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Bitcoin Government The Almighty Buck

New York's Financial Regulator Subpoenas Bitcoin Companies 259

Posted by Soulskill
from the party's-over-folks dept.
dreamstateseven writes "Things are getting serious for Bitcoin this month: a federal judge declared it real money, Bloomberg gave it an experimental ticker, Thailand declared it illegal, and now New York's financial regulator announced an interest in regulating it. The department is starting out by subpoenaing 22 digital-currency companies and investors to get a lay of the Bitcoin land. They sent letters to the major Bitcoin players asking them to hand over information regarding their money laundering controls, consumer protection practices, source of funding, pitch books (for Bitcoin start-ups) and investment strategies (for Bitcoin investors). Keep in mind, a subpoena doesn't mean criminal activity has taken place."
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New York's Financial Regulator Subpoenas Bitcoin Companies

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  • by Rinisari (521266) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @12:13AM (#44561457) Homepage Journal

    Thailand did not rule Bitcoin illegal. The head of the central bank of Thailand issued a preliminary ruling expressing that Bitcoin may be illegal because there are no laws that allow its use.

    Think about that for a moment.

    Read: http://qz.com/110164/thailands-infamous-bitcoin-crackdown-is-not-quite-what-it-seems/ [qz.com]

    • The head of the central bank of Thailand issued a preliminary ruling expressing that Bitcoin may be illegal because there are no laws that allow its use.

      Well, many countries have laws dictating what can and cannot be used as currency. If Thailand is such a country (and I honestly couldn't tell you -- their laws aren't written in English), then any currency would have to be declared valid by the government before it could be used. Otherwise I could say that, say, volcanic rocks are a form of currency and could go on exchanging rocks with other people as if it were currency... which needless to say, wouldn't be a good thing. Now, bitcoin is considerably more

      • Otherwise I could say that, say, volcanic rocks are a form of currency and could go on exchanging rocks with other people as if it were currency... which needless to say, wouldn't be a good thing.

        Out of curiosity, why not?

        This is nothing more than barter.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        And no matter how many statistics the pendants will throw out... they can't erase the fact that politicians, not mathematicians and computer geeks, are the ones making the decision on whether or not to use a given technology. -_-

        How is this an argument about technology? It's an argument about the exchange of something deemed valuable, just so happen in this case technology is being used. The government can no more decide if I can swap bitcoins for USD than they can decide if I can trade a baseball card for a case of beer.

      • by Aighearach (97333)

        You can use any currency you like in Thailand, including barter. They do not care. And things are, by default, legal in Thailand; same as everywhere else. Very much the opposite of everything being illegal... the reality is you might be surprised how much is not illegal!

        What is illegal is to run a currency exchange without a license. And getting a license requires the government to know WTF you're doing. That is part of having and managing a currency. And what they ruled is illegal, for now, is to run a bus

        • And things are, by default, legal in Thailand; same as everywhere else. Very much the opposite of everything being illegal... the reality is you might be surprised how much is not illegal!

          The reality is... I could really go for a citation. That would be surprising. An internet pundit suggesting that the world is not as it appears is neither enlightening nor informative.

          We're talking about the only country in SE Asia to avoid European colonization. They're not going to go all, "Ooooooh, shiny" over freakin' bitcoin and forget to safeguard their currency.

          Ah, according to internet pundits, that's exactly what's going on -- "by default, legal in Thailand" would mean I could pay for everything with "Custom NuDollars", a currency I just invented. But it's cool... you got a +1 from someone who hasn't had their morning coffee, so win for you!

          That said, they do not care, legally or otherwise, if you convince a cab driver to accept bitcoin or IOUs or Zimbabwe Dollars.

          Said cabbie may come looking for you when

    • by Aighearach (97333) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @03:57AM (#44562363) Homepage

      And even there you're over-stating it. They ruled that it may be illegal to run a bitcoin exchange in Thailand, because currency exchanges have to be licensed, and they can only be licensed for currencies that the Government has approved (eg, all normal currencies)

      Simply using bitcoin in Thailand is totally legal. Things without a law are not banned in Thailand. Barter is not banned in Thailand, and if bitcoin isn't yet recognized as a currency, then a transaction using it would simply be barter.

      And in fact even a bitcoin bank is still allowed in Thailand, according to the ruling. If it is allowed to be called a "bank" or not is not clear. But as long as they aren't exchanging bitcoins for Thai Bhat, they should be okay.

      "For now we asked they not involve themselves with the baht because what they do may be a way to speculate on the exchange rate. Hence, we asked for time to look at the issue first" -- Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul, from parent post's link

  • by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Wednesday August 14, 2013 @12:15AM (#44561469) Homepage

    Bloomberg: "So let me get this straight... we can make money by just re-using computer time ***AND*** heat the subways? Who thinks up this stuff? I'm in!"

    • That is not remotely accurate in any way. 875 "computers" as in slightly above average PCs would equal the hashing power of one bitcoin ASIC miner, which runs at 30 watts.
      • So has ButterflyLabs actually managed to deliver some of those ASIC miners already? I figured it will be more profitable for them to keep any hardware they build...
  • The Federal/State governments are what need regulating. Seems like the govt has become Skynet, an omnipotent self perpetuating force.

  • Writing the computer code is relatively simple. The hard part is getting a;; the graft and kickbakcs sorted out. Getting all those back room negotiations sorted out takes time. When all that is done, the public will be screwed properly.

    • Sorry for confusing you! This comment was meant for a different story. I posted it here by mistake.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

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