, igmarkets, swissquote, etc) to allow bitcoin trading. If this would be accepted, how difficult would it be to integrate bitcoin into their trading software and systems?


Would anyone care to reply? thanks in advance

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September 04, 2011, 08:09:39 PM
 #41

Btw, isn't cryptography illegal in France if you don't own some weird special permission? I mean bitcoin contains quite a bit Grin of cryptography. Huh
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September 04, 2011, 08:22:13 PM
 #42

I don't buy the defense that bitcoin ≠ money, nor do I buy the defense that it's just a protocol. But I do think it's clearly a commodity. If Bitcoin wasn't worth money, there wouldn't be a whole lot of reasons for us to accept it as a gambling payment method, would there? But it's just a commodity -- we take it as barter and convert it in and out of currency. It's not a form of money in and of itself; it's a bridge, an e-currency, a store of value. A commodity holds its value indefinitely against fiat currencies, regulated only by supply and demand; as a limited resource, that's exactly what Bitcoin does. As a commodity, betting on it is just another speculative gamble against floating currencies. Does France stop its investors from buying pork bellies on the CME? Doubt it. What jurisdictional right would they have to do so? Under what law can France stop its citizens from paying a company in another jurisdiction to invest in a commodity on their behalf? Investing in Bitcoin isn't any different from investing in gold or copper or anything else with a limited supply. That's the way to approach it and to fight this thing.

There is no such thing as bitcoin, it doesn't exits. There is Bitcoin Network, Bitcoin Blockchain and Bitcoin Transaction, but bitcoin it self is nothing, zero, NOT DEFINED. When you transfer one bitcoin, you only send the message that one bitcoin was transfered, but it doesn't say anything about what bitcoin is. Same thing with blockchain it only stores transaction history. Therefore bitcoin is not money or commodity, because commodity is definitely not nothing. Does the idea that you trade USD for NOTHING scares you?

EDIT: it doesn't meat that court can't rule as it pleased, just that without entirely new regulations it would be nonsense.
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September 04, 2011, 08:25:20 PM
 #43

I don't buy the defense that bitcoin ≠ money, nor do I buy the defense that it's just a protocol. But I do think it's clearly a commodity.

Assuming that bitcoin is commodity (that's also what I think is) has a big drawback: commodities can be taxed by VAT (or almost is what occours in a lot of country for the commodities): having all the transaction encumbered with a 20-22% of tax will kill almost instantly all the appeal bitcoin can have for the merchant. And also limits a lot the internation exchange of BTC (again moving commodities between borders can be regulated - you can't cross Italian-Swiss border to make an example with 10Kgs of gold without paying taxes).

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September 04, 2011, 08:30:57 PM
 #44

I am going to have to get around writing that letter to Fintrac, asking for clarification of their guidlines in light of Bitcoin.

Okay, but if the law comes out in your favor, all the people saying "Bitcoin is money" are basically not telling the truth?

"money" is defined as "a medium of exchange." Something can be money without being a "virtual currency", which is often issued by a specific issuer, pegged to a specific currency, and redeamable for goods/services at the issuer. A "virtual currency" is essentially a coupon.

The difficulty is that even if bitcoin is just considered money, it is still a regulatory pain. For example, if just relaying transactions makes you a Money services businesses (in Canada), the Guideline 6C: Record Keeping and Client Identification for Money Services Businesses is impossible for a bitcoin node to meet. Specifically, section 3.7 Records about certain funds remitted or transmitted
Quote from: FINTRAC
If you send an electronic funds transfer (EFT) of any amount, at the request of a client, you have to include originator information with the transfer. Originator information means the name, address and, if any, the account number or reference number of the client who requested the transfer. You should not send any EFTs without including originator information.

An EFT means the transmission–through any electronic, magnetic or optical device, telephone instrument or computer–of instructions for the transfer of funds to or from Canada. In the case of messages sent through the SWIFT network, only SWIFT MT 103 messages are included. In addition, only in the context of originator information, an EFT includes any transmission of instructions for the transfer of funds within Canada that is a SWIFT MT 103 message.

An EFT does not include the following transactions:
  • that use credit or debit cards, when the recipient has an agreement with the payment service provider for the payment of goods and services;
  • where the recipient withdraws cash from their account;
  • that use direct deposits or pre-authorized debits; or
  • that use cheque imaging and presentment.
Essentially, no Electronic Funds Transfers involving an annoymized, public transaction record.
Edit: (I think it may be possible to convince FINTRAC to leave bitcoin alone by burying them in paper following the letter of their guidelines)(bold in original)(Possible loophole: does FINTRAC follow RFC 2119 when they use the word "should"?)

I think this "security theater" needs to end. We should declare that the Terrorists won the "War on Terror" by convincing the worlds largest supserpower to strangle its economy with dangerous and pointless "security" measures. Since September 11, 2001, I don't believe it anymore when I am told something is done for "security reasons". Since August 6, 2006 (temporary liquid ban is obviously not temporary), I don't want to fly anymore. Since Mahar Arrar (a Canadian citizen) was arrested  (on a stop-over in the states) and deported ot Siria for torture, I don't want to set foot in or overfly the US anymore. Since an innoncent electrician was shot in the head by police following the London Underground Bombings, I have been more concerned about being killed in police action than terrorist activity.

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September 04, 2011, 08:55:21 PM
 #45

for your information: in french by the responsable of macaraja society :

go to see all information with judgement in pdf

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=41391.0

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..DEVELOP  ●  DISTRIBUTE  ●  DEPLOY..
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September 04, 2011, 09:02:20 PM
 #46

Very interesting.

I wonder what would happen to mining Bitcoin. Would it be illegal if Bitcoin was money? In some places yes.

However Bitcoin is not money, if bitcoin is money than it will also mean that it would be illegal to print limited edition art, since those could also be traded. It would mean that anything that is in limited edition would be illegal since it can be sold and bought/exchanged for money.

Even comicbooks are traded. Are secondhand comicbook shops illegal?

 

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September 04, 2011, 09:27:53 PM
 #47

 You are trying to FORCE a specific bank to hold your money and perform banking functions?  That is completely against the spirit of capitalism and free enterprise.

The monopoly that the banks have is totally against capitalism and the free enterprise system. Why aren't you bitching about that? What other recourse does he have than to force them not to lock him out?
When you benefit from a government granted monopoly, you give up the right to pick and choose who you do business with.
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September 04, 2011, 09:28:59 PM
 #48

I don't mean to be rude, but the glowing support in this thread took me by surprise.  It is unwarranted, and Tux deserves a rebuke.  Tux:

First you royally screw up running your site and end the big rally by closing the exchange on which it was occuring while simultaneously leaking the emails and password hashes of practically every bitcoin user onto the public internet.  

Now, in the same quarter(!), you are royally screwing up a bitcoin court case of first impression by discussing the ongoing litigation informally in a public forum.  What law firm or lawyer advised you to come here and tell us all this information?  Isn't it bad enough that all your statements made in the past are going to be a part of the litigation, why oh why can you possibly think it is a good idea to continue making statements during the litigation.  

Instead, you should have started a legal defense fund from the very beginning, sought the help of the EFF (is there a french equivalent or sister organization?), and had some discussion about what firm/lawyer would best represent the interests of the community as a whole.  You probably would have been able to raise quite a bit of money for your case.  You also could benefit greatly from the guidance of older, wiser, more experienced businessmen and lawyers than yourself.  

Do you have any experience in business before running mtgox?  My guess: no!

Is this your first experience with a lawsuit, as a litigant?  My guess: yes!

Why a pseudo-socialist, nanny state, police state, big-government country like France, out of all the EU nations?  My guess: you're french!

Going this alone without seeking input from the bitcoin user base is nothing less than foolish arrogance.  You are not qualified to decide, for all of us, which court is most likely to grant a favorable ruling, and on which issues?  

The whole case seems ridiculous, as well.  You are trying to FORCE a specific bank to hold your money and perform banking functions?  That is completely against the spirit of capitalism and free enterprise.  I can't make any sense of your goal at all.  Besides screwing over bitcoin, presumably inadvertently, what could you possibly hope to accomplish?



That was pretty harsh.

All good points though.

Perhaps you know how old MagicalTux is. I don't but until I do, I'll gladly give him benefit of the doubt that he could be quite young and inexperienced. As such, he could either be doing a fantastic job (bar the password leak) or he's much older and a few strokes under par.

It's hard to know what the best thing to do is without experience. You definitely sound experienced and maybe MagicalTux needs some guidance (I don't know) but your post seems to suggest he shoulders some huge responsibility for taking Bitcoin in the right direction but I'm not sure that's true.

To me it just sounds like he's getting on with business the best he knows how and isn't attempting to pioneer the best path for Bitcoin. Maybe he does have a higher duty to us and maybe he's never realised this until now but with the info in your new post, maybe he'll make that consideration.

Also, I don't agree that he's trying to force a bank to provide him banking facilities more than he's saying they're being discriminatory.

Who knows, with more people providing guidance like yours, maybe we can all take Bitcoin to a better place.

If this post was useful, interesting or entertaining, then you've misunderstood. 1N6rmaDiPf8ke3mx8217NykAMDZXkX713x
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September 04, 2011, 10:01:55 PM
 #49

I am not qualified to judge what outcome would be best for Bitcoin.  Perhaps it's best to ask ourselves what outcome would be most desirable for those who oppose it?

There are prior examples of informal opinions from the government agencies - here is one:

Quote
HMRC, the UK government's tax-collecting body, says people do not incur a tax liability when trading in bitcoins as long as they do not turn their profits into regular cash. Once conventional money is involved, however, the income could become taxable, HMRC told New Scientist.

source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028155.600-future-of-money-virtual-cash-gets-real.html

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September 04, 2011, 10:16:05 PM
 #50

Please France say Bitcoin is a virtual currency  Cheesy
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September 04, 2011, 10:22:40 PM
 #51

I am not qualified to judge what outcome would be best for Bitcoin.  Perhaps it's best to ask ourselves what outcome would be most desirable for those who oppose it?

I think the best outcome would be, if the court rules that bitcoin is not subject of any existing regulation and therefore we can do whatever we want with it.
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September 04, 2011, 10:31:30 PM
 #52

On top of that French laws define virtual currencies as a form of debt (so you can cash out anytime from the issuer), which is clearly not what bitcoin is.

I agree.

I think the closest thing bitcoins can be compared to is rare collectible objects, traded by people, since there are a known limited number of them (21M).
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September 04, 2011, 10:36:17 PM
 #53

On top of that French laws define virtual currencies as a form of debt (so you can cash out anytime from the issuer), which is clearly not what bitcoin is.

