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California Sends a Cease and Desist Order To the Bitcoin Foundation 396

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with bad news for the Bitcoin Foundation. "California's Department of Financial Institutions has issued a cease and desist letter to the Bitcoin Foundation for "allegedly engaging in the business of money transmission without a license or proper authorization," according to Forbes. The news comes after Bitcoin held its "Future of Payments" conference in San Jose last month. If found in violation, penalties range from $1,000 to $2,500 per violation per day plus criminal prosecution (which could lead to more fines and possibly imprisonment). Under federal law, it's also a felony "to engage in the business of money transmission without the appropriate state license or failure to register with the US Treasury Department," according to Forbes. Penalties under that law could be up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine."
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California Sends a Cease and Desist Order To the Bitcoin Foundation

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  • Uh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:05AM (#44089771)

    When did the foundation become a money transmitter? Oh yeah, it didn't.

    • Re:Uh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NFN_NLN (633283) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:14AM (#44089809)

      “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” – Thomas Jefferson

      History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance. -James Madison

      • Re:Uh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Osgeld (1900440) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:40AM (#44089887)

        "Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country." – Thomas Jefferson

        "What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed?" -James Madison

        dont fucking pick and choose, it makes you look like a nut

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Fuck, I'm missing a moderation choice.

          That's a "-1/+1 Tried to be snippy smart-ass but actually told good honest truths inadvertently."

          AC not to undo other moderations.

        • Re:Uh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kell Bengal (711123) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:58AM (#44089949)
          Actually, I'd argue both Jefferson and Madison are talking sense here. Jefferson points out that a valuable commercial product should be exploited. Madison says that risk amelioration is important to encouraging business innovation.

          How does failing to mention them (valid statements, if unrelated to the GPs point) constitute picking and choosing?
          • by Camael (1048726) on Monday June 24, 2013 @05:35AM (#44090407)

            "Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country." – Thomas Jefferson

            Jefferson was right, and that statement far from painting him as a cokehead actually shows that he was a shrewd businessman.

            These are the facts [straightdope.com] :-

            1) Botanically, marijuana equals hemp. These are basically two names for the same plant.

            2) Hemp was historically useful for rope, paper, and clothing, and was long promoted in Virginia as an alternative cash crop.

            3) Jefferson farmed grew hemp on his Virginia farm commercially.

            4) No great social stigma was attached to smoking pot in the late 1700s and early 1800s — pot use wasn't considered a problem until the early 1900s.

            So, what was the problem with Jefferson's comment again?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward
              Hemp could still be a very useful resource if that stigma did not exist. It is not only good for its fibers, but also a very good protein source
            • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday June 24, 2013 @08:17AM (#44091007)

              4) No great social stigma was attached to smoking pot in the late 1700s and early 1800s — pot use wasn't considered a problem until the early 1900s.

              You forgot to mention that the main reason that pot became an object of opprobrium in the western U.S. was because it was the intoxicant of choice among Mexican immigrants. In the Eastern U.S., it was its association with jazz musicians (a group which was primarily black and Latin American at the time). The fact of the matter is that smoking pot came to be viewed as a problem because it was attributed as the cause of certain minorities forgetting their place.

            • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc&carpanet,net> on Monday June 24, 2013 @08:24AM (#44091043) Homepage

              > 1) Botanically, marijuana equals hemp. These are basically two
              > names for the same plant.

              Yup. Adding to this, few people had even heard the term "marijuana" (which, if it arose new today, would be considered an ethic slur) when it was made illegal.

              It wasn't until much later, 70s/80s when French botanists bred a low THC strain of cannabis and began pushing for a legal distinction between the two; enshrining into the law the use of a plant which could only be obtained from them (talk about shrewd business)

              > 3) Jefferson farmed grew hemp on his Virginia farm
              > commercially.

              Not only that, but look at his buddy George (thats Washington) and the instructions that he gave is slaves. Specifically they had been instructed to sew hemp seed and collect it for several crops, and then, once a large enough seed stock was available, to kill the males on the next crop.

