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WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies 240

Posted by timothy
from the and-you-can't-trade-with-your-neighbors-either dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, has called for for heavily regulation of Bitcoin. Reached for comment, his staff confirmed Manchin is seeking a 'ban' that would apply to any cryptocurrency that's both anonymous and unregulated."
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WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

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  • But ... FREEDOM! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @09:47AM (#46356373)
    Can't the free market handle this? Do we really need yet more restrictive government regulations? What are they afraid of? Could untraceable cryptocurrencies somehow encourage people who don't have a lot of money to avoid taxes, similar to what our betters do right now with offshore tax havens?
  • by EmagGeek (574360) <> on Thursday February 27, 2014 @09:49AM (#46356387) Journal

    A ban on cryptocurrencies that are both unregulated AND anonymous would not apply to Bitcoin.

  • Ban the USD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday February 27, 2014 @09:51AM (#46356423) Homepage Journal

    He should really work on banning the USD. It's used for commission of trillions of dollars worth of crimes every year and there's no real means of enforcement for [bona fide] money laundering operations [].

    I wonder if his office knows that bitcoin isn't really anonymous?

  • by LF11 (18760) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @09:53AM (#46356441) Homepage

    Bitcoin isn't anonymous, though, and it is quite regulated. Bitcoin is arguably the least anonymous form of value transaction we have (every transaction is publicly and permanently recorded), and if you think it is unregulated try running an exchange anywhere in the Western world.

    Personally, I think the first significant threat to bitcoin will be a cryptocurrency that really is anonymous.

    Something to keep in mind: they can make Bitcoin flatly illegal, but development and usage will simply go underground and continue to grow outside the U.S./Russia/China. U.S. regulations delay adoption but do not prevent it.
  • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @09:56AM (#46356469)

    A "D" means that the candidate openly opposes the free market.

    An "R" would indicates that the candidate openly opposes the free market, but pretends not to.

  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @09:57AM (#46356479)
    This has nothing to do with freedom, taxes, or even money. It is all about getting his name in the paper, and his constituants seeing hime "doing something!"
  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @10:06AM (#46356559)

    It _is_ anonymous. Until somebody decides to trace back the transaction chain and actually finds weak/strong evidence of a connection to a person.

    This is like "A book is a secret until someone reads it." It is trivially easy to trace back an exchange. Unlike, for example, cash.

  • pffft (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @10:17AM (#46356703)

    Instead of trying to ban it, they should instead just be having a chuckle at the goofs who invested in it like it was a real thing. Bitcoins barely hurt any of the real financial institutions, mucking with this category of thing seems like it would be troublesome and pointless territory, and anyway people who are willing to experiment with this sort of thing should be permitted (not encouraged) in case they actually come up with a good idea the real monetary systems can use.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @10:32AM (#46356821)

    The "free market" is an idiom that never existed in the "real world" however.

  • by radiumsoup (741987) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @11:21AM (#46357355)

    you just described the case against allowing people to use cash. (you know, "folding money" as my grandparents called it)

    Cash is anonymous, and is regulated only when it comes to transferring into or out of a bank (or if you try to import/export it overseas). By its very nature of being decentralized, cash cannot be regulated in any practical or meaningful way between two private parties, which is, in practice, effectively no different from the current crop of cryptocurrencies. The key difference is that ALL transactions in the Bitcoin protocol are public, and therefore Bitcoin is actually much less private than cash transactions.

    If the senator truly wanted what he said he wanted, he would push to regulate or abolish the use of cash and demand electronic payments in all circumstances. It's more of a "problem" than bitcoin is. How often do you see huge stacks of millions or tens of millions of dollars in cash when there's some big cartel bust? None of that would be possible if cash was regulated and traceable. But no, it's Bitcoin that's the problem, according to this guy.

To the systems programmer, users and applications serve only to provide a test load.