I agree. I think the closest thing bitcoins can be compared to is rare collectible objects, traded by people, since there are a known limited number of them (21M).

again: There is no such thing as bitcoin, it doesn't exist. There is Bitcoin Network, Bitcoin Blockchain and Bitcoin Transaction, but bitcoin it self is nothing, zero, NOT DEFINED. When you transfer one bitcoin, you only send the message that one bitcoin was transfered, but it doesn't say anything about what bitcoin is. Same thing with blockchain it only stores transaction history.
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September 04, 2011, 10:39:50 PM
 #54

The right to make war is what separates sovereigns from petitioners and peasants. Sovereigns rule by mandate. Mandate is lost when the people lose faith. Just sayin'.

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September 04, 2011, 10:55:56 PM
 #55

There is a bet created on the court rule:
http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=89

I thought you might be interested

Bets of Bitcoin
http://betsofbitco.in/
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September 04, 2011, 11:13:37 PM
 #56

I am not qualified to judge what outcome would be best for Bitcoin.  Perhaps it's best to ask ourselves what outcome would be most desirable for those who oppose it?

I think the best outcome would be, if the court rules that bitcoin is not subject of any existing regulation and therefore we can do whatever we want with it.

Not only is this the best outcome but also, in my legal opinion and the legal opinion of several of my lawyer colleagues, the most likely outcome. BitCoin is not money, currency, virtual currency or stored value in either the US, France or any other jurisdiction we are aware of. For the most part for legal purposes BitCoin is undefined. Most people do not realize just how much legal protection this affords them.

BitCoin would most likely not be considered money or currency under US law. US law can be extremely broad in application because of the doctrine of stare decisis. French law is based on civil or continental law which is even more code based and thus likely to be less broad in application.

There will need to be legislation written to define BitCoins but, at least in the US, this will be almost impossible to do if it is to pass Constitutional muster given doctrines such as void for vagueness under due process in contrast to ignorantia juris non excusat.

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September 04, 2011, 11:14:47 PM
 #57

As many have been talking about all kind of things let me add a few points.

  • No, I am not doing this alone. I have people with me, some with deep understanding of bitcoin, some with deep understanding of french laws.
  • I have a few years of experience running businesses, it's however my first time going in court for a system similar to bitcoin
  • All the information published here (including the court decision) are public and published by the French tribunal too, since it's not "ongoing litigation" as someone said, but a closed case.
  • Technically you do not own bitcoins, but you own keys to those coins, which have an intrinsic value equivalent to the controlled "coins". That makes stealing a wallet equivalent to stealing the coins. This has nothing to do with the defense anyway at this point, just thought I'd fuel a bit the troll.
  • If anyone wants to help, it's welcome. If you could just avoid citing other countries laws, but EU regulations and/or French law it'd be even better.
.
Now, the bank claiming "bitcoin is a virtual currency" seems a bit far fetched, as they had no supporting material other than internet articles and similar things. The law defining a "virtual currency" in France is even more strict than the related EU regulation, and goes even further in a direction opposite to bitcoin.

Chances are the court will say "we never had to deal with Bitcoin before, we need new laws". We'll see how this goes.

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September 04, 2011, 11:18:36 PM
 #58

Really want those clowns to proclaim it's a virtual currency

That would be epic  Cool
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September 04, 2011, 11:40:53 PM
 #59

I am not qualified to judge what outcome would be best for Bitcoin.  Perhaps it's best to ask ourselves what outcome would be most desirable for those who oppose it?

I think the best outcome would be, if the court rules that bitcoin is not subject of any existing regulation and therefore we can do whatever we want with it.

again: There is no such thing as bitcoin, it doesn't exist. There is Bitcoin Network, Bitcoin Blockchain and Bitcoin Transaction, but bitcoin it self is nothing, zero, NOT DEFINED. When you transfer one bitcoin, you only send the message that one bitcoin was transfered, but it doesn't say anything about what bitcoin is. Same thing with blockchain it only stores transaction history.

At the first glance I'd agree with you, but we need to be careful with what we wish for here. What are the implications?  If Bitcoins are not subject to any existing regulation because they are, essentially, nothing - then stealing someone's Bitcoins would not and should not be sanctioned in any way. In fact, it would be impossible to steal Bitcoins. I see more than a logical problem there, because I pay taxes, and I call the police if I am robbed. Most judges do too.

The fact is, most (but not all) of the opposition to regulation stems simply from not wanting to pay taxes to the government. Even most of the cries for anonymity boil down to this. This is fine, it's a matter of personal interest, preference, ideology, and the political system one lives in. I just wouldn't want Bitcoin to be abused and to fall victim of personal preferences and ideologies. If someone doesn't want to pay taxes, they should take it up with their government rather then try to seek shelter in Bitcoin. Bitcoin won't save them anyway, but it will suffer damage as a result. Similarly, MagicalTux should be careful with what he argues for in the court. What's good for his business in the short run may be detrimental to Bitcoin in the longer run.

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September 04, 2011, 11:51:53 PM
 #60

Firstly, IANAL, but I have a number of good friends who are lawyers.

It seems like Mr. MagicalTux doesn't have a good legal representation in the EU.

EU laws are all rooted in the Roman law. Roman law has already regulated bitcoin as a form of "depositum irregulare". The Roman law was actually about storing grains and other similar commodities. Meaning if you give a bushel of rye for safekeeping the holder of the deposit: (1) can use the deposited rye and (2) will return to you not the exact rye seeds that you deposited, but a bushel of rye seeds of the same kind. I believe the closest legal term in the Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence is "fungible".

This is still a subject worth of discussion. But you have to be aware of the history. In Europe the "depositum irregulate" laws were used to tax Jews for their bogus transaction during jubilee years.

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September 05, 2011, 12:48:59 AM
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Quote
BitCoin would most likely not be considered money or currency under US law. US law can be extremely broad in application because of the doctrine of stare decisis. French law is based on civil or continental law which is even more code based and thus likely to be less broad in application.

There will need to be legislation written to define BitCoins but, at least in the US, this will be almost impossible to do if it is to pass Constitutional muster given doctrines such as void for vagueness under due process in contrast to ignorantia juris non excusat.

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September 05, 2011, 12:58:40 AM
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Good luck Tux!  But get a second opinion.  If not from another attorney, you can find some wise old Japanese or French businessmen next time you're out at the club to ask this one question:  Is it a good idea to sue a bank I want to do further business with? Roll Eyes

But aren't you better off just dropping the whole suit at this point?  You already won and the bank is flaunting the ruling, so you got the decision you wanted, nothing bad has happened for all bitcoin, and you can walk away.  I mean, why spend all this money on lawyers and risk a bad precedent when you could, instead:

1) switch banks
and/or
2) switch nationality of bank
and/or
3) switch nationality of M* S* LLC or whatever weirdly named LLC you use to transfer money around.  Others have suggested Panama, but there are many fine choices.  France is most definitely not an offshore or private banking mecca.

You will probably spend less money that way, to the right kind of lawyers: corporate, transactional, tax, asset protection.  Not the "LET's SUE YOUR FAVORITE BANK" kind of lawyer.  Also protects you from more lawsuits/getting milked by your "Let's sue your bank AGAIN and AGAIN!" lawyers down the line.

This is not legal advice, it is just common sense.  We aren't ready to slay Goliath just yet.  Better to keep things as low key as possible while the adoption rate grows and strengthens the currency.

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September 05, 2011, 01:01:48 AM
 #63

maybe we should just all chip in a donation fund for Mtgox legal representation and get MagicalTux the best representation money can buy... maybe even officially through mtgox's own website. I'm sure they have plenty of funds secured for adequate representation but why take chances

(im american, and here there is a saying "innocent until proven broke" , a jesting statement about how more often than not, whoever has the most money wins in court.)

Lastly, im left scratching my head here as to why MagicalTux is posting information on a pending legal matter on the internet. To my knowledge if you have any pending legal matters, you are not supposed to disclose information (ESPECIALLY NOT PUBLICLY!) And I would advise that because this case is so important to the future of bitcoin, its regulations and legality in general,

and that tux and mtgox stop posting information about whats going on in court. most notably his legal defense tactics...

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September 05, 2011, 02:12:19 AM
 #64

Good luck Tux!  But get a second opinion.  If not from another attorney, you can find some wise old Japanese or French businessmen next time you're out at the club to ask this one question:  Is it a good idea to sue a bank I want to do further business with? Roll Eyes

But aren't you better off just dropping the whole suit at this point?  You already won and the bank is flaunting the ruling, so you got the decision you wanted, nothing bad has happened for all bitcoin, and you can walk away.  I mean, why spend all this money on lawyers and risk a bad precedent when you could, instead:

1) switch banks
and/or
2) switch nationality of bank
and/or
3) switch nationality of M* S* LLC or whatever weirdly named LLC you use to transfer money around.  Others have suggested Panama, but there are many fine choices.  France is most definitely not an offshore or private banking mecca.

You will probably spend less money that way, to the right kind of lawyers: corporate, transactional, tax, asset protection.  Not the "LET's SUE YOUR FAVORITE BANK" kind of lawyer.  Also protects you from more lawsuits/getting milked by your "Let's sue your bank AGAIN and AGAIN!" lawyers down the line.

This is not legal advice, it is just common sense.  We aren't ready to slay Goliath just yet.  Better to keep things as low key as possible while the adoption rate grows and strengthens the currency.

Things are a bit complex than that.

In France there are laws ("droit au compte") that says that any company or individual should be able to open a bank account. When CIC first closed our bank account, strangely, no bank in France wanted to open a bank account for us anymore (especially when we reached the bitcoin part of the explanation).
We then went to the National Bank ("Banque de France") and asked them to assign us a bank. The first bank refused, so the National Bank re-assigned us to CIC, which was not allowed to say no anymore.

Thing is they said no. We opened an emergency court case as not having a bank account is harmful for our business, the court said that the bank was indeed required to act as the law says, and not as it feels. Bank lost court case, opened account, appealed, lost appeal, closed account, got sued again, lost again, re-opened account.

Now, the bank is saying that its only reason for closing the bank account is because we have an activity similar to a bank without being registered as a bank, since we allow people to buy a virtual currency called "bitcoin".
The definition of "virtual currency" under French law do not match bitcoin at all, and the court generally agrees, while saying it is not able to make this kind of decision. On request of both us and the bank, a regular court (as opposed to emergency court) will have to decide if bitcoin is indeed a virtual currency or not.

For information we haven't spent one cent so far on this (the bank has been required to pay us however, each time they lost). Unlike USA, in France the one who wins a court case is the one who is following the law, not the one with more money.

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September 05, 2011, 02:36:51 AM
 #65



For information we haven't spent one cent so far on this (the bank has been required to pay us however, each time they lost). Unlike USA, in France the one who wins a court case is the one who is following the law, not the one with more money.

this is one of the things I missing to not leave in EU any more!!! GOOD GOD When will apply to US?!

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September 05, 2011, 02:57:32 AM
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Is having an account in France so citizens of that country can use mtgox?
Why not just avoid France all together?

