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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 ...


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

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 ...


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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

The scenario you name would be great for cryptocurrencies as it would make them mainstream. As soon as people got sick of govt intervention with Bitcoin in such a scenario, it would probably be relatively easy to get enormous numbers of people to switch over to a very similar (but independent) Altcoin. The nature of the cryptocurrency technology is such ...


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 ...


6

It seems that Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) of the U.S. senate sought a law criminalizing it back in 2011. Guess the media moved on and the law stalled. There are also countries like Venezuela, which criminalize exchange of a 'foreign currency', under the Foreign Exchange Crime Act. Essentially, this is so they can pretend that bolivars are ...


6

Anonymity: Every transaction ever made in Bitcoin is public. You can see the most recent here: https://blockexplorer.com/ What makes it anonymous, is that you may not know who owns which account number (Bitcoin address). If Privateinternetaccess picks a new receiving address for every transaction, it's very difficult for an outside person to see who is ...


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

The new FinCEN regulations are quite clear that the term "create" includes currencies that people "obtain by their own computing or manufacturing effort". 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) ...


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

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.)


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

You might not like this answer but the correct approach for figuring out taxes related to Bitcoin earnings is to ask the question to your local tax authority, in written form and get an answer that your local tax administration legally commits to. I can speak only for France, but I assume the same kind of thing is possible anywhere. In France you can ask ...


5

Same as the ban on drugs: People would continue to use them, they'll just do it in secret. The value will rise. The government will spend lots of your taxes to try to fight it and fail.


5

Just a few thoughts from someone with no experience with lawyers: since very few lawyers will have experience with Bitcoin, I personally would look for a lawyer familiar with (1) tax law, (2) currency trading and/or commodities trading, and (3) technology in general. Familiarity with technology may be the least important, and may actually not matter at all, ...


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