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Bitcoin Government The Almighty Buck The Internet

DHS Shuts Down Dwolla Payments To and From Mt. Gox 302

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from BetaBeat: "The Department of Homeland Security appears to have shut down the ability to use Dwolla, a mobile payment service, to withdraw and deposit money into Mt. Gox, a Bitcoin trading platform. ... A representative for Dwolla told Betabeat that the company is 'not party' to this matter and encourages those with questions to reach out to Mt. Gox or the DHS. 'The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland issued a 'Seizure Warrant' for the funds associated with Mutum Sigillium's Dwolla account (a.k.a. Mt. Gox),' he said. 'In light of the court order, procured by the Department of Homeland Security, Dwolla has ceased all account activities associated with Dwolla services for Mutum Sigillum while Dwolla's holding partner transferred Mutum Sigillium's balance, per the warrant.'"
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DHS Shuts Down Dwolla Payments To and From Mt. Gox

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  • It's started... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by curunir ( 98273 ) * on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @06:30PM (#43726003) Homepage Journal

    The government finally decided to care and used the one achilles heel of BitCoin...conversion to and from dollars. If BitCoin had some innate value, it wouldn't be a problem, but since it's primary use is as an exchange currency for dodging taxes and selling goods on the black market, this change is going to seriously impact the value of the currency.The government can't control BitCoin, but it can control US financial institutions and other companies that need to interact with those financial institutions.

    We'll now see how well the BitCoin market can operate as a completely stand-alone entity.

  • Re:It's started... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fredprado ( 2569351 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @06:45PM (#43726191)
    No modern currency has innate value.
  • Re:It's started... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @06:56PM (#43726329)

    Neither does gold, by that logic.

  • Re:It's started... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @06:59PM (#43726369)

    All value is subjective.

  • Re:It's started... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AlphaWolf_HK ( 692722 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @07:11PM (#43726497)

    Not to defend him, but the last guy ordered capture and detainment. The current guy by far prefers drone strikes, most of which include civilian casualties, and many of which are ONLY civilian casualties (i.e. no terrorist was hit in the strike.) [] []

    Also, the last guy didn't lie about WMD's. Yes, there were none, that much is true. However the belief that they were there is not just what the last guy beheld, but numerous other nations did as well. Basically everybody believed there were WMD's, not just the US. It isn't a lie unless you were unaware that you weren't speaking the truth.

    Now the current guy? He actively and knowingly lies about who he targets: []

    If you want to talk about innocents being killed, the current guy is much worse. That, and he himself made the argument that he has the right to hit Americans with drone strikes without due process. Personally I'm happy with the one time that this has been done because that asshole had it coming, but it still sets a bad precedent.

  • by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @07:19PM (#43726575) Homepage

    Actually, it is more correct to say that the Obama administration can be as GWB-like as it wants, and its reputation will remain amazingly high with Democrats. It's proof that Democrats didn't hate GWB's policies, they just hated GWB personally.

  • Re:Not really news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AlphaWolf_HK ( 692722 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @07:25PM (#43726633)

    I've bought some pretty nice stuff with bitcoins that I've mined.

    Anyways, people like you are the suckers who will let the government do anything it chooses because the evil thing they do only targets ( kiddieporn | gambling | drugs ) so they should be allowed to do it as they please, because clearly only those people will be affected.

  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @07:25PM (#43726637) Journal
    I had no love for Bush, but I think it's quite a smear to compare him to Obama. Bush's administration wiretapped suspected terrorists. They never sank so low as to wiretap reporters. And you'd have to reach back to Nixon to find an administration using IRS to target political opponents. I also don't recall Bush starting any wars without Congressional approval (albeit approval obtained under very, very questionable auspices).
  • Re:It's started... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @07:59PM (#43726899) Journal
    The government finally decided to care and used the one achilles heel of BitCoin...conversion to and from dollars.

    Why would you consider that an achilles' heel? Those of us using BitCoin use it because it blows the dollar away for convenience in certain types of transactions (by which I don't mean "drugs" - Tide Unscented remains the king there, followed by US cash). In particular, any movement of small amounts of money (in the $100 range) between countries typically takes upwards of 50% of the total in various fees (and that assumes 1st-world countries with more-or-less legitimate banking and postal systems on both ends of the transaction).

    So, for the reasons I would choose to denominate a given transaction in Bitcoins, the ability to convert it directly to USD has little to no value.

    We'll now see how well the BitCoin market can operate as a completely stand-alone entity.

    So far, the exchange rate (even if "exchange" may have just become a lot harder) hasn't even dipped outside the normal standard daily swings for USD:BTC. We'll see if the market panics tomorrow, but I wouldn't count on it. I don't use BitCoin because of its value in dollars, and neither, I suspect, do most of its (non-speculating) users.
  • by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:02PM (#43726917) Homepage

    Love it -- hope you get a plus 5 insightful. That was a nice reworking of the "calling him an idiot is an insult to the wider idiot community" type quip.

    I totally agree that Obama has been worse than GWB but what is even more disturbing is how Democrats don't even want to know about it and have gone totally silent now that it is their guy doing the abuses.

  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:16PM (#43727041)

    The likelihood that Mt Gox was complying with the "Know Your Customer" anti-money-laundering rules that apply to all financial institutions that handle currency was approx. zero. I'm not surprised in the least. If a bank was doing what Mt. Gox was, (as in, not even pretending to comply with the law), the same thing would happen.

    (That's not to say that disobedience of money laundering never occurs, just that experienced banks are substantially better at hiding it.)