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September 05, 2011, 03:24:45 AM
 #67

Why not just avoid France all together?
Because it's important to get things settle soon or later, if bank in France will "win" become a fact other banks in other EU states can do the same. We will stop the process of integration. BTC will succeed at the time any currency will be in Exchange. Bank it's a easy way to go. If you like to cut them off just think a global solution because this is what is about. At this point only a Western union will be the only way to integrate with BTC where is not very practical and trust worth it.

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September 05, 2011, 03:32:35 AM
 #68

You know what Tux, you got me convinced that you are qualified to litigate this issue in France.  It would have been easy to ignore my concerns, especially when I came on strong and direct like I did.  But now that you have explained the situation a little more clearly it seems like you have it well in hand.

I would also recommend you get some research done for you about any French banks (preferably yours) holding accounts for businesses transacting in virtual goods like WoW Gold, Second Life stuff, Time codes for MMORPG games, micro transactions. 

Vivendi Universal is french, they own blizzard, blizzard runs WoW, that's billions of dollars in virtual goods.  One of which is a virtual currency.  Dofus comes to mind as well, that is distinctly french.  Anyway, if the bank holds accounts for these people, they should have to hold accounts for you as well, non?

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September 05, 2011, 03:35:22 AM
 #69

Why not just avoid France all together?
Because it's important to get things settle soon or later, if bank in France will "win" become a fact other banks in other EU states can do the same. We will stop the process of integration. BTC will succeed at the time any currency will be in Exchange. Bank it's a easy way to go. If you like to cut them off just think a global solution because this is what is about. At this point only a Western union will be the only way to integrate with BTC where is not very practical and trust worth it.

Like another poster mentioned though, was choosing France as the first country to have this type of suit a wise choice
versus another country in th EU which might have been an easier place to bring a precedent?

Perhaps just skipping that bank/country and continuing business as it was might have been a better choice? As in let people
in France send money to some other country's bank if that is why they choose to bring a suit against a French bank. It just
seems like this was not needed at this point in time and may have been premature. Sure mtgox is not making as much money...
but this sounds like it has a chance to really screw them over if it back fires... and the community.

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September 05, 2011, 03:38:06 AM
 #70

You know what Tux, you got me convinced that you are qualified to litigate this issue in France.  It would have been easy to ignore my concerns, especially when I came on strong and direct like I did.  But now that you have explained the situation a little more clearly it seems like you have it well in hand.

I would also recommend you get some research done for you about any French banks (preferably yours) holding accounts for businesses transacting in virtual goods like WoW Gold, Second Life stuff, Time codes for MMORPG games, micro transactions. 

Vivendi Universal is french, they own blizzard, blizzard runs WoW, that's billions of dollars in virtual goods.  One of which is a virtual currency.  Dofus comes to mind as well, that is distinctly french.  Anyway, if the bank holds accounts for these people, they should have to hold accounts for you as well, non?
this is a awesome tip, plus WTF they care about they will make more money in any ways, because this is what about for them!

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September 05, 2011, 04:06:00 AM
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... WTF they care about they will make more money in any ways, because this is what about for them!

Could it be that French banks have decided that ignoring and laughing stages are over and it is time to move on to fighting Bitcoin?

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September 05, 2011, 04:10:28 AM
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Could it be that French banks have decided that ignoring and laughing stages are over and it is time to move on to fighting Bitcoin?

Probably. :/

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September 05, 2011, 04:11:30 AM
 #73

Lastly, im left scratching my head here as to why MagicalTux is posting information on a pending legal matter on the internet. To my knowledge if you have any pending legal matters, you are not supposed to disclose information (ESPECIALLY NOT PUBLICLY!) And I would advise that because this case is so important to the future of bitcoin, its regulations and legality in general,

and that tux and mtgox stop posting information about whats going on in court. most notably his legal defense tactics...

You are allowed to say just about anything you want about a matter before the court (unless you are a politician where that may be construed as influencing the court's decision). It is just generally not a good idea because anything you say in public can and will be used against you in court. If you are saying one thing, but your lawyers are agruing another, it may hurt your case.

INNAL, don't pretend to be one on TV.

PS: I brought up Canadian law because that is the only law I started reading from the perspective of a potential bitcoin user.

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September 05, 2011, 04:47:26 AM
 #74

We challenged this decision in court, to which the bank tried to defend itself by saying "Bitcoin is an electronic money, Macaraja is not a bank, therefore it's illegal for Macaraja to be handling this". The court replied that it was not up to the bank to decide this, and ordered the bank to re-open the account.

The bank announced us they would close the account again, and did an appeal. They lost their appeal but closed the account anyway.

We have then brought them once again in front of a court, which this time again decided against the bank.

Court decision (in French): http://demo.ovh.com/en/ec220dc8ec6778a9455fa7c77c991224/

Dragging a bank to court over a Bitcoin related case, and winning twice in a row...
Magical Tux, you and MtGox just went way up in my esteem.
I am getting tired to see people whining about all sorts of things, but not taking any real actions when they get scammed or abused.
Bitcoin needs more companies and people like you, ready to fight with the establishment to defend your business.
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September 05, 2011, 05:01:55 AM
 #75

The only relevant laws are the those of the physical universe.

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September 05, 2011, 05:16:48 AM
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First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Good Luck!

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September 05, 2011, 05:37:18 AM
 #77

I think if bitcoin is to survive its value needs to be dictated by something other than fiat currency.

Why cant we base its value on the supply of orange juice? or maybe tuna fish?

Anything to keep the gooberment out of it.

I have noticed here in the US, communities that use the Time Dollars system are generally left alone.

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September 05, 2011, 05:48:55 AM
 #78

The point of my comment was that I don't believe the issue to be as bad as MagicalTux implied. There are solutions to open an exchange other than become a bank. There are also other countries other than France in the SEPA zone. Even Romania, why not? Smiley

It really depends what the exchange is doing. The nature of the BTC exchanges is to received deposits and manage funds. The exchange houses you are thinking of do not do the same thing, it is just a walk in and out exchange. Taking deposits is regulated, not as a bank, but as a financial institution (same applies to all sorts of bodies that handle financial transactions).
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September 05, 2011, 05:51:42 AM
 #79

Thinking more about whether Tux  is the most qualified frenchman to be the plaintiff in this suit.  And why he may be qualified to represent the bitcoin community well, (big) IF he doesn't screw it up.

1) Has more money invested in bitcoin than any other frenchman.
2) Is trusted (via his company mtgox) with more other people's money in dollars and bitcoins than any other user of this forum.
3) Has communicated with us in this thread about the ongoing litigation.

It makes sense that the part-owner of the biggest fiat to bitcoin exchange is going to have to deal with the first legal problems that crop up, since that is where the proverbial rubber meets the road.  It's worrisome to think about what happens to the proverbial rubber.

Over the years, it seems that legal questions about banking regulations are going to be center stage of the international legal drama that will inevitably unfold vis-a-vis bitcoin.  It doesn't really matter which country the exchange operates in, how many exchanges there are, or who is number one, so long as there are some functional exchanges somewhere.

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September 05, 2011, 06:42:16 AM
 #80

Over the years, it seems that legal questions about banking regulations are going to be center stage of the international legal drama that will inevitably unfold vis-a-vis bitcoin.  It doesn't really matter which country the exchange operates in, how many exchanges there are, or who is number one, so long as there are some functional exchanges somewhere.

IMHO the big decisions will all be made by the U.N.
We all know who controls the U.N.
And we all know who the U.N. controls

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September 05, 2011, 06:59:57 AM
 #81

Half joking... let's just call Bitcoin a religion! Then, not only will it not be a money and subservient to the arbitrary rules of monies, but it will in fact be tax deductible!

Maybe it's the vodka talking =)
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September 05, 2011, 07:17:14 AM
 #82

Half joking... let's just call Bitcoin a religion! Then, not only will it not be a money and subservient to the arbitrary rules of monies, but it will in fact be tax deductible!

Maybe it's the vodka talking =)

Aye, I'll tip a glass to that notion!

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September 05, 2011, 07:39:14 AM
 #83

Half joking... let's just call Bitcoin a religion! Then, not only will it not be a money and subservient to the arbitrary rules of monies, but it will in fact be tax deductible!

Maybe it's the vodka talking =)

You can't make bitcoin illegal. That would violate my rights as a Coinstafarian.

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September 05, 2011, 08:25:39 AM
 #84

Half joking... let's just call Bitcoin a religion! Then, not only will it not be a money and subservient to the arbitrary rules of monies, but it will in fact be tax deductible!

Maybe it's the vodka talking =)

You are a genius

Guys, if we manage to create a religion that has bitcoin as a sacred thing, then every problem is solved.

And creating religions is possible, even sci-fi authors created some of great success!
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September 05, 2011, 08:45:42 AM
 #85

There is lots of interesting info in that PDF ...

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September 05, 2011, 08:50:35 AM
 #86

If we make it an official religion then we start collecting DONATIONS

In Italy you could even ask people to donate 8‰ of their taxes to a religion. After all each year the vatican make more than a billion with that way!
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September 05, 2011, 09:18:08 AM
 #87

Half joking... let's just call Bitcoin a religion! Then, not only will it not be a money and subservient to the arbitrary rules of monies, but it will in fact be tax deductible!

Maybe it's the vodka talking =)

You are a genius

Guys, if we manage to create a religion that has bitcoin as a sacred thing, then every problem is solved.

And creating religions is possible, even sci-fi authors created some of great success!

I'm pretty sure considering the requirements for holding Bitcoins include blind faith and constant defending of your opinions, Bitcoin is already a religion, just much less profitable since our only prophet can't speak without a laptop in his lap.

You dare imply BW was a prophet!?
May all your private keys become public for suggesting such a thing!
Satoshi is the one and only bitcoin prophet.



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September 05, 2011, 09:28:07 AM
 #88

Bitcoin is not a money, it's bitcoin. Don't try to interpret it with current laws...
The state will naturally try to interpret it with current laws. If you don't want to irritate the state, stop scratching it.

In Japan we will most likely see new laws and new regulations adapted to bitcoin (nothing is set yet, talks are still in progress). Other countries could see the same thing if current laws are deemed "not enough".

Anyway if you just read the law, Bitcoin is not a virtual currency.

I would say that Bitcoin is not a virtual currency, because it is more like virtual goods.

After all, it has all the properties of gold, except it's not physical. So perhaps the law should simply treat it as a commodity.

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September 05, 2011, 09:40:17 AM
 #89



I would say that Bitcoin is not a virtual currency, because it is more like virtual goods.

After all, it has all the properties of gold, except it's not physical. So perhaps the law should simply treat it as a commodity.

So if I send my bitcoins from MtGox to my own wallet.dat (I live in europe) I would have to pay import tax?

