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US Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network "Reaching Out" To Bitcoin Businesses

Tyler Durden's picture


Recently some of the more naive, not to mention top-ticking, financial commentators assumed that just because US regulators had not snapped shut a trap surrounding Bitcoin and other digital currencies yet, that this state of blissful cohabitation would continue indefinitely. Unfortunately, as we warned back in March during the initial leg higher in BTC following the Cyprus deposit confiscations, the well-known "honeypot" strategy was meant to draw out as many digital currency fans and participants as possible - who after all were warned by none other than the ECB that the current regime will never adopt a parallel, and quite threatening monetary unit - only to see the regulatory and enforcement fist of the nation that (still) hosts the reserve currency slowly but surely start to clench around the binary currency.

 Because, finally, after testing the ground long enough, the fist is starting to not only close but squeeze tight. And as Reuters reports, it is the U.S. Treasury Department's anti money-laundering unit that is now warning businesses linked to Bitcoin that they "may have to comply with federal law and regulation as money transmitters, a Treasury spokesman said. " Specifically, the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has sent "industry outreach" letters to about a dozen firms, regarding potential anti-money laundering compliance obligations related to Bitcoin businesses, FinCEN spokesman Steve Hudak told Thomson Reuters' regulatory information service Compliance Complete.

What is interesting is that unlike in traditional cases of money laundering, where the law is cut and dry, in the case of digital currencies, nobody really knows what the Treasury's jurisdiction - if any - or the law is. Which is why FinCEN is not only treading lightly but effectively giving so-called offenders a warning in advance of potential future action.

According to Reuters, a legal expert with years of experience representing digital currency firms said FinCEN seemed to be establishing a new regulatory enforcement precedent by warning individual businesses of compliance obligations before taking action. "Is this setting a new standard that in the future if there are any questionable business models there will be notice given before any action is taken?" said Carol Van Cleef, a partner with the Washington law firm Patton Boggs LLP. In response, Hudak said the letters are an attempt at gathering information. He likened them to the letters that banks sometimes send to customers seeking information about the customer's transactions in an effort to determine whether suspect transactions are truly linked to illicit activity.

Actually no: this is not a standard, new or otherwise, but is merely meant to telegraph the authorities displeasure with ongoing digital monetary activities, with an intent of halting all major activity before an enforcement mandate is handed down.

In the meantime, FinCEN's letters have had a "chilling effect" on Bitcoin businesses, which are intimidated by the threat of civil and criminal sanctions for non-compliance, said Jon Matonis, executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, an advocacy group. The firms, he said, may effectively be "put out of business in an extrajudicial manner."

Which, basically, means the US government wants you to shut down regardless of what the law says. Which is precisely what happened with Utah's digital-to-coin converter Casascius as we reported previously.

And, as Reuters further adds, the fist grab is almost ready to pulverize:

While some Bitcoin businesses reject FinCEN's assertion that they are money transmitters, a number have still registered with the agency, a search of the Treasury bureau's website shows.


FinCEN sent letters to Bitcoin-related businesses on the Internet that appeared to fall under its definition of money transmitters but had not registered, Hudak said. He said FinCEN will keep sending letters to unregistered Bitcoin businesses.


"As we come across them, and as people tip us off, we'll make inquiries. That is part of what we do," Hudak said.

Perhaps this explains why at last check Bitcoin was now under $700 and gradually drifting lower. After all Uncle Sam is no longer shy about his true intentions regarding the digital currency.


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Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:16 | 4255842 Tinky
Tinky's picture

Does this mean that fonestar is now Bitfucked?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:26 | 4255860 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Government doesn't want you to own gold?


Government doesn't want you to buy bitcoin?


>Dat double standard.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:31 | 4255869 Pseudonymous
Pseudonymous's picture

What I am wondering is... are statists legislating legitimate activities out of existence... or are they instead legislating themselves out of relevance?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:44 | 4255909 forwardho
forwardho's picture

I believe the previous will be the causus belli for the latter.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:02 | 4255969 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

It is like going home with twins back in the 80s.....when everything made sense...and when Audrey and Judy landers were Silver and Gold. 

Tasty, indeed. 

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:19 | 4256007 CounterPartyVice
CounterPartyVice's picture

Bitcoin, then bullions, then cash.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:08 | 4256076 layman_please
layman_please's picture

I'm afraid bitcoin might not die of old age but at least it made me realise that next founding fathers are probably hackers. One thing that is certain to expand is technology and at one point revolution in this field can have more impact than standing armies, governments, and banks.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 02:14 | 4256190 e-recep
e-recep's picture

This just in : Turkish prosecutors raid the bank that does the Iranian oil-gold trade, arrest its CEO and the jeweler who carries the gold to Iran. The pretext is totally different, of course.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 02:29 | 4256223 Carpenter1
Carpenter1's picture

Governments aren't against Bitcoin. They view it as the perfect "divide and conquer" weapon to use against Libertarians. Already the Libertarian movement is dividing along pro BTC and anti BTC lines.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 06:02 | 4256388 fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture is financially finished.  Their epitaph will be played long before Bitcoin's will.

