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Author Topic: Running an instawallet clone = legal?  (Read 2246 times)
kangasbros
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March 05, 2012, 08:04:22 PM
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I was thinking, if running an instawallet clone is a legal venture?

The risks:
- Money laundering charges, because this type of apps are very effective method for large-scale money laundering.

The other side:
- People are already running numerous exchanges. How could a very simple wallet web app possibly be in violation of any law?

My jurisdiction is Finland, EU, but feel free to discuss any area at all.

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SgtSpike
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March 05, 2012, 08:17:14 PM
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As long as you don't touch fiat, you should be fine.  Exchanges have to comply with AML and such because they interface with fiat currencies.  Since Bitcoin isn't considered a currency by any court of law in the world today (yet), then I don't see how AML/etc could apply to it.
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March 05, 2012, 10:41:07 PM
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The other side:
- People are already running numerous exchanges. How could a very simple wallet web app possibly be in violation of any law?

If you are trying to withdraw large amounts of bitcoins from an exchange, if they are practicing AML/KYC recommendations they are likely to request identity first.  Perhaps because an InstaWallet service deals only with bitcoins and doesn't touch fiat those AML/KYC restrictionis don't apply?

The difference between an instawallet service and any other online ewallet is that an instawallet is like an anonymous, bearer negotiable instrument.  Anyone who knows the URL can spend the funds.   Which makes it transferable from one person to the next without there being any record of it.  Just like with cash.

My jurisdiction is Finland, EU, but feel free to discuss any area at all.

The FAQ page for BtcBuckets (an instant wallet service) reads:
"About the creator
I am a recently graduated 26 year old attorney licensed to practice in New Jersey."
 - https://www.btcbuckets.com/faq/

RaggedMonk
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March 05, 2012, 10:56:46 PM
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Another possible risk is if your service loses/steals your customers' bitcoins, you could be liable.

Unfortunately, until someone is taken to court, we won't have a definitive answer to your question.
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March 06, 2012, 09:40:38 PM
 #5

I was thinking, if running an instawallet clone is a legal venture?

The risks:
- Money laundering charges, because this type of apps are very effective method for large-scale money laundering.

The other side:
- People are already running numerous exchanges. How could a very simple wallet web app possibly be in violation of any law?

My jurisdiction is Finland, EU, but feel free to discuss any area at all.

We have just taken over instawallet.org: if you are thinking about running an instawallet "clone", please PM me.
I'd be happy to welcome you in our team if you have the right kind of talent.
We are busy with several bitcoin related projects and we are funded.

RaggedMonk
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March 06, 2012, 10:24:52 PM
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I was thinking, if running an instawallet clone is a legal venture?

The risks:
- Money laundering charges, because this type of apps are very effective method for large-scale money laundering.

The other side:
- People are already running numerous exchanges. How could a very simple wallet web app possibly be in violation of any law?

My jurisdiction is Finland, EU, but feel free to discuss any area at all.

We have just taken over instawallet.org: if you are thinking about running an instawallet "clone", please PM me.
I'd be happy to welcome you in our team if you have the right kind of talent.
We are busy with several bitcoin related projects and we are funded.

Will you be running it in the same lightweight semi-anonymous fashion, or will it be a product of a legally registered business (and if so, what jurisdiction)?

Great to hear you guys are keeping Instawallet alive, will support you either way.
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March 07, 2012, 11:06:29 PM
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We have just taken over instawallet.org: if you are thinking about running an instawallet "clone", please PM me.
I'd be happy to welcome you in our team if you have the right kind of talent.
We are busy with several bitcoin related projects and we are funded.

Will you be running it in the same lightweight semi-anonymous fashion, or will it be a product of a legally registered business (and if so, what jurisdiction)?

Great to hear you guys are keeping Instawallet alive, will support you either way.

We will keep it as a free service and probably run in the same way, at least short term, until " using free software digital commodity money" is recognized as a fundamental right by a true democracy (I'm still loooking for one: any clue ?)

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