  • Re:It's started... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:36PM (#43727205)
    It's rare. It doesn't rust. It barely reacts with anything at all. It's highly malleable. It's ductile. It conducts electricity. It has plenty of desirable properties. The fact that it's a rare metal that will never corrode makes it perfect as a store of wealth. You can argue all you want with thousands of years of human history. You're still wrong.
  • Re:It's started... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Teancum ( 67324 ) <[ten.orezten] [ta] [gninroh_trebor]> on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:59PM (#43727355) Homepage Journal

    News flash: all currencies are "fiat", and nothing has any "innate" value.

    Actually, that would be news if it was true. You are simply wrong.

    Gold, silver, and other commodities can and have been used as currencies (even cattle... hence stock certificates) where those commodities are not only exchanged as money but also have value in and of themselves even if they weren't money. I've even used long distance minutes (another commodity) as a genuine currency for purchasing items that had nothing to do with its actual "innate value" like talking to my mother on Mother's Day.

    There are fiat currencies though, like the U.S. Dollar and Euros. Those can't be used for anything other than money. But there are plenty of non-fiat currencies as well.... as the U.S. Dollar used to be once upon a time.

  • by adolf ( 21054 ) <> on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:59PM (#43727359) Journal

    You must be joking. Competing currencies would be a lot better than the current theft through inflation carried out by the US government.

    You mean "theft through inflation carried out by the Federal Reserve Bank."

    (Pro-Tip: The Federal Reserve, despite its name, is not a government entity.)

  • by fonos ( 847221 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @09:05PM (#43727409)
    I used Dwolla to fund my Mt. Gox account and vis-versa before the shutdown. At first you didn't need any ID, then you needed to upload a copy of your passport/driver's license and also something that verified your address (Bill). Then Dwolla itself started requiring my passport copy. Is there anything else really required?
  • That is completely and totally wrong. The NSA has been wiretapping every single US citizen for the past decade. This is well known. And Bush started it. Obama is only making it bigger. Now the NSA has to build a new, gigantic data center out west to house all the data they're collecting.

    You can believe that one if you like.

    Do you honestly thing the government (choose whichever one you want) started to listen in just a decade ago? I got some real estate between Manhattan and Brooklyn to sell to you if you believe that one. At best, Bush Jr. only expanded earlier efforts that were well under way and expanded that to include scanning nearly every IP packet transmitted more than a couple hops.

    Nixon did plenty of wire tapping himself without warrants, and the technology wasn't even new with his administration. It might be pushing the envelope a bit to go back to the Hoover administration, but the FDR administration definitely kept tabs on communications between nearly all citizens when necessary. J. Edgar definitely collected his share of information about a great many ordinary citizens, and a fair bit by wiretapping too.

  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @10:32PM (#43727955)

    Up to the GWB administration wire tapping was a case by case basis, after 911 the Bush administration asked for direct links to all the telecom operators. ATT, Verizon and all the others provided direct fiber optic connections to their networks and funneled copies of everything going across their network directly to the government. This is the reason Congress was forced to give them immunity because if they didn't the class action suits would have sunk the phone companies. The need for immunity alone should point to just how serious of an expansion in wire taping occurred under the Bush administration.

    In fact as the previous poster said, it was those very links that caused the creation of the Data Center in Utah. I live in Utah and I can tell you that Data Center was already planned and sited in 2008 when Obama took office. The formerly 2-lane highway leading up to Camp Williams (where the data center is) was upgraded in 2008 in anticipation, new power lines were installed at the same time (the data center uses more power than the entire salt lake city valley). Though Obama has done nothing to stop this massive expansion of federal power it most certainly did start under Bush. And though I agree that the government's been spying on people for a long time, the passive acceptance of full monitoring of every single communication didn't start till after 9/11/2001. You are arguing that tapping a few phones here and there is no different than recording every single phone call/text/internet traffic going across the network. And there is a very big difference.

  • Re:It's started... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reve_etrange ( 2377702 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @11:29PM (#43728345)


    Seriously, I am tired of the circular logic underlying much of these arguments. Whatever initial condition led to acceptance of gold, etc. in lieu of in-kind payments, it was not "because I can buy stuff with it."

  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @01:06AM (#43728721) Journal

    Except that no wiretapping occurred.Records of calls to and from AP were obtained.

    This rises to the level of wiretapping. This information was enough to figure out who the reporters' sources were. Which is the only type of information which otherwise stays secret as a result of such a phone call. All news-worthy information contained in such phone calls gets published. Only the sources stay secret. So the content of the call actually is less secret than identities of the individuals making the call.

  • Re:It's started... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by philip.paradis ( 2580427 ) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @05:25AM (#43729705)

    Referring to the DHS as a legitimate member of the intelligence community is beyond laughable. They're effectively a domestic secret police outfit that operates at the behest of the executive branch, and they can't seem to get most of that right, let alone serious intelligence work. The CIA, NSA, and FBI comprise the effective intelligence apparatus of the United States, and with any luck DHS activities will be severely curtailed in coming years. Incidentally, the TSA is a child agency of the DHS.

  • by pantaril ( 1624521 ) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @08:25AM (#43730377)

    The likelihood that Mt Gox was complying with the "Know Your Customer" anti-money-laundering rules that apply to all financial institutions that handle currency was approx. zero.

    Mt.Gox is not US company. This is not mt.gox account being closed, this is Dwolla account being closed.

    What japanese anti-money laundering regulations does Mt.Gox violate? I don't know about any. I read that they are fully compliant with japanase KYC laws. But you probably have more information if you could write that they have almost zero probability to be compliant. Please share it, otherwise, it's just FUD.

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