The Bitcoin Channel

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 17:51 | 4258798 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Clearly bitcoin is backed by remnimbi & dollars.
No one wants bitcoins, only fiat at high leverage.
btc is just another pathway to try to get there, leaving a tsunami of bagholders in its wake.
if btc is above zero when the dollar dies it certainly will be at zero when it's dollars are gone.
No bid for any good or service at any price.
US gov, however, is now a corporate fascist non-national entity - it will outsurvive any currency now because it spreads like a virus.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:01 | 4255957 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Conceivably, if they managed to shut down every exchange on Earth (somehow?) they could create $0 official price for Bitcoin.  Well aware of that fact, I am still buying Bitcoin in the $700 range.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:08 | 4255984 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

So, is that like the paper exchange price of PMs going to $0, and the physical price of PMs finding a much higher equilibrium?

If so, what's the price of a physical Bitcoin?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:18 | 4255992 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Yes, these same people can create an official $0 price for silver too.  Does that mean I will stop buying it?  Of course not, these people and what they say the value of things are is irrelevant in the long term.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:30 | 4256024 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Yes, because just as in the case of silver, even if they fix the price of bitcoin below its FMV, there will be buyers for it in the real world for its FMV, since things such as advanced circuitry can't be fabricated without fiction.

There are 5 ounces of Satoshi used to make the circuitry in every Tomahawk missile.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:35 | 4256039 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Comparing silver's technical utility and Bitcoins transactional utility is dumb.  They are not alike but both have a real-world application in their respective spheres.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:46 | 4256060 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Are they?

What real world inherent value does a bitcoin have? Can I tell the guy selling venison in Croatia that I'll get him some bitcoin for a few pounds of backstrap when my power comes back on, I repair my bullet riddled btc mining server & if everything else works out?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:01 | 4256080 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Only a literalist blockhead would argue that a global transactional network as zero value.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:10 | 4256099 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

But here's the thing, fonestar. The government doesn't have to explicitly make bitcoin illegal. They will do exactly what this article says - make it really expensive in fees, paperwork, etc., for any business to accept bitcoin. That will kill the viability of bitcoin, because the only people left trading it will be you and CH1 and the small handful of individuals who want to "stand up to the man" or whatever. It doesn't matter if you have your super, double-secret encrypted wallet, if you can't use bitcoin as a medium of exchange in day-to-day transactions, bitcoin is not a currency.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:24 | 4256121 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Sorry ElvisDog:

"The government doesn't have to explicitly make bitcoin illegal. They will do exactly what this article says - make it really expensive in fees, paperwork, etc., for any business to accept bitcoin. That will kill the viability of bitcoin,"

is an arguement that doesn't hold any water. For example apply that logic to India, and Indians' desire to obtain and trade in gold.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 04:16 | 4256311 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture


Why would you want to compare bitcoin with gold?

If the Indian authorities loaded up any gold trader with costs and expensive papwerwok they simply wouldn't declare it. That's been the beauty of gold for 5000 years. 

Compare that to a block chain that has every single transaction since 'inception' contained in it and you have a long list of transactors, any one of whom can be arrested at any furture point and bankrupted in fines or thrown in jail. You can't. Bitcoin is nothing like gold, not in any way, shape or form.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 20:37 | 4259219 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

You didn't hear about the btc lined toilets they found in Saddam's palaces about 10 years ago?

More seriously though.  You can swallow a gold coin (gonna hurt on the exit) to hide it while you transit.  Who's up for swallowing a USB stick?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 06:32 | 4256400 tmosley
tmosley's picture

But here's the thing, ElvisDog. The government doesn't have to explicitly make gold illegal. They will do exactly what this article says - make it really expensive in fees, paperwork, etc., for any business to accept gold. That will kill the viability of gold, because the only people left trading it will be you and CH1 and the small handful of individuals who want to "stand up to the man" or whatever. It doesn't matter if you have your super, double-secret vault, if you can't use gold as a medium of exchange in day-to-day transactions, gold is not a currency.

This is how ridiculous you sound, ElvisDog.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 08:32 | 4256511 N2OJoe
N2OJoe's picture

Because when .gov outlaws something, it has to go down in value, right?

*cough* drugs, organs, guns, exotic animals, PM's *cough*

The black market tends to drive UP the price of anything forced into it while eliminating transparency to TPTB. How could they not outlaw something as dangerous(to their power) as crypto currencies?