              I am aware of no claims of benefit to removing the males on in a crop intended strictly for rope or canvas use. GW grew the sticky icky for the head.

              > 4) No great social stigma was attached to smoking pot in
              > the late 1700s and early 1800s â" pot use wasn't
              > considered a problem until the early 1900s.

              There are some interesting connections between this and both Alcohol prohibition AND the mormon church. The first state to ban cannabis was actually Utah, an event which followed the return of many still polygamist mormons back to the area after having left to mexico years earlier. The story goes that some had picked up cannabis smoking in Mexico and this was an attempt to make them unwelcome. Texas then apparently picked up on this and decided to ban it on the supposition that they should prevent the problem from coming there.

              Around this same time we saw Alcohol prohibition end, and the newly created "Federal Bureau of Narcotics" (precursor to the DEA) which had been created partially to fight illegal alcohol, had precious little left to do, and their main man Harry Anslinger went on his crusade to give his agency a purpose, and to deamonize the weed.

              I highly recomend checking out the Senate testimony at the time, including the portion where a Doctor from the AMA is told to go home because he stood against making cannabis illegal, calling it an important medicine.

              • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:31AM (#44091635) Journal

                "newly created "Federal Bureau of Narcotics" (precursor to the DEA) which had been created partially to fight illegal alcohol, had precious little left to do"

                And people expect the IRS to disappear if/when we get rid of Income taxes. Once created, no government entity willingly disappears. Which is why we should be VERY careful about assigning new powers to a government agency. That beast will never cease to eat.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by argStyopa (232550)

              This is usually the sort of argument that's far more credible if it wasn't always made by someone who's basically just a pothead trying to make scoring weed simpler, usually with a sort of vapid 'Woody Harrelson'-stoned sort of look on their face.

              Seriously, the points may be entirely credible, but the message is badly corrupted by the typical source.

          • Re:Uh (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:56AM (#44091909) Homepage Journal

            Actually, I'd argue both Jefferson and Madison are talking sense here. Jefferson points out that a valuable commercial product should be exploited. Madison says that risk amelioration is important to encouraging business innovation.

            Yes, but Madison was making a more important point about overbearing government regulation (this is from the Federalist Papers arguing for a Constitution that limited government authority). Risk is always a consideration in starting a new business venture, but Madison's point was that when governments go around outlawing things arbitrarily, or, worse, is unable to provide any assurances to a prospective entrepreneur as to their ability to engage in certain commerce, then business innovation will simply cease.

            An important lesson for today. In California, if you're shopping for a piece of land to start a business, it's a huge gamble, because in most places the local planning board is unable to tell you what you can and can't do on that land. You have to roll the dice by purchasing the land, explaining your land use proposal, paying the application fees, and hoping that you'll be allowed to use your property.

        • Fallacies (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gd2shoe (747932) on Monday June 24, 2013 @04:02AM (#44090141) Journal

          dont fucking pick and choose, it makes you look like a nut

          Oh give me a break. This is an attacking-the-messenger fallacy. If you want to accuse him of appeal-to-authority, that's fine, but your quotes in no way invalidate his.

          Further, everyone says something crazy at some time in their lives. If you try hard enough, you can find a crazy quote for anyone famous. Unless everyone, ever, have all been insane, you've got to give some lee-way.

          (Besides, your James Madison quote actually makes sense. Sometime the only progress we've achieved have been from visionary merchants, and not prudent ones. It has also been said that you can only count the number of businesses that have been created, but can never count the ones that could have been, but were dissuaded by inept or corrupt governance.)

        • Re:Uh (Score:5, Informative)

          by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Monday June 24, 2013 @08:36AM (#44091117) Journal

          If this country built a strong cannabis industry, right now, what would the benefits be?

          Cannabis in the Industrial Hemp strain does not produce enough THC to get you high. The THC-production-ready strains represent an emerging market thanks to recent changes in the legislative climate.

