Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Hot answers tagged

26

I am not a lawyer, but... The Coinage Act of 1965, Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," states: "United States coins and currency... are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues." In the USA all monetary debts can be paid in US dollars. Second, while bitcoin is legally a payment method in the US, it does not have legal ...


19

I made a payment to a company for a product more than a year ago in bitcoin. The amount that I paid then was equivalent to $75. Now the company has failed to provide the product and they and I both agree that I'm owed a refund. However, we disagree on the means. The company wants to refund me - in bitcoin if I wish it - to the value of $75 of ...


17

I can't speak for why Google Checkout seems to have no problem, it may simply be that they are unaware of Bitcoin as of yet. Edit: A Google Checkout employee has replied that they explicitly allow virtual currencies - at least for the time being. PayPal, on the other hand explicitly bans "the sale of traveler’s checks or money orders, currency exchanges or ...


17

There are many complementary currencies in use around the United States quite openly and without government interference, including BerkShares, Ithaca Dollars and similar hyper-local currencies, various bartering or time swapping systems like LETS or Time Dollars, etc. The case you are referring to revolved around minting coins that could easily be confused ...


16

No, you were not defrauded because you did not lose anything real. You did not lose 10 BTC. You did not lose $1,556.76. You lost potential, yet unrealized gain as a result of the delay in processing your order. You may have not had access to either amount for a period of time because of the flag thrown on your transaction. AFAIK, Coinbase does not publish ...


15

TL;DR Bitcoin already is a currency because it's a generally accepted medium of exchange among certain communities. As those communities grow and usage spreads to other communities, its strength as a currency solidifies. This requires a little bit of history. I am not a numismatist, but I have studied this a little even before the advent of Bitcoin. ...


14

A refund should be issued using the same payment method that was used at the time of purchase. This also serves an anti-fraud measure for the cases where a purchase was made on a stolen medium (eg a credit card) but the scammers request a refund in a different medium (eg cash) as soon as the payment goes through because all they want to do is take the money ...


13

The convictions, currently under appeal, are for making coins resembling and similar to United States coins issuing, passing, selling, and possessing Liberty Dollar coins issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current money conspiracy against the United States The essenges of bitcoin is a cryptographically signed message and therefore ...


13

At this point, the legality of bitcoin remains largely untested. To date, there have been no legal actions brought against any bitcoin exchanges (which would likely be the first place for the legality of bitcoin to be tested, rather than end users) and multiple bitcoin exchanges are seeking legal clarification regarding the jurisdictions they are operating ...


12

While working on my master thesis I used the AACS encryption key (09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0), considered an illegal number, as a basis for creating a fake Bitcoin address - 1ujTAfEQh2obwdt72GrmXonakx2RxvYpX. A 1 Satoshi transaction was sent to that address from address 17TQLZvXjKTrUyRnV9DuQs4RVDgNjUPeXQ. The transaction was encoded in ...


12

No. The whole point of Bitcoin is that it is decentralized and there is no single corporation behind it.


11

To claim a patent you must be able to prove against contest that you invented the device, and have a working example that if built to the specs provided, runs. As it was this Satoshi who invented bitcoin, and there are prior examples of a digital currency, it would be very hard for any one person to claim a patent so far after the fact. Some one could try, ...


11

It's definitely not against the law. It might be breaking the terms of service (ToS) but there's really no reason why any dedicated server hosting provider wouldn't allow you to max out the CPU. I wouldn't do business with them if they limited that. However, you need to read your hosting provider's ToS. They might forbid certain applications like IRC servers,...


10

In the United States there is no existing legislation that explicitly makes bitcoins or bitcoin-like currencies illegal. The closest legal challenge at the moment seems to be the anti money laundering laws which require you to "know your customer" by retaining personal identifying information on people you exchange monetary instruments with (in amounts ...


10

I don't think the scenario is realistic because it would only punish innocent people. By the time coins could be marked as tainted, they would already be in the hands of innocent people. Governments don't do similar things with other currencies. For example, if you deposit dollar bills in a bank that turn out to have been stolen, the government could charge ...