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September 05, 2011, 09:41:17 AM
 #90

I am not qualified to judge what outcome would be best for Bitcoin.  Perhaps it's best to ask ourselves what outcome would be most desirable for those who oppose it?

There are prior examples of informal opinions from the government agencies - here is one:

Quote
HMRC, the UK government's tax-collecting body, says people do not incur a tax liability when trading in bitcoins as long as they do not turn their profits into regular cash. Once conventional money is involved, however, the income could become taxable, HMRC told New Scientist.

source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028155.600-future-of-money-virtual-cash-gets-real.html


I agree that it may lead everyone on a more clear path if we try and follow the path the opponents may try and take.  But to add a little confusion, it is also nice to see them chasing all the new ground breakers running wild Smiley

All in all this is a great "chase" all around!
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September 05, 2011, 09:50:24 AM
 #91

When is this going to happen? Got lost in the excitement Sad

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September 05, 2011, 09:52:03 AM
 #92

When is this going to happen? Got lost in the excitement Sad

13th of Sept I think?

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September 05, 2011, 09:53:08 AM
 #93



I would say that Bitcoin is not a virtual currency, because it is more like virtual goods.

After all, it has all the properties of gold, except it's not physical. So perhaps the law should simply treat it as a commodity.

So if I send my bitcoins from MtGox to my own wallet.dat (I live in europe) I would have to pay import tax?

Actually, no. And that is the beauty of it.

The actual balance is stored by the whole network, not on your physical computer. So by "sending" bitcoins, you don't really change their physical localization. It's just matter of complex mathematical computations.

By sending Bitcoins, you give somebody else the rights of ownership to the bitcoins, but they don't move themselves.

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September 05, 2011, 10:00:56 AM
 #94

Actually, no. And that is the beauty of it.

The actual balance is stored by the whole network, not on your physical computer. So by "sending" bitcoins, you don't really change their physical localization. It's just matter of complex mathematical computations.

By sending Bitcoins, you give somebody else the rights of ownership to the bitcoins, but they don't move themselves.

This all depends on the final legal status. Law is known to not care much about technical sense.

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September 05, 2011, 10:20:17 AM
 #95

Actually, no. And that is the beauty of it.

The actual balance is stored by the whole network, not on your physical computer. So by "sending" bitcoins, you don't really change their physical localization. It's just matter of complex mathematical computations.

By sending Bitcoins, you give somebody else the rights of ownership to the bitcoins, but they don't move themselves.

This all depends on the final legal status. Law is known to not care much about technical sense.

It's not really "technical", its real.
Bitcoins are physically not stored on anybody's computer.

The private key giving you access to certain amounts of BTC should be viewed as a digital "certificate of ownership" of bitcoins, not bitcoins themselves - it's completely logical.

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September 05, 2011, 10:36:58 AM
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(registering to this thread)
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September 05, 2011, 10:45:50 AM
 #97

(registering to this thread)
Wanna show up for the ruling ?
I'll be there Smiley

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September 05, 2011, 10:55:46 AM
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This all depends on the final legal status. Law is known to not care much about technical sense.

This is often sadly forgotten by [us] geeks. I've also seen in discussions here a disconnect between those of use who live in "spirit of the law" vs "letter of the law" countries. As a generalization I usually go with Europe as a whole often going with what the intention with a law was rather than evaluating whether a new technology needs new letters to be added to the law or not.

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September 05, 2011, 10:56:35 AM
 #99



I would say that Bitcoin is not a virtual currency, because it is more like virtual goods.

After all, it has all the properties of gold, except it's not physical. So perhaps the law should simply treat it as a commodity.

So if I send my bitcoins from MtGox to my own wallet.dat (I live in europe) I would have to pay import tax?

Actually, no. And that is the beauty of it.

The actual balance is stored by the whole network, not on your physical computer. So by "sending" bitcoins, you don't really change their physical localization. It's just matter of complex mathematical computations.

By sending Bitcoins, you give somebody else the rights of ownership to the bitcoins, but they don't move themselves.

Unless the judge decides that the value is not attached to the code in the blockchain, but to the key that provides the right of ownership.

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September 05, 2011, 11:45:14 AM
 #100

Bitcoin is not a money, it's bitcoin. Don't try to interpret it with current laws, we'll most likely need a new set of laws to accommodate the way it works and the anonymity required.
I wish this were to happen.  Bitcoin is going to be pegged and labeled in the easiest way for them to understand, which is 'funny money' .. but still money.   

Thanks for this update Tux, I hope your lawyers are poking at this case from all sides and even jumping in the forums to see what the smarter users might be able to offer regarding this case.

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September 05, 2011, 11:46:03 AM
 #101

Half joking... let's just call Bitcoin a religion! Then, not only will it not be a money and subservient to the arbitrary rules of monies, but it will in fact be tax deductible!

Maybe it's the vodka talking =)

No my friend. That is the loving spirit of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, reaching out and touching you with his noodley appendage. This is a fantastic idea. FULL OF WIN!!

Furthermore, I say we define bitcoin as 'spiritual love', a blessing and a sacrament, and consider it blasphemy to equate it to any earthly currencies. Will the court's deny our religious freedom?  Grin
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September 05, 2011, 11:57:08 AM
 #102

Half joking... let's just call Bitcoin a religion! Then, not only will it not be a money and subservient to the arbitrary rules of monies, but it will in fact be tax deductible!

Maybe it's the vodka talking =)

You are a genius

Guys, if we manage to create a religion that has bitcoin as a sacred thing, then every problem is solved.

And creating religions is possible, even sci-fi authors created some of great success!

I'm pretty sure considering the requirements for holding Bitcoins include blind faith and constant defending of your opinions, Bitcoin is already a religion, just much less profitable since our only prophet can't speak without a laptop in his lap.

You dare imply BW was a prophet!?
May all your private keys become public for suggesting such a thing!
Satoshi is the one and only bitcoin prophet.

Er... I would think Satoshi was the Mesiah (He's been taken up...). Gavin is our prophet, and Bruce? Hmm... I'd have to say he's a fallen angel at this point, but I'll reserve judgement until I see the horns ans hoofs.
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September 05, 2011, 12:33:22 PM
 #103

[registering to this interesting thread]

Articoli bitcoin: Il portico dipinto
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September 05, 2011, 12:47:27 PM
 #104

Vivendi Universal is french, they own blizzard, blizzard runs WoW, that's billions of dollars in virtual goods.  One of which is a virtual currency.  Dofus comes to mind as well, that is distinctly french.  Anyway, if the bank holds accounts for these people, they should have to hold accounts for you as well, non?

No, third parties do not accept the currency as means of exchange, WoW gold does not meet the definitions.
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September 05, 2011, 01:49:43 PM
 #105

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Wanna show up for the ruling ?

I don't know...  Is it possible to bring popcorn in the court?

Seriously, yeah I seriously consider showing up.  I've never attended this kind of stuff, though.  Any advice appreciated.
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September 05, 2011, 01:59:39 PM
 #106

So if I send my bitcoins from MtGox to my own wallet.dat (I live in europe) I would have to pay import tax?

Actually, no. And that is the beauty of it.

The actual balance is stored by the whole network, not on your physical computer. So by "sending" bitcoins, you don't really change their physical localization. It's just matter of complex mathematical computations.

By sending Bitcoins, you give somebody else the rights of ownership to the bitcoins, but they don't move themselves.

Unless the judge decides that the value is not attached to the code in the blockchain, but to the key that provides the right of ownership.

Well yeah... I guess everybody makes mistakes.

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September 05, 2011, 02:27:38 PM
 #107

Bitcoin is not a money, it's bitcoin. Don't try to interpret it with current laws, we'll most likely need a new set of laws to accommodate the way it works and the anonymity required.
I wish this were to happen.  Bitcoin is going to be pegged and labeled in the easiest way for them to understand, which is 'funny money' .. but still money.   
The problem is - they have to define it very specifically and that's not an easy thing to do. I can see lawyers and judges already hating us for bringing Bitcoin upon them Wink

I have a hard time envisioning a precise legal definition of crypto-currencies that would not interfere with some other basic rights or technologies (like cryptography or distributed databases). The thing is, that many of Bitcoin's technicalities could easily be changed if there was a great incentive to do so (how coins are issued, where the blockchain is stored, how transactions are processed, etc.).

It will probably be a looong time before jurisdictions really catch up with technologies like Bitcoin...

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September 05, 2011, 03:24:09 PM
 #108

Aren't Bitcoin really just notations in a ledger? Btc don't exist?
Users are simply paying to log a number of transactions in a secure, robust and pseudo-anonymous way.

It was a cunning plan to have the funny man be the money fan of the punning clan.
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September 05, 2011, 03:32:03 PM
 #109

Fascinating!

I'd speculate that that bitcoin will be declared as a "virtual currency" by the court.

I don't think you're the gambling type, but, well: place your bet: http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=89 ("French court will rule Bitcoin as a virtual currency", 0.1 BTC agree, 25.80 BTC disagree. Pretty good odds should they decide it's a currency.

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September 05, 2011, 07:52:28 PM
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Aren't Bitcoin really just notations in a ledger? Btc don't exist?
Users are simply paying to log a number of transactions in a secure, robust and pseudo-anonymous way.

Yes but that is only one function. The ledger known as the blockchain is constantly audited by third-parties via block confirmations. Verification of the ledger pays in Bitcoins. An amount of Bitcoin is required to access to network and adjust the ledge/blockchain.
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September 05, 2011, 08:52:13 PM
 #111

Actually, no. And that is the beauty of it.

The actual balance is stored by the whole network, not on your physical computer. So by "sending" bitcoins, you don't really change their physical localization. It's just matter of complex mathematical computations.

By sending Bitcoins, you give somebody else the rights of ownership to the bitcoins, but they don't move themselves.

This all depends on the final legal status. Law is known to not care much about technical sense.

I am not sure if I have missed it, so here the question:

Do you expect a ruling on Sep 13 or will this only be the start of the lawsuit?

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September 05, 2011, 10:43:31 PM
 #112

this looks to me like they're passively criminalizing Bitcoins:

"We don't understand it and we don't control it and the government doesn't back it, so we'd rather not do business with you."

My guess is that lawmakers around the world are going to come up with a shitload of contradicting and outrageously ignorant laws regarding Bitcoin which will give Bitcoin users and businesses an increasing pain in the ass until they decide to simply ignore other people's law and government and establish their own.

I know this is way off, but:
initially the idea of bitcoin was to abandon the need for banks alltogether, now it seems like bitcoin businesses rely on the banks' and legislation's goodwill in order to carry out their business.

it's ironic. but if institutions like that really bannished bitcoins it might draw the whole thing closer to what satoshi had initially intended.

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September 05, 2011, 10:52:50 PM
 #113

I am not sure if I have missed it, so here the question:

Do you expect a ruling on Sep 13 or will this only be the start of the lawsuit?