          All cannabis will grow in less-ideal conditions. It is easily grown and harvested on land unfit for the growth of more sensitive crops. See discussions about switchgrass for this concept; the benefits here are the same. Better land utilization means increases in economic wealth, as land is a wealth-bearing asset which holds less value when unused (You own land, but produce nothing? You can SELL it, but you're not gaining wealth by PRODUCING on it).

          Industrial Hemp provides strong fibers which you can blend with clothes in 30% hemp 70% cotton to make cotton-like fabric of extremely light weight--sort of like silk--with high durability. Higher hemp content would be perfect for labor-clothes (i.e. denim), as it's ridiculously hard to cut and tear. Hemp is also very smooth and so very comfortable. Spun hemp fiber, being that hemp has better tensile strength, doesn't break down as easily under the stresses of wash and wear, and so produces less lint, so the clothing lasts longer.

          Longer lasting, higher-quality clothing made from lower-cost materials means poor people can purchase clothing at a discount price and less often. They are then able to more effectively manage their money, improving their economic situation. The middle class and the rich similarly benefit, ending up with more money to spend elsewhere and stimulate other economic sectors. This represents an increase in wealth via a decrease in the destructive turn-over of goods (i.e. things don't wear out as fast, so are not destroyed as often; and the lower resource intensiveness of production reduces the amount of wealth sunk into creating the good, thus greatly increasing the wealth of society by replacing a high-cost good with a low-cost good of equal or greater value).

          Hemp seed is highly nutritious and can be used for feed or food. Hemp seed oil can be processed into biodiesel fuel. Again, this allows for the use of unsuitable land toward a valuable economic end, thus increasing the wealth of society.

          Hemp damages the cotton industry. The cotton industry, being large and powerful in the time of slave-negros, thus lobbied congress as is American tradition to produce protectionist laws. Hemp was, for a time, heavily regulated; moving onto hemp production would today require some relatively large start-up costs, despite that the process of spinning plant fibers into thread and yarn is largely the same. It would also incur a frightening amount of risk due to the risk of accidentally growing recreational cannabis (the plant is the same, the seeds look the same, and pollen on bees and in the wind from nearby grow operations could taint your crop and produce high-THC seeds). Government regulation of recreational cannabis would require regular DEA inspections, meaning expensive permits to cover the cost of these inspections, as well as the risk of determining that cross-pollination has created a hybrid and your entire crop can give folks a weak buzz--so you must now raze and burn it at your own expense, a huge loss of wealth.

          We would have been better off if we didn't ban the stuff. Jefferson was, in a way, right. Maybe a little overzealous--it's a great crop with wonderful uses and a huge amount of economic benefit, but it's not the absolute top-priority of anything--but he was right.

          • Re:Uh (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:25AM (#44092235) Homepage Journal

            The House actually passed an amendment to the farm bill the other day that would legalize hemp production for academic research purposes by colleges and universities. So there is some hope. Unfortunately, the farm bill itself failed to pass [wkms.org], primarily due to opposition to food stamp cuts and too-generous subsidies.

          • Re:Uh (Score:5, Interesting)

            by DerekLyons (302214) <`fairwater' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:28AM (#44092259) Homepage

            If this country built a strong cannabis industry, right now, what would the benefits be?

            If hemp is such a wonderplant... why isn't it, in the numerous countries where it isn't illegal, grown in gigaton quantities?
             

            despite that the process of spinning plant fibers into thread and yarn is largely the same.

            "Largely the same", but not really the same. (US) Football and (the rest of the world) football are largely the same too if you step back far enough - but such abstractions aren't all that useful in the real world. And you've left out the all important step of obtaining the raw fiber - look at a puff of cotton fresh from the field and a length of hemp stem fresh from the field and you'll understand why cotton was (and is) King of natural fibers.

    • Re:Uh (Score:4, Funny)

      by gl4ss (559668) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:15AM (#44089819) Homepage Journal

      next up: php conference getting sued for security flaws in websites implemented in php.

      I don't think they quite thought it through that bitcoin foundation can not cease bitcoin transfers.

