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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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  • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @06:37PM (#43726093)

    A warrant from the district court of Maryland, does anyone know whether thats likely to be a state tax issue? If it were truly a federal concern, youd think the warrant would come from a federal court....

    Can any lawyers comment?

  • Funny Money (Score:5, Interesting)

    by M. Baranczak ( 726671 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @07:25PM (#43726641)

    There's no such thing as innate value. Value is context-dependent. All money is funny money. It's just a question of what brand of humor you prefer.

    The US Dollar is like Jay Leno. Dull and unimaginative, but shows up for work on time every night.

    Bitcoin is like Richard Pryor. Offensive, unstable, unpredictable, implicated in tax-evasion, and prone to setting itself on fire.

  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @09:51PM (#43727653) Homepage Journal

    All anyone needs to know:

    I've often wondered why TSA seems so unresponsive to the American public, and this book offered me a plausible explanation. Hawley seems to view TSA almost exclusively as a weapon in the US war against Al Qaeda. When TSA implements policies that seem crazy or ineffective to the rest of us, it doesn't use outside opinions to judge the effectiveness of its policies. Instead it uses information gathered from the intelligence community unavailable to outsiders. A policy change is considered effective if Al Qaeda reacts in a desirable way. For example, if a TSA operation deploys VIPR teams at public transportation centers and suspected Al Qaeda operatives leave the US afterwards, the operation is considered successful.

    (From here [].)

    Which, really, is despicable and absurd all on its own.

    But it does lend a lot of strength to the theory that all strange law enforcement actions of agencies created by or in the spirit of the PATRIOT Act are actually direct responses to some form of undesired activity.

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

    by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @11:03PM (#43728169) Homepage
    Well, one such example would be the oil-for-food program. Russia was by far the greatest abuser, but not the only one by any means. France is on that list as expected: []
  • Re:It's started... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by reve_etrange ( 2377702 ) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @11:19PM (#43728267)

    Of course a stock certificate has no intrinsic value - it's value is proportional to the ability of the issuer to redeem the certificate for actual livestock. Gold and other precious metals do have value in and of themselves; we value them for their appearance and physical properties, which are suitable to manufacture of jewelry and (today) certain electronic components, nanoparticles, etc.

    As a currency, however, gold and silver have always required a state actor (i.e. "fiat") to guarantee metal content and enforce demand through taxation. This fact was made especially clear in the early Middle Ages. After the Roman Empire had collapsed in the West, gold coins (the solidus and triente) virtually disappeared from Europe, with silver denarii arising only as regional governments gained sufficient strength to enforce taxes. At first, these taxes would be paid "in kind" (essentially, food - the "in kind" produce of the land). Subsequently, taxes would be collected in coin, but only after the government had begun minting them and distributing them into the hands of citizenry.

    Even during the "free minting" period, the value of currency vis-a-vis raw metal was determined via the mint fee and seniorage; free mints were free as in speech (if you had silver), rather than beer.

    One important qualification is the low labor productivity at that time. The vulnerability to famine which obtains when the average worker produces just 1.8 person-years of food per year creates a high bar to any potential currency.

    I highly recommend Peter Spufford's Money and its Use in Medieval Europe, which goes into insane-but-captivating detail on the above issues. It's an essential read if you want to understand the nature of pure fiat, metal-backed (convertible, less than 100% coverage) and metal-based (coins = weight of metal) currencies, and what features are shared by all three currency regimes.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger