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Author Topic: How long until governments outlaw bitcoin usage?  (Read 14629 times)
MoonShadow
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April 06, 2011, 06:05:09 PM
 #81

Can anyone suggest while this bit of paranoia-inspired "we need to be able to watch all money flows for your own safety" legalese would *not* apply to USA based Bitcoiners ?    Would a legal technicality of how bitcoin is "not *money*" in the FinCEN regulated sense be enough to hold off the wolves ?

I suppose, ultimately, nobody will know the answer to this question until a case has been heard in court.  However, the reality is that there are so many laws on the books that everyone is a criminal already, even the little old lady from Pasadena.  Consider all the sales tax revenue that US states lose to online sales.  How many people do you know who don't shop online?  Of the people who do shop online, how many dutifully calculate and remit the required state sales taxes?  Since everyone is already guilty of financial crimes, it's much more productive to talk about methods of defense than what is legal or illegal.  I think the best defense for this type of attack against the Bitcoin system is to have as many small exchangers as possible.  Ideally, everyone who participates in the Bitcoin economy should offer to do exchanges.  It just won't be worth the government's while to chase down and audit/prosecute everyone.  This is, in a general sense, how distributed systems will ultimately triumph over centralized forms of control.

And this is a good argument for establishing a legal defense fund for the day that the government decides to make a test case out of one of these, otherwise indefensible, exchangers.  With many small exchanges, it is indeed impossible to stop it from occurring.  However, as we can see with the pot industry, they can sustain a persecution campaign for a long time; and we could lose years if the precendent is unfavorable.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 06, 2011, 11:56:44 PM
 #82

I'd like to know at what point people say "NO"

The government makes saying "NO" illegal. So how far will people go ?

I don't think I need to point it out and you can infer from past human history just how far that is.
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April 07, 2011, 12:04:57 AM
 #83

However, the reality is that there are so many laws on the books that everyone is a criminal already, even the little old lady from Pasadena.

+1

In Brazil, a lawyer took on the task of making one book with all tributary laws. The effort took almost 20 years, and the book weights 6 tons. He had to find a billboard advertising company to print it, no book printers had the necessary capacity.

And that's just the tributary legislation!! Imagine all different codes together! It's impossible to be "law-abiding". "Follow the law" means "have more and better lawyers than those who might oppose you".

Edit: A Brazilian author calls this crypto-totalitarianism. It gives those in power almost complete control over people, like in a totalitarian state, only that people don't see it clearly. It's a disguised totalitarianism.

That is a correct assessment of the law. Lawyers design the law so that anything can be construed as illegal depending on the environment in which a case is being prosecuted. You are correct in saying that everyone has committed a crime under the law.
The protection used to be the Jury. And at least for Criminal Prosecutions it remains there. Civilly however, Jury's don't mean much because the looser immediately appeals and leaves the Jury behind.

Judges are now politicized which in the end will defeat the whole system.

The best laws ever written were written without lawyers and rather than politics driving the law, it was principles.  Those days, sadly, are long gone.


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April 07, 2011, 01:20:05 AM
 #84


OK, Agreed that "there are *already* so many laws on the books that they *will* find one of them to get to stick if they try hard enough", which means Bitcoiners probably are operating in a "potentially-tagetable" area of fincial-law already..      regardless of what recent legislation that is sort-of aimed at BTC in addition.

followed by a big "So-What ?".   Well, at the current level, obviously nothing much,

but the day will come when "Public Enemy #1" is claimed by the powers that be to have used BTC to get his ransom/drug/gun/whatever money out of the good ol USA and off into Nicaragua or something without them being able to seize it, or follow it.  Followed by a PR campaign to get "all good citizens should stick to using only our "real" (cough cough") money.

Thats when its going to get weird..  Still,. I suppose its a good thing.. I'm already looking at these little bits of colored paper we value so much in a new light..  Cant see the end of the tunnel yet, but its an interesting ride.

I suspect that (as I read somewhere else), "Technicalitarianism is a dead end".   ie.  trying to find some technicality / detail  in *their* laws/constitution that tells them *they* cant do what they *want* to do to you/your-system/business is a waste of time. 

As so often has happened, the lawyers/judges will just "interpret", (or flat-out re-write the laws) to get the end decision they want.    Doesnt speak highly of my respect for the law, I know, but Ive seen too much of it in the trenches to think of it in the same glowing can-do-no-wrong terms the average citizen seems to.

So it seems to me that its just a case of "Carry on, nothing new to see hear ?" and we keep going in the current fashion hoping to stay relatively out of sight until BTC grows enough that they think twice about tackling it head on ?
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