Questions tagged [legal]

Legal issues relating to the use of Bitcoins or similar crypto-currencies. This includes issues of legal compliance with legal areas such as taxation, money laundering, international currency controls, and so on. Please do not ask for legal advice.

36
votes
18answers
10k views

I paid in bitcoin, now I'm owed a refund. Can I demand it in bitcoin too?

This is, I suppose, a legal question so I should point out that I'm most interested in US and European law. I made a payment to a company for a product more than a year ago in bitcoin. The amount ...
28
votes
2answers
1k views

What does the US government do with seized coins?

It was reported today that the US government shut down the web site Silk Road, where people bought and sold things (allegedly including illegal drugs) using Bitcoins. The operator was arrested, and ...
25
votes
6answers
4k views

What is the current legal status of Bitcoin around the world?

Has there been any concrete information about the legality of Bitcoin in any country? Since any information can be injected into the blockchain, then if child porn / copyrighted material is injected ...
21
votes
4answers
805 views

Is the NotHaus conviction (Liberty Dollar) relevant as legal precedent?

Bernard von NotHaus (the creator of the Liberty Dollar) was convicted of violating a U.S. federal law that forbids the minting of a currency by anyone in the U.S. besides the federal government. ...
18
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it true that Paypal banned Bitcoins, while Google Checkout did not (yet)?

Paypal claimed they were not allowed to sell Bitcoins, while currently it seems Google Checkout is a viable option. So ... what's the story on this? Is this true, and if so does anyone know why?
18
votes
7answers
7k views

Do USA-based miners need to register with FinCEN?

As seen in recent news, FinCEN has issued a statement on its classification of virtual currencies: http://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/guidance/html/FIN-2013-G001.html Hypothetically suppose I mine ...
17
votes
9answers
1k views

Is there any way the Bitcoin network could resist a viral tainted-coin tagging system implemented by regulators?

Already it's possible for MtGox etc. to detect spends of coins that have certain well-known thefts in their history. If regulators forced audits on exchanges and key popular merchants, as well as ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Is Bitcoin a currency?

This question seems to be asked every now and then when legal status of Bitcoin is discussed - Is Bitcoin a currency? What are the characteristics that would make it a currency, and what makes it ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the legal processes that someone would have to go through in order to get a Bitcoin exchange operational?

One of the main perceived difficulties in getting started with Bitcoin is obtaining some in the first place. Naturally, for an exchange to be accepted into the mainstream it needs to be a recognised ...
15
votes
7answers
20k views

Did I just get defrauded by Coinbase?

I bought 10 bitcoins, 4.5, and .4 on Oct 18/19 @ around $150-160. On Oct 24, within almost the hour that the coins were supposed to arrive, I receive the following email for all 3 transactions: On ...
15
votes
5answers
5k views

Do you have to pay taxes on Bitcoin revenues? [closed]

Disclaimer: this is not legal advice, and this varies from country to country. If you accept bitcoins as payment, do you have to pay taxes on that? And would you have to write an invoice? Since they ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Tax implications in Canada of buying and selling Bitcoins?

What taxes should be paid in Canada on Bitcoin transactions? Has anyone gotten official advice on this? Is it relevant whether the Bitcoins were mined, received as payment for services, bought and ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Has any illegal data been saved in the Block Chain?

Has any illegal data been saved in the Block Chain, such as an illegal number, or illegal prime?
11
votes
2answers
786 views

Anonymity through paying by bitcoin

I am considering the VPN service Privateinternetaccess. One of it's payment methods is bitcoins. As described on this page paying with bitcoins strengthens anonymity. In contradiction, this page ...
11
votes
3answers
686 views

Is there a list of countries that are not likely to persecute bitcoin businesses?

It seems that at some point countries will start cracking down on Bitcoins. And Bitcoin is designed to handle that. However, are there some countries that are openly friendly to bitcoin businesses ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Legal issues / banking issues selling Bitcoins to people OTC?

I'm wondering what the practical / legal limits are on selling Bitcoin as an individual using Craigslist and LocalBitcoins. Will I run into legal issues / frozen bank accounts as I scale this? Right ...
9
votes
4answers
999 views

What prevents Bitcoins for being used to avoid taxation?