10

No, the fincen guidance you posted has it in plain english that you do not. A miner is simply a user. c. De-Centralized Virtual Currencies A final type of convertible virtual currency activity involves a de-centralized convertible virtual currency (1) that has no central repository and no single administrator, and (2) that persons may obtain by ...


10

Note: This is a US-centric answer. Other countries may differ. I'll add other countries as people leave comments. There is an arbitrary limit of $1,000 per person per day that triggers the necessity to register as a money service business. Stay under that FinCEN is unlikely to care about you, although you still may legally need to register for smaller ...


10

I'd actually like to see a reference to someone saying that it's illegal. ...because it's legal. FinCEN guidance establishes who must register with government and when one must pay taxes (sell bitcoin for USD, pay taxes on gains).


10

Property seized is held until a conviction, then sold at auction. If there is no conviction, property may or may not be returned to the rightful owner.


10

Given that bitcoin has increased in value, one of us has to profit from this. If you hold the bitcoins while the value goes up, you are the one entitled to profit from it, because you also risk holding while the value drops, and then you're the one stuck with the loss. Imagine the 10,000 BTC pizza transaction were refunded now: would the purchaser be ...


10

I was checking out the Bitcoin website There is no such thing. There are various communities and privately-run sites, but they are all distinct, and none are authoritative. I believe that Bitcoin is not a private company That's correct. it's owned by its community That's a matter of perspective. I would say it's not owned by anyone - not even any ...


9

Taxing authorities consider currencies or goods received in trade to be taxable income. Bitcoin would fall in the same category as foreign currency or barter, and would be taxable. In Canada, barter is sometimes exempt from taxation: "According to the Revenue Canada document T-490 (Barter Transactions): if the person(s) bartering is an employee, and not a ...


9

In Denmark (Europe) I have looked into this with a friend of mine, and we came to this conclusion. Here, you will have to pay tax and do an invoice regardless of the currency. It is trade taking place within Danish borders, and therefor tax applies. Although, these are rather old laws, and not very well updated. For example, a trade between two Danes going ...


9

The bitcoins will be sold, but they haven't said precisely how that will happen. Since there is no bitcoin exchange that is properly legally licensed in the US, they will likely auction them off directly, like seized property. The bitcoins, if you're interested, are sitting in two very large wallets: one with ~144K bitcoins (~US$117.6M right now) and ...


8

We don't have any official word from PayPal about why they prohibit these kinds of transactions. The usual conspiracy theory is that these types of commodities could ultimately compete with PayPal so PayPal wants to hold them back. This really doesn't make all that much sense -- PayPal is not going to decide whether Bitcoin succeeds or fails. The likely ...


8

A double-spend would be blackletter law illegal, guys. Fraud and theft include a wide variety of intentional deception wrongfully depriving someone of property - use of a government-minted currency is not, and never was, a required element. Look at any larceny or fraud statute - it will refer to loss of or damage to person and property not "dollars." ...


8

What prevents Bitcoins for being used by criminals to avoid taxation? nothing. thats the price of anonymity: it can be used for good and for bad. In a Bitcoin world, how can a state tax its citizens when it's impossible to check their transactions? in a hypothetical purely bitcoin world, the state would have to find different ways of funding ...


8

Is this legal under the terms of the GPL? Bitcoin Core is distributed under the MIT license which explicitly allows this. The content would essentially be the Bitcoin data directory (minus the wallet.dat of course), and, if possible, the client. Users could insert the CD, install the client, and have the entire blockchain as of the date the CD was ...


7

At the present moment, no country recognizes bitcoin as actual "currency" so the laws for exchanging, buying, selling or trading in bitcoin are exactly as they would be for simply setting up a shop. For legal purposes, pretend bitcoins are any other object, let's say a chair... If you set up a web site that exchanges chairs for USD and you sell enough ...


7

I don't think StackExchange is the best place to ask for legal advice. Logically, one would set up a company, get a business bank account and start their operations. However, it is very advisable to consult a lawyer first, as there are some legal concerns one should keep in mind, like the money laundering regulations that one should adhere to.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible