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Author Topic: What is stopping the US Government from outright BANNING Bitcoin?  (Read 186 times)
Wokebeast
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January 24, 2020, 12:03:58 AM
 #1

What is stopping the US Government from outright BANNING Bitcoin?  For argument's sake lets say today (23JAN2020) 3% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 3% of their purchases or financial transfers/transactions. And, let's say 5 years from now around 2025, 30% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 30% of their purchases and financial transfers/transactions.  Consequently, the US Government monitoring this situation sees the trend that 30% fewer transactions are being done with the all mighty US Dollar. Well, it would seem that the US Gov would hold the view that the popularity or use of their US currency is being threatened by Bitcoin. And so, what is stopping or what would stop the US Gov to outright make it ILLEGAL to use Bitcoin at some such time?
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January 24, 2020, 12:30:54 AM
 #2

There is a lot of power in a democracy. Even though the US government could do a lot of things, there is always the risk of public outrage, and it's their fear of them that stops them from making decisions like these.

Let's say hypothetically, this did happen, and tomorrow the US government imposed a new ban on bitcoin. What do you think would happen?

There would be a lot of angry people that their savings where lost, and so much public cry it just wouldn't be able to be silenced.

The US considers itself a leader in technology, and for them to ban a new up and coming technology would make them into a laughing stock.

 
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Wokebeast
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January 24, 2020, 12:57:04 AM
 #3

I just found this online article describing how the US Government at one point in 2012 had looked into "Shutting Down" bitcoin .... and concluded that it simply could not! Here is the link to the article.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/billybambrough/2019/10/08/the-us-government-tried-to-shut-down-bitcoin/#4db451741966

I'm going to finish reading the rest of that article now, but just wanted to quickly post the link to it, bc of this excerpt that is in the very beginning of it, which should be very comforting and encouraging to us Bitcoin adopters / enthusiasts.

Here is the excerpt:

Any serious attempt made by the U.S. Department of Justice to shut down bitcoin inevitably came to naught, with Haun saying, "it would have been akin to saying ‘let’s go prosecute cash.'"
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January 24, 2020, 01:31:31 AM
 #4



No government can technically stop Bitcoin but it can make things around it very difficult and this is what is being done in China. With the kind of government that USA has, its good thing to see that it is not really as paranoid as China. Now, although transactions in Bitcoin can be less transactions for the dollar, we should note however that eventually if we are talking here of the usual business or even with eCommerce (which is gaining traction) the Bitcoin is going to be converted to the dollar anyway. So at the end of the day, Bitcoin is also acting just like a foreign exchange, not really a big threat to the government nor the dollar. Plus, the government now understand that this is just like any other industry and therefore it can gain a lot with implementing the taxation laws on it in every turn and twist.
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January 24, 2020, 02:05:55 AM
 #5

It's probably because they know it that even they stop it, they can't stop people from using it from their homes. Bitcoin is decentralized as it's very popular description of bitcoin.

So, it wouldn't matter whether they will give an outright ban or not to it because it will keep on moving and will continuously be used by everybody.

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January 24, 2020, 02:15:17 AM
 #6

Even if they implemented a ban, the execution of such ban would be difficult and would be more of a waste of time and money rather than actually solving a thing that is not even a problem. Remember that Bitcoin is decentralized, and unless they'd get a hold of more than 50% of the nodes, they won't control over the network. Also remember that most Bitcoin nodes are located on China, which is not within their territory, add that to the fact that China is one of their oppositions.
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January 24, 2020, 02:31:37 AM
 #7

To be exact, nothing can stop Bitcoin.

As Bitcoin is decentralized, no one can stop it. They may ban the use of it but I don't think that will stop people from accessing their Bitcoins through their Bitcoin wallet. I think they are also wanting their people to get more way to earn money, that would also mean higher economic status.

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January 24, 2020, 02:33:54 AM
 #8

A congressman already admitted that Bitcoin at this point is unstoppable. It is pointless to worry on something they cannot shut down or totally kick out from their territory. If they ban Bitcoin, it would only push its people to use Bitcoin underground.
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January 24, 2020, 02:45:37 AM
 #9

Mainstream usage is the much expected with bitcoin, but in realtime this requires much more time. Until bitcoin gets into mainstream usage governments won't be that rude to stay against cryptocurrency. At times due to financial pressure and other issues experienced governments restrict with policies and new laws.