It's only the start date, where both parties will provide elements under their possession to argument. Chances are it'll take a few weeks before a definitive answer is found.

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September 06, 2011, 06:07:19 AM
 #114

Speaking about wow gold and other mmo things, it's stated that ALL the mmo things are property of the software house. So every wow gold is property of Blizzard, no matter what. Of course if you are playing wow you can use them, but you can't go around and say "i OWN 100 wow gold"

As for bitcoin well we need them to treat it like gold

You don't own bitcoins. You own keys that allows you to give authorization to other people's key to use some coins. The coins really are in the blockchain, which is everywhere.

There are no bitcoins. All we have is this public ledger.

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September 06, 2011, 06:33:56 AM
 #115

Half joking... let's just call Bitcoin a religion! Then, not only will it not be a money and subservient to the arbitrary rules of monies, but it will in fact be tax deductible!

Maybe it's the vodka talking =)

You are a genius

Guys, if we manage to create a religion that has bitcoin as a sacred thing, then every problem is solved.

And creating religions is possible, even sci-fi authors created some of great success!

Just talked to my god, the fsm. It says: "Hell, yea!"

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September 06, 2011, 07:03:01 AM
 #116

I have in the last census my religion as Jedi. Happy to convert to Bitcoin religion now. Agree to be a high priest.


-
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September 06, 2011, 07:43:21 AM
 #117



You don't own bitcoins. You own keys that allows you to give authorization to other people's key to use some coins. The coins really are in the blockchain, which is everywhere.
[/quote]

There are no bitcoins. All we have is this public ledger.
[/quote]

Were BitCoin a religion that would make the Bitcoin Block Explorer a holy book?!

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September 06, 2011, 07:44:34 AM
 #118


Were BitCoin a religion that would make the Bitcoin Block Explorer a holy book?!

More like an empty book, the way the price is going atm.

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September 06, 2011, 08:06:36 AM
 #119

I think when people realize the value Bitcoin is *NOT* what some silly bank in France decide or their legal system dictates, or what what the mainstream media makes of it, then the exchange rate will follow upwards. The more laws Bitcoin break, the better it will be in that aspect.

The true value of Bitcoin comes (or will come eventually) from the rigid system itself, the simple fact it is free from regulations, and not affected by any laws in any country even if it were to be declared illegal.

This means Bitcoin will outlive any country laws, any exchanges, any shit you throw at it, because that is the core purpose of it.


...and for those worrying about laws making the rate go down, ask yourself; what happened to the price of liquor during prohibition in USA?

Need modchips? We accept BTC...
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September 06, 2011, 08:52:01 AM
 #120


...and for those worrying about laws making the rate go down, ask yourself; what happened to the price of liquor during prohibition in USA?

If bitcoins were the only way to make payments, then that comparison would have at least a tiny bit of sense...

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September 06, 2011, 09:03:17 AM
 #121

...and for those worrying about laws making the rate go down, ask yourself; what happened to the price of liquor during prohibition in USA?
If bitcoins were the only way to make payments, then that comparison would have at least a tiny bit of sense...
Or if they could get you addicted... wait... Wink

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September 06, 2011, 10:04:07 AM
 #122

The idea of a Bitcoin religion is quite good. Seriously.

In Brazil, for example, there are some people who worship an hallucinogenic plant (Ayahuasca). It's the only hard drug allowed in the country, as far as I know, precisely due to its religion background. And, according to wikipedia, even the US Supreme Court ruled that, due to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, this religion cannot be forbidden to take its hallucinogenic during their rituals.
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September 06, 2011, 10:40:44 AM
 #123

Those still need to be licensed (and are legally treated as a bank in most countries).

Licensed - yes, but "legally treated as a bank" - bullshit.

A licence for a currency exchange office is MUCH MUCH simpler than a bank licence. Lots of those currency exchange places are really small, running as a sole proprietor tiny business by one or two people. The "licencing" is pretty much just registering, and if you meet basic requirements (like not being a convicted criminal for financial crimes, and finishing some course of handling money), you just get it.

Starting a bank is about a million times more larger complication then stating a currency exchange business. Currency exchange company is nowhere near being "legally treated as a bank", as they can not borrow to someone else money which was deposited to them - that is what distinguishes a bank from not-a-bank - being able to lend money which people deposited with your. There are literally thousands, if not millions of small businesses in Europe legally doing all kinds of money-handling business, from currency exchange to money transfer, heck even a credit card processing company is not a bank, and they are lots of these popping-up.


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September 06, 2011, 02:43:33 PM
 #124

I have in the last census my religion as Jedi. Happy to convert to Bitcoin religion now. Agree to be a high priest.





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September 06, 2011, 02:58:55 PM
 #125


think of the money you could make from starting a cash-to-btc street office chain...


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September 06, 2011, 03:09:12 PM
 #126

I think when people realize the value Bitcoin is *NOT* what some silly bank in France decide or their legal system dictates, or what what the mainstream media makes of it, then the exchange rate will follow upwards. The more laws Bitcoin break, the better it will be in that aspect.

The true value of Bitcoin comes (or will come eventually) from the rigid system itself, the simple fact it is free from regulations, and not affected by any laws in any country even if it were to be declared illegal.

This means Bitcoin will outlive any country laws, any exchanges, any shit you throw at it, because that is the core purpose of it.


Pray tell and where would you buy something with these bitcoins if they were declared illegal?
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September 06, 2011, 03:45:27 PM
 #127

It really depends what the exchange is doing. The nature of the BTC exchanges is to received deposits and manage funds. The exchange houses you are thinking of do not do the same thing, it is just a walk in and out exchange. Taking deposits is regulated, not as a bank, but as a financial institution (same applies to all sorts of bodies that handle financial transactions).

I know several companies providing financial services, NOT being regulated, and successfully getting around that by: instead of customers making deposits, customers are "buy" "points" (for example at an exchange rate 1 cent = 1 point) and those points sit in customers account, and when the customer wants to withdraw, he is "selling" those points. These are quite large companies in Poland operating this way, providing online auction services, social lending, etc. All of them use the legal trick with "points", instead of simply deposits in currency. And it works, authorities are not touching them.

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September 06, 2011, 04:08:25 PM
 #128

1) What is the issue to become an official bank for MtGox?

I discussed setting up a financial business with my lawyer in Denmark (because of certain off-shore legal properties) and found the 2009 Consolidation Act quite interesting. The first two pages list numerous previous laws (many European) that this act considers/consolidates/supersedes. It breaks businesses into a number of categories, credit, investment, insurance, etc for those located within, without, and dealing with customers within and without Europe. It looked like one million EUR just to start the process.

But I agree with Tux's defense in summary. Bitcoin is not money any more than collectors items such as baseball cards, prime numbers, or gold. Ben confirmed under oath that gold is not money, but the European Union reserves a special legal place exclusively to gold and no other commodity. If bitcoin is money, that opens up a larger can of worms for the EU.

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September 06, 2011, 04:24:18 PM
 #129

I have in the last census my religion as Jedi. Happy to convert to Bitcoin religion now. Agree to be a high priest.



I sincerely believe this idea to be worthy of consideration.

If some B- (I'm being generous here) sci-fi writer can start a worldwide religion, so can we.

P.S.:
Re the whole "is it money" issue - bitcoin is "money" to the same extent that China is a giant, living organism Wink

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September 06, 2011, 04:45:03 PM
 #130

If you think bitcoin is not money, are you people happy to pay VAT and GST and other sales taxes on it?

Gotta either pay taxes on it, or with it, which is worse?

^_^
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September 06, 2011, 04:55:20 PM
 #131

It looks like money, it feels like money, it can replace other kinds of money, it can be used as money... Quite a can of worms if you think about it.

Whatever we think of it is legally irrelevant. Perhaps it will define a new asset class. But if the European Union accepts bitcoin as money, to settle all debts public and private...

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September 06, 2011, 05:09:02 PM
 #132


My reasoning: It looks like money, it feels like money, it can replace other kinds of money, it can be used as money. Interesting, maybe it is money, after all. Even if some "depositary institution" does not want to play by the rules of "depositary institutions", bitcoin is still money.


Folding paper printed with govt. figures and coins stamped with heads of state looks like money.  Bitcoin doesn't look like money.
You can't feel it in your hand at all, it is purely virtual, microscopic bits.  Bitcoin doesn't feel like money
not until there are insured deposits in safely regulated banks that pay their operating costs from loans, thus increasing the money supply
YES IT CAN Cheesy

It's just semantics when you are talking about is bitcoin money?  is bitcoin currency?  It is what it is, and these words help to define it so people can understand what it is.  The word MONEY doesn't change what bitcoin is.

We all hope that it IS NOT defined as a virtual currency by the french court, right?  In fact, the arguments should be that bitcoin IS NOT money, IS NOT currency, IS NOT any previously defined legal category of thing.  That way, it IS NOT subject to already existing regulations that will make it harder for it to succeed.  Just because you think of it that way, doesn't mean it helps the community to portray it as such to the public.

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September 06, 2011, 05:30:06 PM
 #133

Bitcoin is certainly not Fiat Money. However, Bitcoin can serve as a medium of exchange; a unit of account; and a store of value. But Bitcoin does not fit neatly into any of the categories for types of money. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money#Types_of_money
Bitcoin has some characteristics of commodities, some of money and some new characteristics. Bitcoin is really a new category because it does not fit into any of the previous categories.
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September 06, 2011, 08:11:06 PM
 #134

Bitcoin is a medium. A secure medium, but a conduit to transfer perceived value. Like air facilitates speech, bitcoin facilitates transactions. Lawmakers and legislators typically have zero ability to adapt to virtual concepts, even though skimming billions off a tax-base is second nature. Oh, the irony.

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September 07, 2011, 06:07:21 AM
 #135

Do you agree?
It looks that there are three issues on stake.

a) The definition of WHAT THE HECK IS BITCOIN. Let me give a dummy aproach.
It's clear now to me that Bitcoins itself are no "Money", just exchangeable "virtual assets" assigned not to people but to particular "digital certificates". Assets that are generated with not a single $ put on it (other than the tools+labor "energy" used to harvest it - such as hands+human energy or computer+electricity to mine virtual assets), and can be exchanged for any other king of asset such as money, gold, goods, etc. This is simillar as to creating an ashtray from mud and sell it in my front door to people (when I was a little kid), its price would be based in the effort to do some newone my self, getting an other similar to it, or the uniquity of my creation. I believe this makes Bitcoin similar to a regular "asset" aproach. Perhaps we should all replace the definition of "virtual currency" for "virtual asset".

b) Is it legal to trade Bitcoins for regular money? An if so, should it have taxes or regulations?
I believe that any "other" asset is absolutelly legally to trade, this shouldn't be an exception (unless... read "c"). If we love bitcoins because they can exchanged from Person 2 Person (the original idea), no one should forbid such (P2P is usually used for piracy, but this has nothing to do with it), as regular money isn't forbidded to exchange hands freely. But if this exchange has to be done over an exchange or formal platform it should pay taxes as any other asset.

c) What might come next?
a- If governments believe that BTC cand o will be used as a way of avoiding taxes, crossborder regulations, money laundering, etc, it cares not if there are actual laws or new laws... they will just regulate it. If the first one is good for Bitcoins or not, who knows, I think that even though we shoukd tell who we are, pay taxes, etc, BTC will have fewer transaction fees, fewer asset holding fees (vs money in banks), quicker payment recieving, unfakeable and controled emission, etc, all things that will still make the BTC interesting as an asset.
b- IF governmets think that the Bitcoin protocol, network, blockchain, etc is unsecure, they might try to shut it as for avoiding people to invest regular assets in this unsecure asset, but thought it looks secure enough this shouldn't be the case. But if so, trolls, noobs, regulars we be glad.

