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Author Topic: What happens if the US bans the use of bitcoins?  (Read 7784 times)
trentzb
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May 17, 2011, 07:38:35 AM
 #21

The US will NEVER ban Bitcoin. The US might pass some legislation that appears to ban Bitcoin, but in actuality it will not be banned, ever. It is an impossibility. However they CAN and might ban the purchase of bitcoins using USD or the purchase of USD using bitcoins.
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Jaime Frontero
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May 18, 2011, 12:06:36 AM
 #22

The US will NEVER ban Bitcoin. The US might pass some legislation that appears to ban Bitcoin, but in actuality it will not be banned, ever. It is an impossibility. However they CAN and might ban the purchase of bitcoins using USD or the purchase of USD using bitcoins.

ahhh... "...within the borders of the US."

the US gov't couldn't do anything about exchanges outside the US - even if they traded USD.  and as i recall, there's more USD outside the country than inside.

just ain't gonna happen.
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May 18, 2011, 03:55:30 AM
 #23

- Current bitcoin-to-cash and cash-to-bitcoin services will be shut down.  No one could continue to operate a decently large service like that and not be caught.
Only those in the US. I mean, the US has banned Internet poker as well, but half of the world is still doing it. I'm not sure how many of the services are actually based in the US.
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- Bitcoin value would drop like a rock overnight.  Without anyone being able to exchange bitcoins for USD, many investors/speculators would lose confidence and try to sell sell sell as quickly as possible to avoid being stuck with bitcoins they cannot use (read: cannot continue investing with).  Investors/speculators don't want to buy stuff with bitcoins, they are only in it for what they can get out of it in USD.
Or the price might increase, because they have an illegality/danger-premium, like drugs.

It's hard to predict in advance.


I think your comparison of bitcoin exchangers to internet poker companies is pretty apt, but I think dangers still exist. Those processors not located in the US could continue to act, but not with total impunity. US-friendly payment processors would refuse to do business with them, freeze their funds, etc.

The problem with the drugs comparison is that drugs are a consumable good that get people high regardless of rarity. Bitcoins are just another medium of exchange. The more difficult they are to exchange, the less useful they are. The extent to which US can effectively disrupt the ability of individuals to exchange them is the extent to which bitcoins will lose value given a US ban.
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May 18, 2011, 05:34:24 AM
 #24


A congress that banned BitCoin would have to be sure that such a ban did not violate The Constitution, in particular the First Amendment.

A Federal ban would probably instigate legal cases against the ban, putting the value in limbo, especially if there are injunctions. It may pit the Executive branch against the Legal branch given the communication aspect of BitCoin transactions clearly make it a form of expression.



Ahahahaha this made my night. As if the US Congress respected the Constitution! The very dollars they now print are unconstitutional, and such hangups as "the Constitution" will never prevent them from assaulting Bitcoin, unfortunately.
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May 18, 2011, 05:44:57 AM
 #25

The US will NEVER ban Bitcoin. The US might pass some legislation that appears to ban Bitcoin, but in actuality it will not be banned, ever. It is an impossibility. However they CAN and might ban the purchase of bitcoins using USD or the purchase of USD using bitcoins.

So it's like whacking bitcoin moles? http://bitcoinweekly.com/articles/bitcoin-comic-whack-a-mole

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May 18, 2011, 08:36:05 AM
 #26


Banning a revolutionary form of trade and commerce in the middle of the biggest global recession for 80 years?

Maybe they really are insane.

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May 18, 2011, 09:07:13 AM
 #27

I think it's possible they will try. It's unfortunate they'd want to use violence against peaceful people for trading, but that's the only tool they have. I really don't think it could destroy bitcoin, but it would probably shake some users confidence for a short time.
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May 18, 2011, 01:59:15 PM
 #28


A congress that banned BitCoin would have to be sure that such a ban did not violate The Constitution, in particular the First Amendment.

A Federal ban would probably instigate legal cases against the ban, putting the value in limbo, especially if there are injunctions. It may pit the Executive branch against the Legal branch given the communication aspect of BitCoin transactions clearly make it a form of expression.



Ahahahaha this made my night. As if the US Congress respected the Constitution! The very dollars they now print are unconstitutional, and such hangups as "the Constitution" will never prevent them from assaulting Bitcoin, unfortunately.

so.. so very true -.-

ZOMG Moo!
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May 20, 2011, 05:12:14 PM
 #29


A congress that banned BitCoin would have to be sure that such a ban did not violate The Constitution, in particular the First Amendment.

A Federal ban would probably instigate legal cases against the ban, putting the value in limbo, especially if there are injunctions. It may pit the Executive branch against the Legal branch given the communication aspect of BitCoin transactions clearly make it a form of expression.