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January 24, 2020, 03:04:14 AM
 #10

US is well developed country with good practice of democracy so opinion of 3% of population also matters. Most of the crypto based companies are from US and have customers around the world so they cant just ban bitcoin outright, this wil affect customers around the globe and they will also loss significant taxes from those companies.

World follow the trend set by US which is quite positive for bitcoin economy.

 
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January 24, 2020, 03:05:37 AM
 #11

Taxes, jobs, tech sector, being at the forefront of technology and of course very lucrative lobbying.

The truth is that the US couldn't easily do it and they wouldn't even want too, far too much money to be made off of the industry and wealth it's currently creating.

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January 24, 2020, 03:21:37 AM
 #12

When technology and adopters of bitcoin developed, I thought the government could not do many things to stop people from using bitcoin, but they could only limit the central bank and several other large companies to deal with bitcoin and other cryptos to avoid funding terrorism and other crimes.

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January 24, 2020, 03:29:11 AM
 #13

I think it's too late now for them to ban it for a few reasons.  For one thing, futures contracts and wall street money have already started, so it's hard to reverse course.  Secondly, the US government seized the Silk Road Bitcoins a few years ago and then auctioned them off to the public.  It would look very bad for the government to auction something to the public and then ban it.

 
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January 24, 2020, 03:32:00 AM
 #14

Actually, nothing. While yes, it might not be in their best interest to illegalize bitcoin for reasons stated above and while they really can't totally ban bitcoin like how the US government cant really totally ban torrenting and piracy, the government can theoretically illegalize the ownership of bitcoin.

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January 24, 2020, 03:33:49 AM
 #15

What is stopping the US Government from outright BANNING Bitcoin?  For argument's sake lets say today (23JAN2020) 3% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 3% of their purchases or financial transfers/transactions. And, let's say 5 years from now around 2025, 30% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 30% of their purchases and financial transfers/transactions.  Consequently, the US Government monitoring this situation sees the trend that 30% fewer transactions are being done with the all mighty US Dollar. Well, it would seem that the US Gov would hold the view that the popularity or use of their US currency is being threatened by Bitcoin. And so, what is stopping or what would stop the US Gov to outright make it ILLEGAL to use Bitcoin at some such time?

Because if you were to try to ban something completely , it will actually cause people to want to use it. (Telling people they can't do something will actually encourage others to do it because humans are attracted to the things that others may view as "Illegal")

Example. The US made Cocaine illegal and the Usage of coke actually went up and the price of cocaine also went up significantly. Banning Bitcoin will only lead to problems for the US Governments.
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January 24, 2020, 03:34:01 AM
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They can't because they know how many people are using and into bitcoin in their country. Plus they can't totally ban it even if they restrict the usability of bitcoin in the US people will surely find a way to use it anyway so it will be meaningless still if they pushed the banning of bitcoin today. It is already too late for them to make actioms about bitcoin.

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January 24, 2020, 03:52:41 AM
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That's partially true that The USD is threating by Bitcoin but in a whole scenario it's not, Basically, Bitcoin is a virtual currency which is used by a lot of US People, they are trading with Bitcoin, they are investing in Bitcoin along with they are working on several projects in Cryptocurrency as well, not only that but also Cryptocurrency is being developed around the world day by day so the USA government is not trying to stop Bitcoin because they know their people already got involved in this system, If they ban Bitcoin system then their people will face a huge loss, but who knows what will they do regarding this issue in the future.

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January 24, 2020, 04:33:24 AM
 #18

And, let's say 5 years from now around 2025, 30% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 30% of their purchases and financial transfers/transactions.

you are forgetting that this also means billions of dollars of infrastructure would also be in place for example gigantic exchanges, payment processors and all kinds of other companies. it is like wanting to ban computers (that would shut down Microsoft, IBM,...). something like that simply can not happen specially when bitcoin becomes bigger. the same billions of dollars would be redirected to pulling such rogue government down.