    • Re:Uh (Score:5, Informative)

      by magic maverick (2615475) on Monday June 24, 2013 @03:04AM (#44089965) Homepage Journal

      Quite.
      I think that the foundation could send back a nicely worded letter to the effect that they write software/sponsor the writing of software (delete as applicable). They do not sell cars, sell drugs, or engage in money transfer. They should not be held any more responsible for the use their software is put to, than Microsoft is responsible for MS Word being used to write threatening letters to people.

      Also, dear the editors, specifically samzenpus, please link to the original source, in this case Forbes [forbes.com], rather than to some random other website. You might also link to the cease and desist letter [scribd.com] itself.

      • by Smirker (695167)

        The Department of Financial Institutions clearly doesn't use AdBlock. (last page cease and desist letter)

      • Re:Uh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by BlueMonk (101716) <BlueMonkMN@gmail.com> on Monday June 24, 2013 @07:17AM (#44090701) Homepage

        This is starting to look like DMCA all over again. Person creates software and claims they can't be held responsible for how it's used. Argument and legislation goes into effect pointing out that the software cannot be used for anything legal, and is this illegal to use/develop (can't remember that important detail). Software becomes illegal and original person is left only with the option of creating legal alternatives.

      • Re:Uh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:36AM (#44091679) Journal

        Do you realize, that inadvertently THIS legitimizes Bitcoin as "money".

    • Re:Uh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jawnn (445279) on Monday June 24, 2013 @05:27AM (#44090377)
      Uh, yeah, it did, the moment it became responsible for enabling the transactions. You can't have it both ways. It's either currency, or it is not. Jeezuz, what kind of geek fantasy world must one live in to think that bitcoin would actually become some legitimate alternate currency and then not end exactly the way it appears to be ending.
  • by Sooner Boomer (96864) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <rmoob.renoos>> on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:06AM (#44089773) Journal

    Can they pay those with bitcoin?

  • Old meets new (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mcrbids (148650) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:07AM (#44089777) Journal

    So, the purveyor of mathematical computations that can be traded and/or sold via a network of cryptography meets a foundation that sells the idea of value via paper receipts.

    This could get rather interesting...

  • Future regulation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:07AM (#44089779)

    As Bitcoin grows more successful, there will be increasing interest in subjecting it to regulation, just like any other financial instrument.

    • by icebike (68054) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:18AM (#44089825)

      But its not an institution.

      You might as well enjoin the wind from blowing because it transports things without a license.
      The foundation does not handle or transfer funds any more than meteorologists control the winds.

      • Re:Future regulation (Score:5, Informative)

        by lxs (131946) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:44AM (#44089901)

        In a world where seismologists can be jailed for not predicting an earthquake [guardian.co.uk] anything is possible.

        • Re:Future regulation (Score:5, Informative)

          by Cenan (1892902) on Monday June 24, 2013 @04:21AM (#44090205)

          They were not jailed for failing to predict it, but for giving (provably) false assurances that no earthquake was eminent. Subtle difference, and one the "science community" seems to conveniently forget when bringing this story up.

          The seven defendants, who belonged to the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, were accused of offering an unjustifiably optimistic assessment to the local population a week before the disaster. By then, the area had been hit by some 400 tremors over a period of four months and a local researcher had warned of the risk of a major earthquake, largely on the basis of abnormal radon emissions.

          But after an extraordinary meeting of the commission in L'Aquila, one of the experts told a press conference that the situation was "normal" and even "favourable" because potentially destructive energy was being released through the tremors. The prosecution, which brought charges of multiple manslaughter, maintained that lives could have been saved had people not been persuaded by the assurances to remain in the area.

          They were in a position of authority on the subject, yet they failed to exercise due diligence with respect to their own research. They ignored evidence that did not fit their own world view, and they presented their own as fact. The correct answer would have been "we don't know, take precautions", when asked. They didn't give that answer, and because of that 307 people died and 1,500 were injured. 80,000 lost their homes, but that would have happened regardless.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        The law tends to make you responsible even if you didn't built in a off switch. That's why the guys putting up designs for 3D printed guns need to be careful. Now they are widely distributed and there is no way to recall them they may well be liable under anti trafficking/export laws.

