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Author Topic: The Bitcoin Legal Thinktank weekly meeting in New York City  (Read 5386 times)
Bruce Wagner
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May 08, 2011, 01:44:46 PM
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A serious discussion about exchange sites will require a Bitcoin Legal Thinktank (made up of actual lawyers, regulators and such).  It's all about the legal issues. The tech issues are easy by comparison.     

I decided yesterday to form exactly that.... here in New York City.

We will be hosting a weekly Bitcoin Legal Thinktank Meeting here at our OnlyOneTV Studios on 5th Ave in New York City.... specifically for attorneys, regulatory people, etc. to brainstorm on legal issues around Bitcoin --- mass acceptance, exchange sites / businesses (especially within the US), etc.   

No, it will not be taped or broadcast.  (Unless attendees surprise me by telling me that they want it to be.)   It will be a recurring private meeting.

If you are, or know anyone who is, an attorney or otherwise works in the fields of regulation around money, banking, etc...   Please contact me directly for an invitation.  bruce@onlyonetv.com or telephone or text:  646-580-0022

If you are in (or passing through) New York City, that would be perfect.  If you can only attend via skype, that can be arranged as well.   We currently have the capacity for up to 35 simultaneous attendees via skype (although we expect this group to be much smaller).

Of course, you know I'll be regularly updating you all on our findings and conclusions...  here and on The Bitcoin Show (and El Show de Bitcoin en Espanol)... on OnlyOneTV.com

Please have all your attorney friends who have any interest in Bitcoin contact me directly -- no matter what city or country they are in.   Ok?

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someotherguy
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May 08, 2011, 01:50:55 PM
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Well the US government is no longer a government but a plutocracy.  So i really dont care what they do or think anymore.  I will be trading outside of the govenment's criminal organizations, under the protection of real States and governments.
ben-abuya
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May 08, 2011, 03:00:16 PM
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I think this is great, but I'm a little skeptical of success. I think it's more of a political question than a legal question, and I think eventually the USGOV will want to shut bitcoin exchanges down, and will easily be able to bend the law to their will. A more promising avenue (which of course can and should be done in parallel) would be work on p2p exchanges. I'm not sure if there's another thread open for this, but the key might be to separate fund holding for transaction management. In other words, the exchanges won't hold anybody's money, they'll just record valid transactions. If any of them get shut down, no money is lost. Fund holding can also be done p2p, and seems like a completely separate problem, with different requirements.

http://lamassubtc.com/
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May 08, 2011, 03:02:46 PM
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I think this is great, but I'm a little skeptical of success. I think it's more of a political question than a legal question, and I think eventually the USGOV will want to shut bitcoin exchanges down, and will easily be able to bend the law to their will. A more promising avenue (which of course can and should be done in parallel) would be work on p2p exchanges. I'm not sure if there's another thread open for this, but the key might be to separate fund holding for transaction management. In other words, the exchanges won't hold anybody's money, they'll just record valid transactions. If any of them get shut down, no money is lost. Fund holding can also be done p2p, and seems like a completely separate problem, with different requirements.

Like this? http://bitcoinweekly.com/articles/anonymous-money-needs-an-anonymous-exchange

ben-abuya
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May 08, 2011, 03:05:20 PM
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Heh, I've been meaning to read that Smiley

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May 09, 2011, 12:19:39 AM
 #6

Excellent work, Bruce!  This is a much-needed initiative, and I would love to help in expanding the scope beyond the U.S. if there is any way I can do so.  Just let me know!

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May 09, 2011, 01:23:50 AM
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Excellent work, Bruce!  This is a much-needed initiative, and I would love to help in expanding the scope beyond the U.S. if there is any way I can do so.  Just let me know!

+1 Agreed.  Wishing I was in NYC for this.

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May 09, 2011, 06:08:08 AM
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I would love to hear more updates on the discussions that take place. This thinktank could really act as an important guide to help bring the bitcoin to the mainstream in the right way.
matonis
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May 09, 2011, 09:14:44 AM
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Well the US government is no longer a government but a plutocracy.  So i really dont care what they do or think anymore.  I will be trading outside of the govenment's criminal organizations.
Bravo, someotherguy. This is one of the silliest threads that I have seen on bitcoin forum. It would be like convening the regulators and feed-at-the-trough lawyers to come up with a way to make downloading new release movies via BitTorrent a legal and mass-market activity. Bitcoin was created specifically to bypass or "route around" the regulators and it doesn't need to be mass market to achieve that. The only attornies that bitcoin community will need are defense attornies experienced in defending against attacks from the AML crowd. It would be great to create that Dream Team.

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I also cover the bitcoin economy for Forbes, American Banker, PaymentsSource, and CoinDesk.
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May 09, 2011, 04:42:25 PM
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Well the US government is no longer a government but a plutocracy.  So i really dont care what they do or think anymore.  I will be trading outside of the govenment's criminal organizations.
Bravo, someotherguy. This is one of the silliest threads that I have seen on bitcoin forum. It would be like convening the regulators and feed-at-the-trough lawyers to come up with a way to make downloading new release movies via BitTorrent a legal and mass-market activity. Bitcoin was created specifically to bypass or "route around" the regulators and it doesn't need to be mass market to achieve that. The only attorneys that bitcoin community will need are defense attorneys experienced in defending against attacks from the AML crowd. It would be great to create that Dream Team.