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January 24, 2020, 05:13:11 AM
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OP, they can't. Or maybe they know they can't. But there was a window which they should have, during the boot-strapping phase. Plus there are other cryptocurrencies, and there are pro-Bitcoin politicians. Simply, "The cat is out of the bag".

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January 24, 2020, 07:11:55 AM
 #20

What is stopping the US Government from outright BANNING Bitcoin?  For argument's sake lets say today (23JAN2020) 3% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 3% of their purchases or financial transfers/transactions. And, let's say 5 years from now around 2025, 30% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 30% of their purchases and financial transfers/transactions.  Consequently, the US Government monitoring this situation sees the trend that 30% fewer transactions are being done with the all mighty US Dollar. Well, it would seem that the US Gov would hold the view that the popularity or use of their US currency is being threatened by Bitcoin. And so, what is stopping or what would stop the US Gov to outright make it ILLEGAL to use Bitcoin at some such time?

Division of authorities and the conflict between republicans and democrats is what's stopping the USA.
The democrats dominate the congress(an maybe the Supreme Court),while the republicans have the senate and the president.If "dems" and "reps" come up with a deal about banning BTC,nothing can stop them from passing the bill.By the way,I don't believe that 30% of the US citizens will use BTC by 2025.I would say that 5-10% is a more realistic case scenario.

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January 24, 2020, 07:21:18 AM
 #21

nobody thinks that bitcoin will compete with fiat dollars basically it's just an exchange of values, whereas bitcoin keeps its value well maybe because fiat currencies like the dollar don't keep any value and inflation or something else, don't blame bitcoin should the US government embrace to collaborate

The US considers itself a leader in technology, and for them to ban a new up and coming technology would make them into a laughing stock.
this is very true, they uphold freedom of democracy and others but they themselves who deny it are also even very funny if they forbid all US people to use this bitcoin
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January 24, 2020, 08:00:01 AM
 #22

What is stopping the US Government from outright BANNING Bitcoin?  For argument's sake lets say today (23JAN2020) 3% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 3% of their purchases or financial transfers/transactions. And, let's say 5 years from now around 2025, 30% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 30% of their purchases and financial transfers/transactions.  Consequently, the US Government monitoring this situation sees the trend that 30% fewer transactions are being done with the all mighty US Dollar. Well, it would seem that the US Gov would hold the view that the popularity or use of their US currency is being threatened by Bitcoin. And so, what is stopping or what would stop the US Gov to outright make it ILLEGAL to use Bitcoin at some such time?

U.S government cant totally ban bitcoin, since its a decentralized currency that cant be totally banned (U.S government has no control over crypt). But to have there share from crypto they are introducing strict regulations like KYC and Tax, so that they are not totally out of this market.

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January 24, 2020, 09:42:14 AM
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Actually, nothing. While yes, it might not be in their best interest to illegalize bitcoin for reasons stated above and while they really can't totally ban bitcoin like how the US government cant really totally ban torrenting and piracy, the government can theoretically illegalize the ownership of bitcoin.
This is partially true that no one can completely block the entire network but if the authorities wanted to block the network they can identify big mining farms anywhere in the world and they can shut them down and everyone knows what happens if the majority of the mining power vanishes, the network becomes weak for anyone to attack. So the idea of nothing can be done to BTCitcoin is not entirely true. When it comes to torrent and piracy if an authority targets a certain group they usually bring them down and we have seen many legal actions against torrent owners and release groups in the past.

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January 24, 2020, 10:51:19 AM
 #24

Nothing prevents any government from making anything illegal. If something could prevent government, then that thing would be the new government. however I hope that rational self-interest by certain interested parties in the government would prevail. The first realization is that the country the bans it would fall behind Fintech development. Then there may be a migration of Crypto related wealth to countries which are Crypto-friendly. In the long run, the Crypto-friendly nations would become rich, and the banners would be left biting the dust.