        Saying "it's out of our hands now" is usually not a good defence. Having said that it seems that the original author of the BitCoin protocol would be the one who is liable, and no-one knows who he or she is.

        • by Teancum (67324) <robert_horning@n ... t ['etz' in gap]> on Monday June 24, 2013 @04:17AM (#44090197) Homepage Journal

          That is like saying the author of "The Anarchist Handbook" is liable for somebody building a bomb after being "inspired by" the book. Or similar kinds of actions. I suppose some guys in Hollywood have had lawsuits over various suicides and other nonsense.... and those lawsuits just get thrown out as well.

          Your comment about the 3D printed guns is hardly a good reference as well since that has yet to work its way through the judicial system. While it is a "roll of the dice" in terms of what the final outcome might be, there have been numerous situations where the law meets new disruptive technologies. California is in a slightly better situation than most in terms of having to cope with advanced technology and its impact upon legal principles, but there still are a whole bunch of Luddites that lurk in the shadows trying to jump onto anything that seems new or innovative.

          In regards to Bitcoins, I think the big deal may be for those who are users of the software and may be liable under this particular law. I have a feeling that would just introduce a sort of Barbara Streisand effect into the debate with thousands of Californians who will purposely download the software just to "stick it to the man" and open the whole thing into a major political debate that will ultimately need to be resolved by the state legislature (with consequences at the ballot box for missteps). I can only imagine the 1st amendment issues alone that might be brought up if a particular piece of software is declared illegal simply because of its protocol. The Federal government tried that with calling some types of software as a "munition" and therefore couldn't be exported (like PGP and the related GPG), but in the long run ordinary citizens weren't prosecuted either, certainly not on a widespread basis. I have a hard time seeing that happen in the case of Bitcoin being something new.

    • by emt377 (610337)

      As Bitcoin grows more successful, there will be increasing interest in subjecting it to regulation, just like any other financial instrument.

      The thing is it's not positioned as a financial instrument, but a currency. Financial instruments - their issue, trading, and reporting - is quite regulated as well. The whole anonymity aspect isn't going to play well no matter how it's dressed up.

    • So, this enforcement happens just when the newly set up Department of Business Oversight [ca.gov] comes into operation. Coincidence?

      In 2012, Governor Brown introduced a wide-ranging government reorganization plan to improve efficiencies within state government. As part of the Governor's Reorganization Plan (GRP), the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and Department of Corporations (DOC) will become divisions under the new Department of Business Oversight, effective July 1st.

      The core functions of the DFI an

  • Canada (Score:4, Informative)

    by mmontour (2208) <mail@mmontour.net> on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:17AM (#44089821)

    Last I heard, Canada was still OK with it [pcworld.com] as long as you pay taxes [rt.com] on any applicable transactions. I don't know how long it will last.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:18AM (#44089827)
    These bitcoin things are a commodity similar to a mineral so it should really be known as a virtual mineral rather than a currency as you mine the stuff and label it same as other commodities.
  • So Bitcoin is money? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:18AM (#44089829)

    Cool! That's a great endorsement if ever there was one.

    Bitcoin is money, it's official! And sending bitcoins is sending money! And bitcoins in a reserve are covered by baking deposit insurance just like any other money!

    " it's also a felony "to engage in the business of money transmission without the appropriate state license or failure to register with the US Treasury Department,"

    Which they don't do, nice try, but if you shut them down, you don't make squat difference to bitcoin.

  • by Ghjnut (1843450) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:21AM (#44089831)
    I'd like to see what a fine-toothed comb turns up after running through the legalities of PayPal's business practices.
  • So that's it then (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hack slash (1064002) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:23AM (#44089835)
    Confirmation from an American authority that Bitcoin is a legitimate form of money.

    A form of money they have absolutely no control over.