4 words:

Inter-State Commerce Clause
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May 20, 2011, 05:29:07 PM
 #30


A congress that banned BitCoin would have to be sure that such a ban did not violate The Constitution, in particular the First Amendment.

+1. There's no basis in US Constitution that allow them to do that.
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May 20, 2011, 05:33:28 PM
 #31

Marijuana is banned in the USA - see how well that's worked for stopping people using it. If Bitcoin has use to people and there is no/little way the government can detect and enforce their bans then people in banned countries will keep on using it. It will stop legitimate organisations openly accepting it though - which would slow things down. Still USA != The World.

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May 20, 2011, 05:36:37 PM
 #32


A congress that banned BitCoin would have to be sure that such a ban did not violate The Constitution, in particular the First Amendment.

A Federal ban would probably instigate legal cases against the ban, putting the value in limbo, especially if there are injunctions. It may pit the Executive branch against the Legal branch given the communication aspect of BitCoin transactions clearly make it a form of expression.



Ahahahaha this made my night. As if the US Congress respected the Constitution! The very dollars they now print are unconstitutional, and such hangups as "the Constitution" will never prevent them from assaulting Bitcoin, unfortunately.
The backing by gold/silver was removed from US dollars in phases over a long period of time.
If they do try to outlaw bitcoin, it'll probably done in multiple steps.
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May 23, 2011, 06:07:22 AM
 #33

I think it's possible they will try. It's unfortunate they'd want to use violence against peaceful people for trading, but that's the only tool they have. I really don't think it could destroy bitcoin, but it would probably shake some users confidence for a short time.

Plus, if all things come to worse, people can use BitCoin fully anonymously, e.g. with upcoming BtcFn project.  Of course this has the risk if you have IRL part of transction, but as other pointed out, narcotics (well, the non-alcoholic ones), guns (in most of the world) etc are illegal - so what?

Btw, why we care (only?) about USA banning/notbanning? Wink

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May 23, 2011, 01:55:27 PM
 #34

The US will never ban Bitcoin. I repeat, NEVER.

What they would do is confiscate Bitcoin similarly to what they did with gold in the 1930s, by claiming Bitcoin "hoarders" are ruining the US economy.

I don't think all this matters, though, the US will default similar to how Russia defaulted within 2 years. It will be a long time before people start trusting the USD or Amero or whatever new currency comes out of it. My guess is it will be a humbling experience for most of the US.

Of course, I'm saying all this as a citizen of the US. Smiley

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May 23, 2011, 02:08:46 PM
 #35

When the U.S. outlaws the use of bitcoin, only outlaws will use bitcoin.

Cheers.

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May 23, 2011, 02:17:43 PM
 #36

US banning BTC = lots of free publicity = increase in use

also banning use of BTC = limiting freedom of speech = not gonna happen

DukeOfEarl
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May 23, 2011, 03:05:43 PM
 #37

The US will criminalize bitcoin, it's only a matter of time.  The more interesting impact is how much effect they will have on partner countries to criminalize it as well.  Given the amount of influence the US currently wields in the banking industry, this is likely to be large.

An interesting thought experiment is how large of an economy Bitcoin would have to be before US officials take notice.   Before e-gold was shut down, it has ~$600 million in their accounts.  In order for Bitcoin to become a similarly sized threat each coin would have to be valued at $82US.
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May 23, 2011, 04:06:36 PM
 #38

Before e-gold was shut down, it has ~$600 million in their accounts.  In order for Bitcoin to become a similarly sized threat each coin would have to be valued at $82US.


But, e-gold had no mining aspect, so all the $600 million was actually paid for, no?  And the actual amount of bitcoins *bought* would be much less that total value of all bitcoins, because most of them were mined and parked somewhere.

What was the typical usage for e-gold?  How many vendors accepted it?  In what industries?


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May 23, 2011, 09:13:42 PM
 #39


US banning bitcoin is probably already largely priced into the market value for BTC.

Expect a relief rally when it actually happens or ... the longer it doesn't happen that threat will be discounted, i.e. stronger underlying price action.

Basiley
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May 24, 2011, 03:31:18 AM
 #40

Even if "The US" bans such things as Bitcoin in its usual arrogance by declaring it part of "The War on Terrorism and Drugs" or something, i think that in the vast majority of the world - or as the Americans call it "the rest of the world" - Bitcoin will continue to do well...  Wink


If the US bans bitcoin, much of the rest of the world would gravitate towards it because it irritates the US government.  Including many US citizens.
many countries actually banned USD.
does it stop USD? hardly.
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