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January 24, 2020, 10:52:54 AM
 #25

They dont see real problems in crypto in my opinion. And its hard to really ban btc
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January 24, 2020, 11:42:05 AM
 #26

Hm I wonder how bitcoin can get banned when it's decentralized and can't be control, the only thing one can control about bitcoin is price drive, like whales buying with huge money to pump price or dumping to decrease value, other than this it's impossible

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January 24, 2020, 12:13:47 PM
 #27

As powerful as the US government is, sorry they can't do anything to stop the bitcoin. They will need to shut down the internet, which will spell hell on their defense system. So nothing can be done about bitcoin. Bitcoin is predicted to replace this current walking dead money called the fiat.

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January 24, 2020, 12:48:26 PM
 #28

It's probably because they know it that even they stop it, they can't stop people from using it from their homes. Bitcoin is decentralized as it's very popular description of bitcoin.

So, it wouldn't matter whether they will give an outright ban or not to it because it will keep on moving and will continuously be used by everybody.

yeah, no matter how tight the US government tried to stop bitcoin, people always found a way to use it. The US government also can't sue anyone about bitcoin because bitcoin belongs to everyone. Just like the Chinese government stopped gambling, but in the end China is one of the countries with the biggest gambling contribution.

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January 24, 2020, 12:55:34 PM
 #29

What is stopping the US Government from outright BANNING Bitcoin?  For argument's sake lets say today (23JAN2020) 3% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 3% of their purchases or financial transfers/transactions. And, let's say 5 years from now around 2025, 30% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 30% of their purchases and financial transfers/transactions.  Consequently, the US Government monitoring this situation sees the trend that 30% fewer transactions are being done with the all mighty US Dollar. Well, it would seem that the US Gov would hold the view that the popularity or use of their US currency is being threatened by Bitcoin. And so, what is stopping or what would stop the US Gov to outright make it ILLEGAL to use Bitcoin at some such time?

The answer is simple - taxes and mafia.

The USA once banned alcohol. As a result, authorities lost part of their revenue, mafia became rich and powerful (ever heard about Las Vegas), and people had been drinking anyway - but without the supervision of the state and health standards, people had been dying because they bought poison instead of liquors (as eg. you cannot distinguish methanol from ethanol in taste or smell).

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January 24, 2020, 02:16:21 PM
 #30

It doesn't make much sense to ban Bitcoin, with its current level of adoption its not a threat to the established financial system, so the government would have to waste resources on enforcing the ban (more work for officials, law enforcement, etc.) and achieve what - nothing? Plus they will be killing some legitimate businesses that could be paying taxes, creating jobs, etc. - even if its small compared to the whole economy.

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January 24, 2020, 03:05:48 PM
 #31

This is partially true that no one can completely block the entire network but if the authorities wanted to block the network they can identify big mining farms anywhere in the world and they can shut them down and everyone knows what happens if the majority of the mining power vanishes, the network becomes weak for anyone to attack. So the idea of nothing can be done to BTCitcoin is not entirely true.

Well, you're right. But that's assuming that the world governments would all go hand in hand and shut down all the mining farms. If that's likely to happen or not is another topic for another conversation, but remember that we're talking specifically about the US government(as per OP's title). Tongue Shutting down US mining farms and small time miners would definitely affect the hashrate negatively, but it wouldn't be THAT bad.

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January 24, 2020, 03:10:51 PM
 #32

Only a dictatorship could ban crypto completely and make their own coin or just never use them. In a world of democracy it is highly impossible to ban something and stop people from using it. Also is there any strong reason to outright ban bitcoin..? People will ask questions and then they have to think of ways to regulate it.

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January 24, 2020, 03:14:56 PM
 #33

It doesn't make much sense to ban Bitcoin, with its current level of adoption its not a threat to the established financial system, so the government would have to waste resources on enforcing the ban (more work for officials, law enforcement, etc.) and achieve what - nothing? Plus they will be killing some legitimate businesses that could be paying taxes, creating jobs, etc. - even if its small compared to the whole economy.

Exactly, it would be correct to say that the USA does not consider BTC a threat at this time, whether for financial or national security. Those who followed what was happening in the USA when it came to Libra, could hear what some politicians think about BTC. Congressman Brad Sherman is a great opponent of crypto, and calls for complete ban - but at the same time, he is saying that BTC is just a small baby (compared to Libra project).