So I believe this should come fine for MtGox as a trader unless his LCC has no legallity to trade assets, but if we keep on the trace of mainstreaming it we should expect some general regulations.

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September 07, 2011, 06:59:04 AM
 #136

If true freedom (not the limited USA version) was a commodity, I think we can all agree the global demand is bigger than the supply. This is the reason Bitcoin will succeed where others fail.

Need modchips? We accept BTC...
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September 07, 2011, 08:51:45 AM
 #137

If true freedom (not the limited USA version) was a commodity, I think we can all agree the global demand is bigger than the supply. This is the reason Bitcoin will succeed where others fail.

+1 well said, modrobert.

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September 07, 2011, 11:49:25 AM
 #138

If you think bitcoin is not money, are you people happy to pay VAT and GST and other sales taxes on it?

Gotta either pay taxes on it, or with it, which is worse?

As a business we are already paying taxes on bitcoin, as acquisition of valued non-expirable goods.

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September 07, 2011, 11:52:35 AM
 #139

If you think bitcoin is not money, are you people happy to pay VAT and GST and other sales taxes on it?

Gotta either pay taxes on it, or with it, which is worse?

As a business we are already paying taxes on bitcoin, as acquisition of valued non-expirable goods.

Good to see that MtGox has already debunked two of the most bitcoin myths. Bitcoin is not anonymous. Bitcoin is not "tax free".

NOT a member of the so called ''Bitcoin Foundation''. Choose Independence!

Donate to the BitKitty Foundation instead! -> 1Fd4yLneGmxRHnPi6WCMC2hAMzaWvDePF9 <-
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September 07, 2011, 12:56:49 PM
 #140

Good to see that MtGox has already debunked two of the most bitcoin myths. Bitcoin is not anonymous. Bitcoin is not "tax free".

..and that it's deflationary. Smiley

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September 07, 2011, 02:49:06 PM
 #141

Devil's advocate. Bitcoin is a currency. The issuer is the original miner who generated it. The only difference is that the issuers are distributed.

2. "electronic money" means electronically, including magnetically, stored monetary value as represented by a claim on the issuer which is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions as defined in point 5 of Article 4 of Directive 2007/64/EC, and which is accepted by a natural or legal person other than the electronic money issuer;"

Word definitions... What is monetary value? A house? A car? Something with the word 'coin' in it?

Gov will respond somehow. This will effect bitcoin value somehow. Up as well as down i'm sure. Hard to predict.

We all expected this to happen but we didnt know when. Im sure some people woild have hoped a more quiet developing time rather than an explosive and rapid news events.

Different governments can respond in different ways. One gives it ligitimacy and outlaws it, and gives itblegitimacy and recognises it; both are rocognising the currency.

Crypto supporter!
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September 07, 2011, 03:01:35 PM
 #142

If I was the bank I wouldn't open the bitcoin can of worms, instead, I'd focus on the mtgox USD.

Clearly, *that* is an e-currency :
 - It's issued by a central authority: Tibanne,
 - it is an instrument that represents debt, the creditor being the user, and the debtor being tibanne,
 - it is redeemable against fiat currency,
 - it is transferable to a third party using an mtgox code



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September 07, 2011, 03:06:10 PM
 #143

Remember, gold is not a money and bitcoin is very similar to gold
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September 07, 2011, 04:25:13 PM
 #144

Due to breach of trust and gross negligence by Sirius and Theymos who recklessly transferred my private and personal data on this forum to a Japaneze company without my permission I am leaving this forum and deleting all my posts. Goodbye.

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September 07, 2011, 04:53:11 PM
 #145

So since bitcoin is not money, does that mean that Tom Williams stole nothing at all?
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September 07, 2011, 05:11:24 PM
 #146

Devil's advocate. Bitcoin is a currency. The issuer is the original miner who generated it. The only difference is that the issuers are distributed.

2. "electronic money" means electronically, including magnetically, stored monetary value as represented by a claim on the issuer which is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions as defined in point 5 of Article 4 of Directive 2007/64/EC, and which is accepted by a natural or legal person other than the electronic money issuer;"

The issuer/central authority is a computer program/network, not the miner.
It is also the holder of the "coins". You cant extract the coins for yourself....it is not a commodity. Bitcoins are illegal.

The keys to the coins are an illegal commodity.

Feel free to disagree, but thats the argument for saying bitcoins are a currency.



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September 07, 2011, 05:14:24 PM
 #147

Devil's advocate. Bitcoin is a currency. The issuer is the original miner who generated it. The only difference is that the issuers are distributed.

2. "electronic money" means electronically, including magnetically, stored monetary value as represented by a claim on the issuer which is issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions as defined in point 5 of Article 4 of Directive 2007/64/EC, and which is accepted by a natural or legal person other than the electronic money issuer;"

The issuer/central authority is a computer program/network, not the miner.

You can argue about whether there is an issuer or not, but there is definitely no claim. Nobody - including the miner or the network - guarantee anything in return for a bitcoin (or a private key, seen as a certificate) except bitcoin itself.

aka sipa, core dev team

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September 07, 2011, 05:17:03 PM
 #148

Due to breach of trust and gross negligence by Sirius and Theymos who recklessly transferred my private and personal data on this forum to a Japaneze company without my permission I am leaving this forum and deleting all my posts. Goodbye.

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September 07, 2011, 05:23:32 PM
 #149

that is claim for bitcoin itself than
@nighteyes, it is not clear how you jump from what you quoted to your claim that bitcoin is illegal. Explain your logic, if any.

I was just stating the argument as I understood it. The argument likely relies on some law meaning that bitcoin its not a recognized currency.

edit: My position is that it is legal...just not legal tender.
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September 07, 2011, 05:37:42 PM
 #150

So since bitcoin is not money, does that mean that Tom Williams stole nothing at all?

So since jewelry is not money, does that mean that robbing a jewelry store means stealing nothing at all?

aka sipa, core dev team

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September 07, 2011, 05:46:16 PM
 #151

So since jewelry is not money, does that mean that robbing a jewelry store means stealing nothing at all?

I believe it was a breach of contract. Each transaction was signed by the sender with the unsigned understanding that those transactions would be signed and reversed upon request. But I think Hightax's point is that bitcoins literally (even digitally) are nothing. I don't think we have adequate physical metaphors for them. It'll be interesting how this case defines the community verified signature of an assertion.

Alice sends an IOU to Bob, verified by the peanut gallery
Bob gets the IOU stolen by Eve, also verified by the peanut gallery
Alice requests IOU back from Bob
But Bob can't get that transaction verified by the peanut gallery.
I'd say the peanut gallery is complicit in Eve's crime and conspire against Alice (or Bob).

(or some other absurd interpretations)

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September 07, 2011, 06:17:04 PM
 #152

following.

These are the types of instances we have all been waiting for. It doesn't matter if Mt. Gox walks away from France; it'll happen somewhere else. Get the experience while you can I say.
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September 13, 2011, 12:38:28 PM
 #153

can you say what decision is taken the 13 september please thanks

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September 13, 2011, 01:09:17 PM
 #154

can you say what decision is taken the 13 september please thanks

+1
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September 13, 2011, 01:14:45 PM
 #155

I don't think you're the gambling type, but, well: place your bet: http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=89 ("French court will rule Bitcoin as a virtual currency", 0.1 BTC agree, 25.80 BTC disagree. Pretty good odds should they decide it's a currency.

Hum...  Funny thing is that this makes me realize an usefull side effect of gambling websites.   It gives an incentive to publish and verify information.  A bit as if gambling markets can be an alternative to journalism.

For example,  I've bookmarked this betsofbico.in page, not because I want to bet on this event, but just because I want to know its outcome asap.
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September 13, 2011, 01:57:31 PM
 #156

News plz Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

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September 13, 2011, 05:36:14 PM
 #157

Well September 13 is here and no news ?
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September 13, 2011, 06:15:38 PM
 #158

September 13 is when the trial starts. The decision should take a few weeks.
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September 13, 2011, 06:35:15 PM
 #159

I don't think you're the gambling type, but, well: place your bet: http://betsofbitco.in/item?id=89 ("French court will rule Bitcoin as a virtual currency", 0.1 BTC agree, 25.80 BTC disagree. Pretty good odds should they decide it's a currency.

Hum...  Funny thing is that this makes me realize an usefull side effect of gambling websites.   It gives an incentive to publish and verify information.  A bit as if gambling markets can be an alternative to journalism.

For example,  I've bookmarked this betsofbico.in page, not because I want to bet on this event, but just because I want to know its outcome asap.

Interesting thought. Also: you can enter your own statements. Of course you should provide a description of how the decision can be checked, but the checking is done by site ops, I guess.

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September 13, 2011, 10:04:37 PM
 #160

that is last news but in french of course

Audience du 13 septembre 2011 à 14h00.

Après discussion, aucun juge rapporteur ne sera désigné.

L'affaire sera jugée directement en audience publique collégiale (3 juges) le 18 octobre 2011 à 10h00 au Tribunal de Commerce de Créteil (immeuble Pascal accessible par le parking du centre commercial "créteil soleil").

La décision interviendra plus tard, environ 4 semaines habituellement (la rédaction du l'acte de justice prend du temps).

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September 13, 2011, 10:11:17 PM
 #161

I'd argue that bitcoins ARE something, and can have legal standing.

My analogy is that digital certificates, and their public/private keypairs are something, and can be used for legally binding electronic signatures in various jurisdictions.  Therefore if an electronic document signed with a private key can be a legally binding contract, then a bitcoin value and block, signed with a private key, can just as easily be a legal currency and form of monetary exchange.

Thoughts?
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September 13, 2011, 11:47:14 PM
 #162

I'd argue that bitcoins ARE something, and can have legal standing.