Today, states can follow money trails and transaction histories, usually involving checking bank accounts. As as I understand, It's impossible for anyone else to read your Bitcoin transactions and ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Correct use of the word Bitcoin [duplicate]

I'm still unsure when to use Bitcoin and when bitcoin is more appropriate. Did anyone define when to use the word Bitcoin with a capital B? Is one used to talk about the currency as in "3 Bitcoin" and ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Traditional VC investment vs. bitcoin IPO

There are few Bitcoin "stock exchanges" trading mainly BTC mining company pass-through shares, like https://btct.co/ https://bitfunder.com/ We are planning to get investment for our Bitcoin-...
8
votes
3answers
588 views

Defense from Government Intervention

What's to stop a government, say the U.S. government, from saying "Hey, it's okay if you want to use Bitcoins, but you have to use at least version 0.6.3". And then a year later changing the law to "...
8
votes
5answers
889 views

Would it be possible to patent Bitcoin?

Bitcoin utilizes a proof-of-work mechanism to assure against double-spending, as well as providing an example opensource implementation. However, some countries allow software patents, which could ...
8
votes
2answers
376 views

Ramifications of illegal content in transaction messages?

Would it be possible to make using Bitcoin illegal by posting child porn or similar highly illegal content in the message of a transaction? There are methods for having 'thin clients' that don't ...
8
votes
1answer
565 views

bitcoin knowledgeable attorneys?

I'd like to accept freelance work with bitcoin, probably a large enough amount to consult a lawyer. What kinds of questions would you ask to make sure they're competent? How would you go about ...
8
votes
2answers
666 views

Does the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission govern Bitcoin?

Do SEC regulations apply to: Exchange of Bitcoin for US dollars Investing in companies with Bitcoin An exchange that sells shares of company stock for Bitcoin Bitcoin futures contracts
8
votes
1answer
401 views

Legal status of Blockchain proof-of-existence TX (USA court)

Is there any real USA court cases with Bitcoin's Blockchain used as an proof-of-existence/timestamp service (without BTC transfer)? Can Bitcoin's Blockchain be used as a 'signing' utility same as ...
8
votes
3answers
710 views

When should an individual or business file a SAR with FinCen?

In the United States, both Individuals and Businesses are required to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) with FinCen when: Individuals who transport more than $10,000 into or out of the United ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Is performing a 51% attack / double spend on Bitcoin illegal?

Suppose I had an ultra large ASIC from the future, and could perform a double spend on the core Bitcoin network. At this point in Bitcoin's development, it is no longer a game - there's real money ...
7
votes
3answers
734 views

Selling copies of blockchain database on disc

Is it ethical / legal / at all possible to burn a copy of the Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) blockchain to a disc, and then sell the disc? Would there be any additional issues if we included a copy ...
7
votes
2answers
861 views

Is Bitcoin a corporation?

Does Bitcoin have legal status as a corporation? If so, what kind, and in what jurisdiction(s) is it registered?
7
votes
1answer
108 views

How can a DAO seek enforcement of a contract?

If a DAO hires someone to perform a task that is not completed according to contract terms, what is the legal remedy of the DAO. Assuming the DAO is not incorporated in any jurisdiction, can DAO ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Are there any legal implications when using localbitcoins.com?

You can get BitCoins for under 100 bucks via CoinBase and there are people on LocalBitCoins who are advertising offers to buy BitCoin for over 100 bucks. The spread is around $10; so I was ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What laws apply to selling / buying bitcoins for USD in California?

Please help me identify any laws that would be potential blockers to selling and buying bitcoins in person.
7
votes
2answers
520 views

How does one document Bitcoin investments for tax and other legal issues?

If Bitcoins are used as a store of value or investment vehicle, what legal documents should the investor require/keep? To date, no jurisdiction has special laws concerning cryptocurrencies, but ...
6
votes
3answers
373 views

What are the qualities of a country that might make it more or less likely to freely allow Bitcoins or crypto-currencies?

As some examples which seem logical to me, but should only be taken as examples: A government that is susceptible to commercial lobbying is probably more likely to be pressured by banks to disallow ...
6
votes
2answers
403 views

Bitcoin Intellectual Property Threats

Are any known threats related to Bitcoin intellectual property? (While unlikely, I guess one long shot threat is that one or more governments would ban the use of the technology.)
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Are Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency free & paid “Faucets” illegal in the USA?

I was wondering if Bitcoin faucets were illegal in the USA? What about a paid bitcoin faucet where you pay in other coins to get a few cents worth of BTC?
6
votes
2answers
327 views

Should earnings in Bitcoin converter to a traditional currency be treated as trading-income or non-trading income for tax purposes?

Should earnings in Bitcoin converter to a traditional currency be treated as trading income or non-trading income for tax purposes (for example, in Ireland)? Reason for them being considered trading ...
6
votes
1answer
124 views

Official Canadian source saying bitcoin is not legal tender?

I've been reading a lot that Canada no longer considers bitcoin legal tender. "Only Canadian bank notes and coins are recognized as legal tender in Canada. Bitcoin digital ‘currency’ is not legal ...
6
votes
1answer
309 views

How can I measure the “health” of Bitcoin?

What are the metrics that matter when evaluating the overall "health" of Bitcoin? What are the thresholds? Specifically Economic (e.g. velocity, days destroyed, market volume & beta) Technical ...
6
votes
3answers
321 views

How can I tell whether transactions were (not) made via BitPay / Coinbase?

Background Recently, Rep. Steve Stockman posed for a photo op with his Bitcoin address on a big QR code, which got shared. He has a Bitcoin donation page which asks for identifying info and goes ...
6
votes
1answer
279 views

What are the consequences of donating bitcoins to WikiLeaks?

The WikiLeaks website provides a bitcoin donation address 1HB5XMLmzFVj8ALj6mfBsbifRoD4miY36v According to this article from the Sydney Morning Herald, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks has been declared an ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Do I need to pay taxes if I sit on (do not use) bitcoins?

I've done some reading on the IRS bitcoin guidelines and I'm a bit confused how the capital gains taxes works. If I buy some bitcoins in Jan, the value of the bitcoins double by the of the year but I ...
5
votes
1answer
882 views

Is it legal to convert bitcoin to USD?

I've been told by many people that bitcoins are fully legal to use as currency, but not legal to convert to USD and use as US currency. Is this true? If so, what references back this up? If not, what ...
5
votes
3answers
502 views

From a legel perspective, are Bitcoins “created” by a miner or the Bitcoin Protocol?

The recent FinCEN announcement said explicitly that virtual currency isn't a "currency" by the standard sense of the word, and shouldn't be regarded as such. Should Bitcoin ever be considered a "...
5
votes
2answers
287 views

If miners pay income tax, could a change in tax laws affect network security?

Assuming that more than half of the Bitcoin miners pay taxes on revenue gained, could a increase in income tax laws (or similar) cause those ethical miners to go out of business? ... and the Bitcoin ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Setting up a coinbase like service in India , need suggestions

I have read and researched extensively on bitcoin, but I haven't found any service like coinbase that allows a user to buy or sell bitcoins online without having a US bank account. So how can one ...
5
votes
2answers
687 views

Are there mixing services or online wallets that are explicitly compliant with anti-laundering laws?

I'm interested in mixing services (0% taint) that are compliant with the most conservative anti-money laundering laws. My goal is to have anonymity between peers in a transaction, but to remain ...
5
votes
3answers
469 views

Easiest way to set up non computer-literate person with Bitcoin

What would be the easiest/quickest way to get somebody who isn't computer-literate set up to have the ability to transfer money to me via Bitcoin? Also, Bitcoin touts that it is anonymous. Is it any ...
5
votes
1answer
313 views

Has Apple stated its view on legality of apps using alternative electronic payment systems?

An article entitled "Why Apple is Afraid of Bitcoin" discusses Apple's interest in online payments. It also talks about the removal of 2 Bitcoin apps, Blockchain Wallet and BitPak, from the appstore. ...
5
votes
1answer
405 views

The context of FBI involvement with Bitcoin

A number of articles appeared recently linking to a leaked document about Bitcoin written by the FBI. Bitcoin Virtual Currency: Unique Features Present Distinct Challenges for Deterring Illicit ...