    [Nelson Muntz] Ha-ha! [/Nelson Muntz]
    • Remember what happened to Jesus after he kicked around the Money Changers?

    • Confirmation from an American authority that Bitcoin is a legitimate form of money.

      I've said it before and I've said it again because it doesn't appear to be sinking in, Bitcoin fanatics live in a serious Reality Distortion Field. The federal and state governments don't give a rats ass whether you conduct your financial transactions in dollars, Bitcoins, or jars of hamster poop - all they care about is that you abide by the regulations when you start using them for a method of exchange or start acting like

  • The way I translate this is that the US Gvt waited patiently for this to fold under its own weight and collapse. Now it looks like it's catching on so they've decided to try to kill it. Good Luck. I guess the creator remained anonymous for a reason.

  • Catch-22 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by guttentag (313541) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:27AM (#44089845) Journal
    I wonder why California felt the Bitcoin Foundation was in violation of the law, which states that the following entities are exempt [ca.gov] from this licensing requirement:

    An operator of a payment system to the extent that it provides processing, clearing, or settlement services, between or among persons excluded by this section, in connection with wire transfers, credit card transactions, debit card transactions, stored value transactions, automated clearing house transfers, or similar funds transfers, to the extent of its operation as such a provider.

    If they're going to claim that the Bitcoin Foundation is engaged in the business of money transmission, wouldn't it be because they consider them to be the "operator of a payment system" as described in the law [ca.gov]? Which would appear to exempt them from the licensing requirement.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by CaptQuark (2706165)
      Never let the law get in the way of suing someone...
    • Re:Catch-22 (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:38AM (#44089881)

      No, the 'payment system' you mention is the kind of thing a restaurant or shop does. They don't need to be licensed, but a central entity that works like a bank does have to. If it looks like a bank, flies like a bank and quacks like a bank, then it is a bank and should be licensed.

      • Feds: PayPal not a bank: http://news.cnet.com/2100-1017-858264.html [cnet.com]

        Link is old. It may be one now, but for many years it walked like a bank, flied like a bank, and quacked like a bank.

    • It's the secret laws they're breaking. We aren't allowed to know what those laws are, but rest assured, these entities are guilty. Trust your government. or else.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Monday June 24, 2013 @02:55AM (#44089931)

    Any time someone invents a way of moving value/wealth around, its going to be subject to regulation by governments looking to prevent its use by criminals and bad guys to move their ill-gotten gains and hide where their money came from.

    Doesn't matter if its Bitcoin, US dollars, Second Life currency or cute cat pictures, if it can be used to buy stuff in the real world and has a real-world value, the governments of this world are going to want to regulate it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So naïve... Governments will want to regulate it, but not for the reasons you say, but because, as one Rostchild famously said: "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws"

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday June 24, 2013 @03:13AM (#44089997)
    Server farms in Ecuador are looking really attractive
  • Am I a chicken farmer or minting government coins?

  • Monopoly.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by DeBaas (470886) on Monday June 24, 2013 @05:08AM (#44090339) Homepage

    maybe they'll go after Parker Brothers/Hasbro next

  • Dear Bitcoin (Score:4, Informative)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Monday June 24, 2013 @08:43AM (#44091191) Journal

    We are uncomfortable that your fiat currency is a) starting to make our fiat currency look a little silly, and b) circumventing our ability to control the public. Please stop or we will have to get rough.

    Signed,
    California and the Fed

  • by omnichad (1198475) on Monday June 24, 2013 @09:58AM (#44091935) Homepage

    When is California going after World of Warcraft? Bitcoin may be the only "serious" virtual currency, but just as much "fake' money is flowing through online games.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday June 24, 2013 @10:19AM (#44092175) Homepage

    For a while, gold was not legal for people to have in large qualtities (The Gold Reserve Act 1934). It wasn't until 1974 that people could own gold again. How long before gold will once again become illegal?

    The reasons gold was illegal are the same reasons they want to prevent BitCoin from becoming a public currency -- they don't want competition. By they, I mean the Federal Reserve Bank.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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