I won't argue strongly against you, but your analogy is not entire parallel. The key pairs are not the bitcoins. The transactions are not the bitcoins. Bitcoins are an idea by consensus. What we are signing is "I send 50 bitcoins". I can say "I send you a postcard" but those are only words. The postcard might exist. The bitcoins don't. On the other hand, law seems to accept "intellectual property" as a thing with defensible and transferable ownership. I happen to disagree.

To me, it's a bit like playing tea with the stuffed animals. I can claim to pour some tea into your cup, and you can accept that I've done that, but it's all just imaginary.

EDIT: "legally binding contract" - ah yeah, OK. I hear what you are saying. But I don't think the bitcoins are the contract. The contract is "I promise to perform a series of actions that will result in a network agreeing to verify that I've performed those actions, in exchange for your pogs". If you deliver the pogs and I fail to perform the actions, then I'm acting fraudulently. I still hold that bitcoins don't exist any more than a blown kiss, whether signed or not.

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September 14, 2011, 01:16:44 AM
 #163

that is last news but in french of course

Audience du 13 septembre 2011 à 14h00.

Après discussion, aucun juge rapporteur ne sera désigné.

L'affaire sera jugée directement en audience publique collégiale (3 juges) le 18 octobre 2011 à 10h00 au Tribunal de Commerce de Créteil (immeuble Pascal accessible par le parking du centre commercial "créteil soleil").

La décision interviendra plus tard, environ 4 semaines habituellement (la rédaction du l'acte de justice prend du temps).

Translated on Google:

After discussion, no judge rapporteur will be appointed.

The case will be heard directly in open court judges (three judges) October 18, 2011 at 10:00 am at the Tribunal de Commerce de Créteil (Pascal building accessible from the shopping mall parking lot "Créteil Soleil").

The decision will come later, usually about four weeks (the drafting of the act of justice takes time).

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September 14, 2011, 01:23:56 AM
 #164

To me, it's a bit like playing tea with the stuffed animals. I can claim to pour some tea into your cup, and you can accept that I've done that, but it's all just imaginary.
I don't think this is much different than most monetary transactions today. While some people still pass about physical pieces of paper, probably the majority of monetary exchanges now are done as simply twiddling some bits in a computer somewhere. Credit card, debit card, bank balances, transfers etc. All are accepted because the rules for twiddling the bits is established and people trust the twiddling happens according to the rules.

I don't see a difference here: the rules encompass a distributed network where the veracity of the twiddling is verified by key signatures and the statistical math that makes a false twiddle (split of block chain) very unlikely. There is still a regime of credit/debit balancing going on.

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September 14, 2011, 01:47:07 AM
 #165

that is claim for bitcoin itself than
@nighteyes, it is not clear how you jump from what you quoted to your claim that bitcoin is illegal. Explain your logic, if any.

I was just stating the argument as I understood it. The argument likely relies on some law meaning that bitcoin its not a recognized currency.

edit: My position is that it is legal...just not legal tender.
Everything is "legal tender" as long as it is of sufficient value to support a simple contract. Legal tender means "legal offer". The US recognizes a particular form of legal tender but that recognition is not exclusive to FRN's contrary to popular belief. FRN's are not money per se.

U.S. v. Thomas 319 F.3d 640

Quote
Paper currency, in the form of the Federal Reserve Note, is defined as an "obligation[] of the United States" that may be "redeemed in lawful money on demand." 12 U.S.C. § 411 (2002). These bills are not "money" per se but promissory notes supported by the monetary reserves of the United States.
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September 14, 2011, 10:15:10 AM
 #166

I'd argue that bitcoins ARE something, and can have legal standing.

I won't argue strongly against you, but your analogy is not entire parallel. The key pairs are not the bitcoins. The transactions are not the bitcoins. Bitcoins are an idea by consensus. What we are signing is "I send 50 bitcoins". I can say "I send you a postcard" but those are only words. The postcard might exist. The bitcoins don't. On the other hand, law seems to accept "intellectual property" as a thing with defensible and transferable ownership. I happen to disagree.

To me, it's a bit like playing tea with the stuffed animals. I can claim to pour some tea into your cup, and you can accept that I've done that, but it's all just imaginary.

EDIT: "legally binding contract" - ah yeah, OK. I hear what you are saying. But I don't think the bitcoins are the contract. The contract is "I promise to perform a series of actions that will result in a network agreeing to verify that I've performed those actions, in exchange for your pogs". If you deliver the pogs and I fail to perform the actions, then I'm acting fraudulently. I still hold that bitcoins don't exist any more than a blown kiss, whether signed or not.

I quite like the playing with tea analogy of what Bitcoin is. Because it is exactly that! Imaginary, yet we give it value, which is what everything in this world is as well.
I guess the problem lies in getting people to accept a new imaginary "thing" that is even more imaginary than the paper money.

Lets hope the French courts soon have a draft for this we can look at!

<helo> funny that this proposal grows the maximum block size to 8GB, and is seen as a compromise
<helo> oh, you don't like a 20x increase? well how about 8192x increase?
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September 16, 2011, 12:14:27 AM
 #167

So, what happened guys ?
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September 16, 2011, 12:18:19 AM
 #168

So, what happened guys ?

You have to wait until the end of October for them to make a decision.
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September 16, 2011, 06:18:05 AM
 #169

Can someone please translate from French into English:

1) Statute defining virtual currency under French law + other key statutes, well translated into english.

2) two prior legal decisions rendered by the Courts hearing the case of S.A.S. Macaraja v. C.I.C.

Professional court-certified interpreter service for this would be costly, but considering the case is upwards of 35k in Euro damages, and affects the entire community, I'm sure we would all appreciate a full translation of the court findings.  As far as I was able to get:

Original August 11, 2011 Municipal Court Decision:
http://creperso.free.fr/CIC/Ordonnance_de_refere_du_11_aout_2011.pdf

And the more lengthy August 26 Appeals Court decision:
http://creperso.free.fr/CIC/Arret_appel_26_aout_2011.pdf

After I did OCR + copypaste + translate x2:
http://pastebin.com/DT8d8Eqz

I spent some real time with this, obviously, but I can't say it's been much benefit to my understanding of the legal issues at play.


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September 16, 2011, 10:16:03 AM
 #170

Original August 11, 2011 Municipal Court Decision:
http://creperso.free.fr/CIC/Ordonnance_de_refere_du_11_aout_2011.pdf
This is an ordonnance de référé, it basically means it is an emergency ruling.

The gist :
Quote
Francis Faulhaber (the manager of the MACARAJA SAS french entity) requests that the CIC bank :
 - re-opens their bank account based on the right for every French entity or individual to benefit from a bank account with the basic financial services being and remaining free of charge, except if the account balance goes negative
 - pays a 2000 € daily amount to MACARAJA SAS until the account is re-opened
 - pays all legal fees and charges involved with MACARAJA SAS challenging the account cancellation
 - pays 32 000 € damages to MACARAJA SAS
 - pays 3000 € compensation to MACARAJA SAS
 - pays the justice fees

MSAS outlines that the CIC wrote them on may 10th to inform them that their account would be cancelled on july 15th. MSAS did not find another bank willing to open an account in the meantime, therefore the Banque de France informed the CIC on july 22 that it had been designated to be MSAS's bank and that it was to make a bank account available.

MSAS argues that the CIC bank is in possession of all the required documentation and gives the CIC the commerce intermediary contract (between MSAS and Tibanne).

The CIC argues that the bank account was closed because it suspected that the account was used to perform activites that are illegal under french law : unlicensed financial operations ("commerce de l'argent") that are reserved to licensed and audited professionnals. The CIC requests that MSAS be denied all its requests.


The ruling states :

That the bank account cancellation arose from a difference of interpretation of MSAS's activity, MSAS's arguing to be a commerce intermediary and the CIC arguing that it was in fact conducting operations that require a proper financial license.

That it is not in the emergency court's competence to rule on the nature of MSAS's activity.

That the instruction from the Banque de France is to be respected and that a subsequent ruling can be requested to actually analyze MSAS's activity nature.

That the CIC got the commerce intermediary contract between MSAS and Tibanne with its AML additional conditions, signed on may 28th (!)

That the CIC shall be responsible of paying the daily amount of 500 € until the account is opened.

That all MSAS's requests are denied.

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September 17, 2011, 07:27:41 AM
 #171

thanks for that summary.  If anyone else wants to help on this, it would be appreciated  Smiley

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October 10, 2011, 12:17:15 PM
 #172

Monthly bump. Any news?

 Merged mining, free SMS notifications, PayPal payout and much more.
http://btcstats.net/sig/JZCODg2
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October 10, 2011, 10:20:13 PM
 #173

Monthly bump. Any news?

Don't expect anything to happen before Oct. 18th:

Quote
The case will be heard directly in open court judges (three judges) October 18, 2011 at 10:00 am at the Tribunal de Commerce de Créteil (Pascal building accessible from the shopping mall parking lot "Créteil Soleil".)

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October 11, 2011, 06:51:51 AM
 #174

Monthly bump. Any news?

Don't expect anything to happen before Oct. 18th:

Quote
The case will be heard directly in open court judges (three judges) October 18, 2011 at 10:00 am at the Tribunal de Commerce de Créteil (Pascal building accessible from the shopping mall parking lot "Créteil Soleil".)

Is it me or they keep postponing any decision?
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October 11, 2011, 08:28:39 AM
 #175

Monthly bump. Any news?

Don't expect anything to happen before Oct. 18th:

Quote
The case will be heard directly in open court judges (three judges) October 18, 2011 at 10:00 am at the Tribunal de Commerce de Créteil (Pascal building accessible from the shopping mall parking lot "Créteil Soleil".)

Is it me or they keep postponing any decision?

I think it's you. That Oct 18 quote is weeks old. If you really want to know, klick "all" pages and search for "october" Wink

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October 18, 2011, 01:30:14 PM
 #176

Any news?

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October 18, 2011, 05:06:17 PM
 #177

bump..Huh

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October 18, 2011, 07:44:20 PM
 #178

that is last news but in french of course

Audience du 13 septembre 2011 à 14h00.

Après discussion, aucun juge rapporteur ne sera désigné.

L'affaire sera jugée directement en audience publique collégiale (3 juges) le 18 octobre 2011 à 10h00 au Tribunal de Commerce de Créteil (immeuble Pascal accessible par le parking du centre commercial "créteil soleil").

La décision interviendra plus tard, environ 4 semaines habituellement (la rédaction du l'acte de justice prend du temps).

Translated on Google:

After discussion, no judge rapporteur will be appointed.

The case will be heard directly in open court judges (three judges) October 18, 2011 at 10:00 am at the Tribunal de Commerce de Créteil (Pascal building accessible from the shopping mall parking lot "Créteil Soleil").

The decision will come later, usually about four weeks (the drafting of the act of justice takes time).

Does this mean we'll wait 4 more weeks? Was anyone present at that hearing? Magicaltux?