Today everything is viewed through money, and let's be honest and admit that the current market cap of all BTC is just $154 billion, and the USA budget for 2020 is $4,746 trillion. Of course, $154 billion looks like pocket money when compared to all that trillions of dollars.

In fact, it would not be difficult to ban BTC - first declare it illegal, then ban all crypto-exchanges and remove all crypto ATMs. Declare it terrorists and criminals money, and accordingly punish anyone who is caught using and possessing it under existing laws.

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January 24, 2020, 03:16:47 PM
 #34

They once tried but they know they can't. And right now, banning the usage of it within their country wouldn't make much of a difference as it's already spread far and wide between other countries and parts of the world. At this point it's just a matter of who sticks with it and who sticks with it best in order to win the trust of crypto companies who has the potential to bring in millions upon millions of money into the country. Japan is currently leading in a lot of things about crypto adoption, but Malta has the upper hand in attracting the entities into establishing HQ and starting their business due to their friendly laws regarding crypto services.


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January 24, 2020, 04:25:06 PM
 #35

What is stopping the US Government from outright BANNING Bitcoin?  For argument's sake lets say today (23JAN2020) 3% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 3% of their purchases or financial transfers/transactions. And, let's say 5 years from now around 2025, 30% of the US population is using Bitcoin for 30% of their purchases and financial transfers/transactions.  Consequently, the US Government monitoring this situation sees the trend that 30% fewer transactions are being done with the all mighty US Dollar. Well, it would seem that the US Gov would hold the view that the popularity or use of their US currency is being threatened by Bitcoin. And so, what is stopping or what would stop the US Gov to outright make it ILLEGAL to use Bitcoin at some such time?

The answer is simple - taxes and mafia.

The USA once banned alcohol. As a result, authorities lost part of their revenue, mafia became rich and powerful (ever heard about Las Vegas), and people had been drinking anyway - but without the supervision of the state and health standards, people had been dying because they bought poison instead of liquors (as eg. you cannot distinguish methanol from ethanol in taste or smell).
I would like to add a little, it is also because of the realization by the lawmakers and people in authority that they cannot Bann Bitcoin, which was developed in a nature that cannot be put under control by the authorities. The authorities realize that they do not have potential to do this as it is a global innovation and people likely to adopt all the innovations of time so it is very difficult process.

 
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January 24, 2020, 04:40:21 PM
 #36

I just found this online article describing how the US Government at one point in 2012 had looked into "Shutting Down" bitcoin .... and concluded that it simply could not! Here is the link to the article.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/billybambrough/2019/10/08/the-us-government-tried-to-shut-down-bitcoin/#4db451741966

I'm going to finish reading the rest of that article now, but just wanted to quickly post the link to it, bc of this excerpt that is in the very beginning of it, which should be very comforting and encouraging to us Bitcoin adopters / enthusiasts.

Here is the excerpt:

Any serious attempt made by the U.S. Department of Justice to shut down bitcoin inevitably came to naught, with Haun saying, "it would have been akin to saying ‘let’s go prosecute cash.'"


Thank god democracy exists, even is such a corrupt form
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January 24, 2020, 05:44:42 PM
 #37

~snip
Well, you're right. But that's assuming that the world governments would all go hand in hand and shut down all the mining farms. If that's likely to happen or not is another topic for another conversation, but remember that we're talking specifically about the US government(as per OP's title). Tongue Shutting down US mining farms and small time miners would definitely affect the hashrate negatively, but it wouldn't be THAT bad.
I was having an account in Liberty Reserve back in the day and i am sure many here knew about that, i started using LR because Paypal froze my account without any notice and i had to wait around an year to get my funds unlocked back in 2006 and i thought it was a legal system as they were having huge number of transactions during those period but US government along with other government took the entire network down and luckily for me i withdrew my funds when there were rumors that investigation is going on with the operation of the site and there was BTCitcoin gaining momentum during that period, so what i meant is if a powerful government wants to take down something they will go to any distance even if they spend millions.
We have seen the movie industry lobbying the government to take down servers and networks outside US in the past and the amount of money they spend on those were ridiculous but still they went after certain sites in the past even though they were all hosted outside US.

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