Please help me identify any laws that would be potential blockers to selling and buying bitcoins in person.

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    As a commercial, for-profit service, or, for instance, trading them to and from just friends, relatives, coworkers, etc on an infrequent basis? (There's a difference, so that's why I ask.} Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 21:06
  • Assume a for-profit service. Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 10:12
  • Hey, are you still there? Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 8:13
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    I am, but I don't know the answer. I am not a lawyer and if this is a for-profit service I'ld recommend you get legal advice. California is not a state that is necessarily friendly to money transmitters (see facecash.com/legal/ca.html for an example) but whether buying and selling Bitcoins makes you a money transmitter requiring licensing is not something I can answer. Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 16:40
  • I think California should be the same as anywhere else. See this: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/337/… Commented Nov 25, 2012 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


I am not a lawyer but I think this Bitcoin Magazine Article should be informative. As far as case-law goes I would check out the bitcoinica bankruptcy suit as well as the tradehill bankruptcy suit

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