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October 18, 2011, 10:09:43 PM
 #179

Does this mean we'll wait 4 more weeks? Was anyone present at that hearing? Magicaltux?

 Update From the IRC channel today oct 18 17:05:04 PET 2011 :

(15:43) <   ThomasV> https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=41317.msg581047#msg581047
(15:43) <     Title> [ Bitcoin in France: first legal decision directly related to Bitcoin? ]
(15:48) <@MagicalTu> ThomasV: the hearing has been postponed
(15:48) <@MagicalTu> waiting for the european level decision
<@MagicalTu> on the "bitcoin exchange" activity itself
(15:49) <   ThomasV> any news release?
(15:49) <@MagicalTu> later this week
(15:49) <   ThomasV> when did you get notified that it was postponed?
(15:49) <@MagicalTu> we need to receive the postal copy of the hearing this time, and
                     have our lawyers make sure we didn't misunderstood anything
(15:50) <@MagicalTu> because we had people there
(16:34) <@MagicalTu> [22:54:47] <ThomasV> MagicalTux: what kind of decision are they  supposed to take? I mean, they cannot outlaw bitcoin without passing new laws <- they may outlaw the fact of handling bitcoins without being a bank
(16:37) <@MagicalTu> if bitcoin is ruled being a currency, it means running your bitcoin client at home equivalents of running a bank at home
(16:37) <@MagicalTu> and mining bitcoin could be seen as printing money
(16:38) <@MagicalTu> the bank in front brought prints of bitcoin.org showing that bitcoin "is a currency"
(16:38) <@MagicalTu> and other things
(16:40) <@MagicalTu> this is unlikely to happen
(16:40) <   ThomasV> why unlikely?
(16:40) <@MagicalTu> because the way a currency is defined is not how bitcoin works
(16:41) <@MagicalTu> so even if the creator & supporters labels it as a currency, it may be ruled as not being one
(16:41) <@MagicalTu> and at this point we definitely don't want bitcoin to be seen as a currency

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October 18, 2011, 10:32:45 PM
 #180

What's amusing is that the "Learn more about Bitcoins here" link on the MtGox website goes straight to Bitcoin.org where Bitcoin is indeed described as both money and a digital currency.

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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October 18, 2011, 10:33:39 PM
 #181

not good..

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October 19, 2011, 12:48:24 AM
 #182

So much for.... without any intervention huh?

Where are all the bitcoin supporters?

One kid even said " i saw someone sent 10.5mil oversea using bitcoins"

LOL

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October 19, 2011, 12:56:16 AM
 #183

funny.

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October 19, 2011, 12:56:35 AM
 #184

What's amusing is that the "Learn more about Bitcoins here" link on the MtGox website goes straight to Bitcoin.org where Bitcoin is indeed described as both money and a digital currency.
^ This

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October 19, 2011, 03:47:24 AM
 #185

isn't mtgox dealing in euros at this time?
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October 19, 2011, 10:56:55 AM
 #186

not good..

personally i won't regard anything France decides as materially important to Bitcoin.  everyone knows they are the ones in the most trouble regarding bad debt holdings of the PIGS.  everyone knows they are the most corrupt.  Jean Claude Tricket is the most corrupt CB next to Bernanke.  i think most ppl wouldn't mind seeing the French banks implode on themselves too.  they'd deserve it those arrogant bastards.  

of course they're gonna to categorize Bitcoin the way they want to in an attempt to illegitimize it.  what would you expect?

Mark has also shown a resiliency way beyond the avg developer.  i don't think he'd close mtgox even if Bitcoin was deemed a currency.  he won't quit until they come crashing down the doors and make him quit.   thats how much he believes in Bitcoin.  

i hope they do categorize Bitcoin as a currency b/c thats how i view it also.  this is what we want after all.  a competing, legitmate, unmanipulated, new digital currency that will take out the banks.

besides, even if mtgox goes down it won't stop Bitcoin.
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October 19, 2011, 02:29:53 PM
 #187

(16:41) <@MagicalTu> and at this point we definitely don't want bitcoin to be seen as a currency
I thought the whole point of bitcoin was to create a revolutionary new currency. This is the problem with having something like MtG:OX as a centralized exchange for something that's supposed to be decentralized, you open it up to regulation and get people trying to control how it's used and restrict it's movement. The French court doesn't seem too kind on the idea of a new currency either.

d times?
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October 19, 2011, 04:18:59 PM
 #188

personally i won't regard anything France decides as materially important to Bitcoin.
Oh, I believe it is. The best strategy of France or "the European level" to "illegitimize" bitcoin would be to let this case slip under the rug - an out of court settlement. With people protesting monetary policy around the world, ANY decision could blow up in the ECB's face.

Satoshi has also shown a resiliency way beyond the avg developer.  i don't think he'd close mtgox even if Bitcoin was deemed a currency.  he won't quit until they come crashing down the doors and make him quit.   thats how much he believes in Bitcoin.

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October 19, 2011, 05:32:02 PM
 #189


(16:34) <@MagicalTu> [22:54:47] <ThomasV> MagicalTux: what kind of decision are they  supposed to take? I mean, they cannot outlaw bitcoin without passing new laws <- they may outlaw the fact of handling bitcoins without being a bank
(16:37) <@MagicalTu> if bitcoin is ruled being a currency, it means running your bitcoin client at home equivalents of running a bank at home
(16:37) <@MagicalTu> and mining bitcoin could be seen as printing money
(16:38) <@MagicalTu> the bank in front brought prints of bitcoin.org showing that bitcoin "is a currency"
(16:38) <@MagicalTu> and other things
(16:40) <@MagicalTu> this is unlikely to happen
(16:40) <   ThomasV> why unlikely?
(16:40) <@MagicalTu> because the way a currency is defined is not how bitcoin works
(16:41) <@MagicalTu> so even if the creator & supporters labels it as a currency, it may be ruled as not being one
(16:41) <@MagicalTu> and at this point we definitely don't want bitcoin to be seen as a currency


Keeping my fingers crossed for your side of things.  I hope your lawyers are really good and you can afford to pay them a lot, because bitcoin is a currency, and they are going to have to be very creative to come up with persuasive arguments that it should not be subject to the same regulations as other currencies because it operates differently.  At least argue personal freedom, privacy interest, business freedom, encouraging young technologies to grow and thrive.

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October 20, 2011, 02:22:19 PM
 #190


Keeping my fingers crossed for your side of things.  I hope your lawyers are really good and you can afford to pay them a lot, because bitcoin is a currency, and they are going to have to be very creative to come up with persuasive arguments that it should not be subject to the same regulations as other currencies because it operates differently.  At least argue personal freedom, privacy interest, business freedom, encouraging young technologies to grow and thrive.

Bitcoin is only a currency according to the bitcoin community, but not according to french law.  Now, the bitcoin community does not create law, does it?   So to me it's clear.
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October 20, 2011, 05:09:37 PM
 #191

... because bitcoin is a currency ...

Good legal arguments could be made that Bitcoin is more like a commodity than a currency. I suspect Bitcoin will be classified differently in different jurisdictions.
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October 20, 2011, 05:12:07 PM
 #192

just call bitcoin a Crypto-currencies, and make up some laws.

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October 20, 2011, 06:27:53 PM
 #193

just call bitcoin a Crypto-currencies, and make up some laws.

And here we have it folks, it really is that easy. Just like we will all be billionaires next year when bitcoins are trading for $100000.
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October 20, 2011, 06:42:43 PM
 #194

just call bitcoin a Crypto-currencies, and make up some laws.

And here we have it folks, it really is that easy. Just like we will all be billionaires next year when bitcoins are trading for $100000.

and ill bet the law they will make up will be...

decentralized Crypto-currencies are illegal!!!

everyone delete your BTCs or Else!


 



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October 21, 2011, 09:13:23 PM
 #195

GOXXXED AGAIN!!!!

Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.

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October 21, 2011, 10:36:32 PM
 #196

GOXXXED AGAIN!!!!

can you explain?
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October 21, 2011, 10:38:54 PM
 #197


No, sorry, but if you do a search for "goxxed" I'm sure it will come up.

In a nutshell, Mt. Gox has a tendency to repeatedly "Gox" it's users through a combination of non-communication, lack of professionalism, and being insanely understaffed.  Some would say deliberately so, but I think it's more to their naivete.

Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.

-Warren Buffett
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October 21, 2011, 11:19:00 PM
 #198

https://mtgox.com/press_release_20111021.html


next bad news for bitcoin...
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October 21, 2011, 11:19:37 PM
 #199


No, sorry, but if you do a search for "goxxed" I'm sure it will come up.

In a nutshell, Mt. Gox has a tendency to repeatedly "Gox" it's users through a combination of non-communication, lack of professionalism, and being insanely understaffed.  Some would say deliberately so, but I think it's more to their naivete.

1.) Stop complaining
2.) take action
3.) profit

PGP key molecular F9B70769 fingerprint 9CDD C0D3 20F8 279F 6BE0  3F39 FC49 2362 F9B7 0769
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October 21, 2011, 11:24:25 PM
 #200

3.) profit


and how would you profit if you can't add or withdraw any funds?
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October 22, 2011, 12:27:56 AM
 #201


Not a surprising outcome really, but yet again users have been forced to go looking for information rather than MtGox making an announcement here (and they certainly had support staff active on here last night who could have posted an announcement).

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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October 22, 2011, 12:50:00 AM
 #202

ERU  suspended

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October 22, 2011, 01:56:31 AM
 #203


No, sorry, but if you do a search for "goxxed" I'm sure it will come up.

In a nutshell, Mt. Gox has a tendency to repeatedly "Gox" it's users through a combination of non-communication, lack of professionalism, and being insanely understaffed.  Some would say deliberately so, but I think it's more to their naivete.

1.) Stop complaining
2.) take action
3.) profit

  Agreed, and to the guy asking, "profit?" Yea, good op to start a payment processor company in Europe.......


   And NO one got GOXXED. They were firmly giflée by French regulations...

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
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October 22, 2011, 04:25:15 AM
 #204

News of the decision doesn't seem to have made it to reddit yet.

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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October 22, 2011, 04:40:12 AM
 #205

News of the decision doesn't seem to have made it to reddit yet.


has there even been a decision yet???

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October 22, 2011, 04:43:49 AM
 #206

News of the decision doesn't seem to have made it to reddit yet.


has there even been a decision yet???

Quote
While Bitcoin at a European level is so far not directly impacted by this decision, the Bank de France (France's central bank) has confirmed that because of European banking rules, monetary transfers (deposits and withdrawals) through a single entity are subject to financial regulation and therefore can only be performed by licensed financial institutions such as banks or Payment Service companies (the European Equivalent to a Money Service Business). This decision has forced us to find other payment processing partners within Europe that will allow us to quickly resume all EUR transactions for our European customers soon.

From MtGox 21 October press release.

https://mtgox.com/press_release_20111021.html