Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Inside the Bitcoin Advocates’ Closed-Door Meeting with Federal Regulators

WaPo reports:
Nearly a dozen high-level agencies were in attendance, including the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service, the Secret Service and the Financial Crimes and Enforcement Division (FinCEN) of the Treasury Department, which convened the discussion.

“You could tell the folks there were certainly concerned about the potential use of Bitcoin for illicit purposes,” said Jerry Brito, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, who attended the meeting. “What the Bitcoin Foundation tried to stress is that Bitcoin is less useful for those purposes than other centralized virtual currencies. I think that got through, but the feeling from regulators wasn’t, ‘Oh boy, all of our concerns have been laid to rest now, and thank you for coming.’”[...]

“The foundation has asked FinCEN to be open and transparent as they move forward,” said [Patrick Murck, the Bitcoin Foundation’s top lawyer]. “FinCEN’s saying, ‘Not only are we going to do that, but we’re going to introduce you to the whole regulatory community.’ And that’s new.”
Oh yeah, that's my goal in life, to be introduced to entire government regulatory community. Not a good sign for Bitcoin.

(ht  Chris Pacia)


  1. I agree with you, but you can see why they'd do it. It's either that or get crushed.

    That's the one thing about agorism, or other anarchistic theories of association; it virtually guarantees you have to remain relatively small in your interactions. As soon as you're big enough to hit the radar, the statists come after you with everything they've got.

    Currently, there's just no good anarchistic theory for self-defense. History is replete with examples of people banding together in mass to take things by force from other people, and there's no current solution for that. If there were, we wouldn't have to deal with these a-holes from Mordor.

  2. When you say "not a good sign for bitcoin" are you talking about the currency or the businesses that use it? There is a difference, as bitcoin businesses can be regulated but the currency cannot.

  3. As long as you can create a wallet yourself and exchange bitcoin for cash in person, then bitcoin will be fine.

    What will likely happen is services such as Coinbase, which hold your wallet for you and in exchange offer merchant services and easy access to buy/sell BTC, will be forced by the government to keep some sort of record of their transactions and report to the IRS, DHS, and any other ABC outfit.

    All this will do is hurt businesses like Coinbase. BTC will be fine.