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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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


4

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 hold of your bitcoin. And a government may just be happy destroying your wallet. If they catch a drug dealer who has a million dollars in bitcoin, few governments ...


3

If I cannot understand the laws/regulations, what am I supposed to do? A fairly widespread legal rule is that ignorance of the law is no defence. If you don't understand how the law applies to your situation, you are expected to seek help from someone who does. You can contact your local tax authorities and ask them, or you can pay for advice from a tax-...


2

No, he wouldn't be able to sue. Basically the Statute of limitations for scam is 5 years, after this delay the claim can be dropped in court. Even if he still went for it, he would only be entitled to the USD value of the transaction at that moment. It would be unreasonable to ask for a refund 10000x the price that was paid, see I paid in bitcoin, now I&#...


2

If you agree to buy your neighbour's old lawnmower using buttons and lint as payment, the SEC don't want or need to know about your novel form of payment. The same generally applies to other forms of payment. Generally where a taxable event occurs, you have to work out the equivalent amount in some government approved currency. For example, if the price of ...


1

It depends where the selling company is based. If you're able to buy BTC for example in Switzerland (from the US), you can get BTC by just giving them your bank id (also known as KYC-light). You need to keep in mind that there are also decentralized exchanges like BISQ and also marketplaces for buying and selling BTC in person for cash. Bitcoin is a digital ...


1

If an exchange decides to seize your Bitcoin, that's a civil matter between you and them. It happens not infrequently, as most exchanges use tools with questionable reliability to reduce their perceived risk. Generally speaking as a regulated business, it's their job to attempt to reduce any instance that may be money laundering or identity theft.


1

El Salvador has now passed a law that makes bitcoin the country's legal tender. The US dollar will continue to be legal tender in E.S. Anyone in E.S. who lacks the necessary technology does not have to accept Bitcoin. Does this mean that when the law comes into effect in September 2021, other countries will presumably start treating bitcoin as a foreign ...


1

El Salvador has now passed a law that makes bitcoin the country's legal tender. Does this mean that when the law comes into effect in September 2021, other countries will presumably start treating bitcoin as a foreign currency? It is possible that few countries consider bitcoin as foreign currency. Every country has their own laws for foreign exchange. ...


1

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 to disclose the password physically or remotely installing spyware on your laptop to get your wallet and password forcing Microsoft to install such a spyware ...


1

I am not expert in US law, but I have understading of taxes in my local country and general principles. In general, transactions and taxes are made in local currency, unless it is external trade, financial (like currency exchange) or other operation allowed by local tax/economic laws. Even if transaction is made in foreign currency, it is treated for tax ...


1

Regarding Point 5 - I found this passage in an E-Mail from Satoshi Nakamoto: «I had to write all the code before I could convince myself that I could solve every problem, then I wrote the paper. I think I will be able to release the code sooner than I could write a detailed spec.» (https://www.metzdowd.com/pipermail/cryptography/2008-November/014832.html). ...


1

Disclaimer: IANAL, this is not legal advice, the following are some lines of thought that I've seen on the matter that seem plausible to me: The original client was published under MIT License. The whitepaper was packaged with the original client. The license statement explicitly covers the "included documentation". It seems plausible that the ...


1

in the form of them giving me the key for getting access to the wallet. Something I associate with scams. If this is an online wallet (custodial) this sort of thing is normally explicitly forbidden in the terms and conditions. And for good reasons. If it is a more normal wallet, it is an idiotic way of donating money. That by itself is suspicious. Is it ...


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