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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 ...


20

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

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 ...


17

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 factors involved. Bitcoin is decentralized, so there is no central authority that governments can go to (or coerce) to force or disallow transactions. However ...


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 ...


12

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


12

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 favorable jurisdiction) may simply issue an order that requests the funds to be blocked or transferred to a government-controlled account. The ordinary bank ...


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

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


8

Basically, yes. Coinbase is notorious for this type of shady practice; hit me just last week. At least you got a reply, their customer service ignored my requests for updates. A few quick searches will find you quite a few repeats of this same old story. It's best to not think of Coinbase as an exchange at all; think of them as just a store that sells ...


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

From Introduction on the Bitcoin wiki: Capitalization / Nomenclature Since Bitcoin is both a currency and a protocol, capitalization can be confusing. Accepted practice is to use Bitcoin (singular with an upper case letter B) to label the protocol, software, and community, and bitcoins (with a lower case b) to label units of the currency. So, the accepted ...


7

Was there a sales contract? https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/How_to_accept_Bitcoin,_for_small_businesses#Contract points out the value of specifying the refund policy in such a contract. (Personally I'd think this was a USD purchase, quoted in USD, to be refunded in USD, irrespective of how the value was transferred. But IANAL, and I'm not even American.)


7

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 is). With fiat in a bank account, the government can simply go to your bank and order them to freeze your account and lock you out of it. There is no need for ...


7

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 Complaint For Forfeiture, which includes these paragraphs (bold added by me): Individual X, whose identity is known to the government, was determined to have been ...


6

Well, lets look at the outcomes for the user: your user burns hundreds of times their normal power usage mining, thousands of dollars of their money goes into their power bill your user potentially ruins their hardware (Mac hardware will die, there's no question of that) your users computer becomes sluggish and unresponsive their virus protection removes ...


6

UPDATE: The (US) Law Library of Congress has published a report "Regulation of Bitcoin in Selected Jurisdictions" dated January 2014 and addressing the status in 40 nations plus the EU. This may currently be one of the best sources you can hope for, except if you're interested in the status inside the USA itself or some very small economy, maybe. Since then,...


6

There is no minimum age, my children have Bitcoins and have for years. Service by service should implement whatever safety or age restrictions they need. I am not aware of any work done on this front, perhaps somebody else can enlighten.


6

It's legal Bitcoin Core is released under The MIT License. Accordingly, the Bitcoin repository informs: Permission is hereby granted, [...] including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software [...] [emphasis added] So, it's explicitly legal for the software. I'd ...


6

IANAL. What you describe is the act of taking something that isn't yours in full knowledge that somebody else invested effort and money to accumulate it. Just as with your Swiss bank example: The rightful owner would be losing the funds that you misappropriated. Taking someone's property without their consent is theft. I feel that this is independent of ...


5

Some merchants, exchanges or E-Wallets even may have age restrictions, but Bitcoin is a protocol and therefore there is no restrictions regarding how it is used.


5

Would it be possible to make using Bitcoin illegal by posting child porn or similar highly illegal content in the message of a transaction? Bitcoin, as a decentralised provision network of sorts, may have the same protections as given to ISPs and content providers. So unless the government is gunning for Bitcoin anyway - I'd say no, Bitcoin can not be ...


5

Persons can dispense all sorts of professional services as long as they aren't for "business" or "pay" In some places, yes. In other places, no. Since you didn't specify your jurisdiction, I will guess that you live in Alabama. Alabama Code - Section 34-3-6 (b) defines the practice of law this way: Whoever, (1) In a representative ...


5

The DAO's service provider would hire the person, not the DAO. The contract would be with the service provider, and the service provider could then sue the agent if the task wasn't completed as the specified. The DAO does have to carefully arrange things so its service providers can't betray it. One way to do that is to have the DAO pay the service provider ...


4

Coinbase did not defraud you. I've done over 500 transactions with Coinbase since July 2013. They are a legitimate Venture Capital funded startup. They do however make mistakes / have bugs in their software. However they always straighten everything out after I submit support tickets. Once they made a mistake that I submitted a support ticket about ...


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