17 votes

How can government "seize" bitcoins?

It is not necessarily true that no amount of force or authority can cause or prevent any transfer of Bitcoin. The protocol does not allow arbitrary seizures or blocking, but there are still human ...
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  • 60.4k
12 votes

How can government "seize" bitcoins?

A lot of bitcoins reside in a trading platforms or online wallets. These bitcoins are (in the particular bitcoin sense) controlled by the platform. The government (provided the platform/wallet is in a ...
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  • 291
9 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to "unmine" particular coins?

Technically, yes it's possible to do this. Practically, doing this would probably break everyone's trust in Bitcoin. One of Bitcoin's principle guarantees is that nobody can confiscate anyone else's ...
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7 votes

How can government "seize" bitcoins?

Other answers have covered how/if this is possible in theory, but you may be interested in how it actually happened in the specific case you mentioned. The press release links to a PDF of the ...
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  • 171
7 votes

Why do people claim that governments cannot confiscate Bitcoins?

While it is true that Bitcoin can still be physically taken away from you, it is still much harder to do that than it is for a government to confiscate your fiat stored in a bank account (as most fiat ...
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  • 60.4k
4 votes

Is it possible to "unmine" particular coins?

No, once they are mined they are around forever. If someone was able to delete the wallet file (and any backups) they could essentially make the coins lost though, essentially making it impossible for ...
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  • 682
4 votes
Accepted

Who Really Controls Bitcoin?

As we've answered earlier today the description of what happens when 90% of the hashpower is lost is approximately accurate, although somewhat exaggerated: "A 90% loss will create 2 hour block ...
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  • 62.3k
4 votes

How can government "seize" bitcoins?

You said yourself: " I.e., short of coercing whoever has the private key to disclose it..." And that's exactly how a government can seize bitcoin, or how an unscrupulous criminal can get ...
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4 votes
Accepted

How is the human end of the Bitcoin network secured?

In an ideal world, we would want all programs to be auditable/verifiable(we can verify every execution path to be secure and correct). But that's far from reality, when you download a binary from a ...
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  • 1,204
4 votes
Accepted

If Bitcoin is not controlled by the state, how come in some countries it is illegal?

A party can send a hexadecimal string to another party and nobody in the world can prove bitcoin or any form of money was sent. Governments can ban bitcoin usage but the bitcoin protocol is ...
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  • 450
3 votes

Pump & Dump communities. Are they legal?

Legality depends largely on jurisdiction, and you didn't specify one. In addition, the regulation of cryptocurrencies is constantly in flux, and even in a given jurisdiction it's difficult to say ...
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  • 8,724
3 votes

Who Really Controls Bitcoin?

This is a bad article. While it may be true that Bitcoin is difficult to change, it is much easier to shut down. This is true! While full clients will not accept invalid blocks, nothing guarantees ...
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  • 28.6k
2 votes

Can someone with an unlimited amount of money compromize the network?

In fact they can. Somebody who could raise 20x of the entire network's computing power can rerun the transaction history from the beginning, throwing out any transactions they don't like. So long as ...
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  • 129
2 votes

What methods could a government use to shutdown Bitcoin?

In many cases a government could effectively shutdown bitcoin in its country by making the following law: No licensed or regulated financial institution can exchange currency for bitcoin. Since ...
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2 votes
Accepted

Are there any publications about deanonymizing Bitcoin?

A good resource is http://arxiv.org/. Search bitcoin in the search bar, and then look for "anon" on the page to find articles about anonymization and de-anonymization in bitcoin. Doing that, I found ...
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  • 13.7k
2 votes

How can the government tax you using bitcoin

Governments can set up laws and regulations and then set up "departments" to monitor and enforce. Whether it is successful or not is another question. No doubt they will have to skill up and ...
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2 votes

Pump & Dump communities. Are they legal?

Therefore, those who managed to buy it early and sell it in time, get profits. Actually, they don't. For three reasons: To execute a pump & dump, you have to keep buying even after the price has ...
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1 vote

How can government "seize" bitcoins?

Two possibilities have already been discussed: If the bitcoins are in a wallet on your computer, the government must acquire your private key, e.g. by physically seizing your laptop and forcing you ...
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  • 111
1 vote
Accepted

Exchange-based vs over-the-counter (OTC)

Exchange-based transactions, ; Exchanges bring together brokers and dealers who buy and sell these objects. These various financial instruments can typically be sold either through the exchange, ...
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  • 176
1 vote

How is the human end of the Bitcoin network secured?

There is a joke about Thailand's road police: Once Thailand King went to a witch a and asked: "Hey, witch! Help me to eliminate bribes on my land's roads, please. What should I do or how should I ...
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1 vote

If Bitcoin is not controlled by the state, how come in some countries it is illegal?

Well this is a vague question. To answer your query from the county's government context: Any form of payments that surpasses their way of handling the payments will surely attract some potential ...
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  • 109
1 vote

Who Really Controls Bitcoin?

Not exactly the same topic but still relevant and perhaps a touch more philosophical. Bitcoin was suppose to be decentralized. But for miners it is not feasible to really run a solo operation anymore ...
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1 vote

How bitcoin gets monetary value

Currencies get value from demand and supply not from governments backing them. Currencies have existed long before government's started stamping them out in their own name. The demand for a currency ...
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  • 2,520
1 vote

How would a governmental Bitcoin ban work in practice?

You may be thinking about this the wrong way. Most countries have a ban on cars driving above a speed limit. However this is not enforced by using technical means that prevent cars driving over the ...
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1 vote

Can government agencies trace if I mine bitcoin?

If you are going to mine any significant amount, you'll consume a substantial amount of energy, which may be noticed. For instance, if I were to install a single AntMiner S9 at my home, my ...
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1 vote

Can government agencies trace if I mine bitcoin?

Data linking is the only way there is any question of privacy. When you transact with Bitcoin, the goods or service you order will need to have a delivery address. Also, if you send your BTC to any ...
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  • 3,116
1 vote
Accepted

Can Bitcoin be "shutdown" if energy consumption for mining is heavily regulated?

Those questions have been answered multiple times. The difficulty depends on the mining power. If there is a regulation and 60% of the miners are away, the difficulty would decrease drasticly within ...
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  • 2,037
1 vote

How hard it is to destroy BitCoin system if the government leaders decide to do this?

since the government controls the physical internet They do not (at least in North America or Europe). The internet is a network of communication. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) can be private or ...
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  • 1,359
1 vote

Are decentralized currencies absolutely critical

Even in the case where a centralized body is perfectly benevolent, and always acts in the citizen/user's best interest, the fact remains that mere existence of a position of power is a liability to ...
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