You can say that.  But what if you start a shop and want to accept bitcoin as payment.  From what I read that is illegal.  Thus, you start a website and then the domain is seized by the DOJ, just like poker.  Maybe tomorrow you will find bitcoin charts, deepbit.net, and this website all seized.  It happened in poker.  Maybe you have to pay a $50,000 fine and spend 5 years in prison.  Defense attorneys are expensive.  Would you not like to know what is legal and what is not before you actually start a bitcoin web shop?
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May 10, 2011, 12:26:32 AM
 #11

Excellent work, Bruce!  This is a much-needed initiative, and I would love to help in expanding the scope beyond the U.S. if there is any way I can do so.  Just let me know!

+1 Agreed.  Wishing I was in NYC for this.


++1 Agreed.  Thanks for you effort on this Bruce! Kiss

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Garrett Burgwardt
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May 10, 2011, 12:46:06 AM
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From what I read that is illegal. 

What are you reading?
Bruce Wagner
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May 10, 2011, 03:43:12 AM
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Like it or not, we (or at least I) live in a nation with laws and regulations.   And if you're not prepared, those laws and regulations WILL be used against you.
Law is very corrupt and easily manipulated for political purposes.  It's more of a black art than a science. 
However, we are well advised to do our best --- due diligence -- to try to structure everything so that it breaks no laws.
It's just wreckless to give them easy ammunition against us.... by obviously breaking obvious laws.
There are legal precedents for many of these issues.  The research needs to be done... and documented.
It's all part of transparency.
There must be attorneys out there who are interested in Bitcoin. 
The scope will Not be limited to US laws and regulations.
All those who are interested should email me personally -- no matter where in the world you live.
bruce@onlyonetv.com
646-580-0022
mcdett
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May 10, 2011, 03:53:20 AM
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I support this 100%

Understanding the legalities (and tax obligations) involved with btc is paramount to making this currency something legitimate.  If we at least understand the possible legal obstacles, we then know how to position ourselves better in a legal chess game.

Any professional thinking done on behalf of btc gets my support.  Content based in serious consideration (this board is loaded with idiots) on btc and its future that is provided here makes us all stronger.


god speed
matonis
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May 10, 2011, 08:38:32 AM
 #15

Understanding the legalities (and tax obligations) involved with btc is paramount to making this currency something legitimate.  If we at least understand the possible legal obstacles, we then know how to position ourselves better in a legal chess game.

Unfortunately, there is no 'magic' silver bullet in the law that will protect or allow BTC and even if there were, it would be quickly modified to bring about the desired result of the authorities. That's why I continue to state that a legal effort should be directed towards designing infrastructures that do not depend on legal rulings or interpretations or even jurisdictions. To do otherwise would be naïve and grossly irresponsible. For instance, p2p anonymous distributed exchanges can accomplish this (as already mentioned above) as can the use of Tor and i2P networking see http://www.i2p2.de/

Ultimately, resiliency will come from technical design and not from legal design. Here are some thoughts to ponder for a group of legal experts in money and banking:

Doug Jackson and e-gold have the money service business rules changed on them (Bullion and Bandits):
http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.com/2009/06/bullion-and-bandits-improbable-rise-and.html

Bernard von Nothaus is labelled a financial terrorist for doubting the Orwellian newspeak that "paper=real money"; "gold=counterfeit"
http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.com/2011/03/liberty-dollar-founder-convicted-in.html

Legal Tender, Illegal Tender: Will Bitcoin be Banned?
http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.com/2011/04/legal-tender-illegal-tender-will.html

FinCEN Proposes Reporting On All Cross-Border Transactions
http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.com/2010/10/fincen-proposes-reporting-on-all-cross.html

The Death Of Cash? All Over The World Governments Are Banning Large Cash Transactions
http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.com/2010/08/death-of-cash-all-over-world.html

M-payment: A Threat to Anti-money Laundering
http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.com/2010/05/m-payment-threat-to-anti-money.html

Virtual Currency and Money Laundering
http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.com/2010/02/virtual-currency-and-money-laundering.html

Founding Director, Bitcoin Foundation
I also cover the bitcoin economy for Forbes, American Banker, PaymentsSource, and CoinDesk.
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May 10, 2011, 09:32:08 AM
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Other jurisdictions besides the US could profit mightily from running future bitcoin exchanges. Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Zurich, Moscow, Rarotonga, Cayman Is., who knows where a server can be set up?

I wonder what Wall St. would think of legal moves to cut them out of that action?

matonis
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May 10, 2011, 10:53:10 AM
 #17


Other jurisdictions besides the US could profit mightily from running future bitcoin exchanges. Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Zurich, Moscow, Rarotonga, Cayman Is., who knows where a server can be set up?


LOL, I like the Labuan and Vanuatu jurisdictions. But any place not on this list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FATF_Blacklist will ultimately be drawn into the "Down with Bitcoin" club, militarily if necessary.

Founding Director, Bitcoin Foundation
I also cover the bitcoin economy for Forbes, American Banker, PaymentsSource, and CoinDesk.
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May 10, 2011, 03:06:23 PM
 #18

It would be interesting to hear what you come up with. That said... Lawyers are for protecting against existing legislation. If you want to protect against future legislation, you want lobbyists.

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