Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Holder: Bitcoin Raises Law Enforcement Concerns

The hammer is coming.

Attorney General Eric Holder told lawmakers that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies pose a challenge for law enforcement agencies, because they can be used to "conceal illegal activity," according to CNN.

Holder, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, said the Justice Department is working with financial regulators to figure out how to deal with bad actors who use digital currencies to buy drugs, weapons and other illegal goods and services.

"Those who favor virtual currencies solely for their ability to help mask drug trafficking or other illicit conduct should think twice," Holder said.

Holder told lawmakers that the Justice Department is "committed to innovating alongside this new technology in order to ensure our investigations are not impeded by any improvement in criminals' ability to move funds anonymously.

The idea that Bitcoin is some libertarian money, that will get around government intrusion into one's life, is absolutely absurd. Bitcoin is easier to track than paper money or gold.


  1. "Attorney General Eric Holder told lawmakers that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies pose a challenge for [the State], because they can be used to "conceal [untaxed] activity," according to CNN." [Holder went on to add, "How can we get our beak wet when they hide their activity from us."]

  2. Clarification: Bitcoin transactions is easier to track than paper or gold but not the identities behind the transactions due to the plausible deniability that is so easily introduced into the transactions when simple steps are taken.

  3. What is Holder going to do? Throw half a million people in prison? Come on. Logistically impossible. Why don't you jump at this chance to annoy Eric Holder? If he hates it, it has to be good. Come back over to the good side Wenzel. Join the fight. They track your credit card too, I don't see why that bothers you so much about Bitcoins.

    1. watch Holder try

      ask Adam Kokesh about poking the man in the chest

  4. The hits keep coming .... fast and furious!!

  5. Is Eric Holder going to throw Congressman Jared Polis in prison? He just became a Bitcoin owner.

    1. >"The currency of choice for those seeking to engage in illicit activity is still cash," Polis said
      Yes, he did say this. Once Holder and others understand the knowledge about spending via digital vs. non, they will support it. In fact, this may all be a smoke screen.
      As for posts about it will be difficult to ID digital money users if they take simple steps, I can assure you that 99.9 percent of users will not bother to do so. The masses want it simple, they could care less about privacy or being tracked (of course until it comes to bite them someday, which for many it will).

  6. Goldman keeps its ‘Flash Boys’ under wraps

    Why do I think that? Because it’s a topic I wrote about a number of times in 2009 when a guy named Sergey Aleynikov, who developed high-frequency trading programs, was arrested by the FBI for stealing computer code from his employer, Goldman Sachs.

    Lewis writes: “I thought it strange, after the financial crisis, in which Goldman had played such an important role, that the only Goldman Sachs employee who had been charged with any sort of crime was the employee who had taken something from Goldman Sachs.”

    And — this is the drumroll moment — Lewis (as I did in my 2009 columns) quotes an FBI agent who said that in the wrong hands, the computer code Aleynikov allegedly stole could be used to “manipulate markets in unfair ways.”

    “Goldman’s were the right hands?” Lewis asked. As Lewis points out, everything the FBI agent knew about high-frequency trading he learned from Goldman.

    My question back then, as it is now, is: What was Goldman doing with this code? Why did it react so aggressively to the theft?

    And why did the FBI — which has important stuff like murder and terrorism on its to-do list — jump into the Aleynikov case within 48 hours of Goldman’s complaint when the computer geek’s actions really should have been handled in civil court by Goldman’s lawyers?

    And did Goldman think there was a “fair way” to manipulate markets?