Then again, I don't give 2 shits what the price of a bitcoin is because I'm not speculating on it. My interest is in its potential as a medium of exchange.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 09:57 | 4256802 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

But the dream of bitcoin-istas is that bitcoin becomes the defacto world currency that is accepted at Starbucks, Wegmans, etc. What you describe is bitcoin returning to its origins as a black market currency used to buy and sell drugs, weapons, and so on.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 02:02 | 4256182 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

With luck, I am about to find (tomorrow Wedsnesday) out how good is here in my city...  And I am really looking forward to getting my 0.25 oz Au...

Soon, the Bearing Guy will have news to report, stay tuned to this Bearing Channel!

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 04:25 | 4256320 Deo vindice
Deo vindice's picture

I'm looking forward to hearing how it worked out for you, DCRB.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 11:09 | 4257020 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

fonestar - ultimately isn't BTC just a fiat currency, digital in nature just like the USD? Backed by the full faith and credit of your motherboard? - "In the ATI Radeon 5970 we trust". It's also nearly impossible for the average person going it alone to mine any. You have to belong to a pool (a collective) to have any success. Like I really want to join another collective. I'd rather have a tonsillectomy by way of my sphincter.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:08 | 4256082 Pseudonymous
Pseudonymous's picture

If you don't live in Croatia, better start thinking how to ensure that you have reliable power and have your stuff safe. You might just need it one day, and it might just be better than the alternatives (if any).

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 03:31 | 4256292 hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

That's why I always keep my GLD stock certificate on me know, just in case.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:14 | 4256094 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

"What real world inherent value does a bitcoin have?"

Perhaps a BTC magnate in China could easily effect a purchase of real estate in the US(despite any "laundering" "concerns").


edit: To clarify - what real world inherent value does gold have except that enough people should desire having some?


Wed, 12/18/2013 - 02:37 | 4256237 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Gold is apparently a good enough PHYSICAL, TANGIBLE, COLLATERAL ASSET for central banks to post counter-central bank activity upon, so there's that (alone).

How exactly does one "hold & keep" bitcoin in phyz form? There was that company that was printing medallions that served as a physical form of proof of ownership of bitcoins, so maybe that will succeed...

At any rate, bitcoin's very structure, at least as it is now established, makes it al too convenient for governments and their regulatory pit bulls to track & trace, given its near exclusive dependence on electronic transmission, relying predominately on the internet.

I'm not making an emotional observation regarding btc; I neither love nor hate it, and certainly haven't romanticized it as the "fight the power" panacea some have.

I'm just remarking upon facts known to me.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 02:53 | 4256260 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

We don't need to bankrupt the state to win, we need to restore the constitution by any means necessary and start over. That will be good for another 80 or so years before the corruption takes effect again. 


Wed, 12/18/2013 - 04:35 | 4256322 greenbear
greenbear's picture

"Gold is apparently a good enough PHYSICAL, TANGIBLE, COLLATERAL ASSET for central banks to post counter-central bank activity upon, so there's that (alone)."  If gold is better money than silver because it's only other use is jewelry, then how much better is bitcoin than gold?

"How exactly does one "hold & keep" bitcoin in phyz form?"  A USB stick or a paper wallet. 

"At any rate, bitcoin's very structure, at least as it is now established, makes it al too convenient for governments and their regulatory pit bulls to track & trace, given its near exclusive dependence on electronic transmission, relying predominately on the internet."  Bitcoin is as anonymous as you want it to be.  And you give them way too much credit.  They just don't have the resources to monitor everything everyone does, regardless of what they would like us to believe.  They know they are losing control, so they are trying to get people to self-regulate.  But the more people that opt out of their fake money system, the weaker they get, and the stronger the people become.


Wed, 12/18/2013 - 10:26 | 4256902 noless
noless's picture

I can't even believe we've already circled back to the "what inherent value does gold have" argument. I thought this was settled, but i guess it'll just be the same argument on repeat until the end of humanity.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 07:38 | 4256445 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

This theory works fine as long as you don't need a plane ticket, a driver's license, a passport, a credit card, an EZ Pass, a bank account, employment or direct deposit, Then again I am not sure the Amish accept BTC.

That being said there's a valid argument that regulatory scrutiny leads to price stability which is bullish for BTC as a means of exchange if not as a vehicle for speculation. Closing the barn door at this point may only serve to widen the base of ownership (that's not a $700 buy recommendation) to "Star's" point.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:50 | 4256163 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

I'm glad to see you're on the record for buying at this price.
I will begin buying at $250.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 06:36 | 4256403 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Why don't you cost average?  It might not get down to your target.  Hell, all of China getting shut out only dropped it by 50%.  What's it going to take to drop it a further 2/3rds?  Probably a shutdown of US and European exchanges.  If that happens, good luck buying them.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 07:22 | 4256434 trader1
trader1's picture

are you still buying in the $400 range?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:19 | 4255987 Pseudonymous
Pseudonymous's picture

Can you ever tell if a successful Bitcoin-based business is closing, or whether it is simply going incognito? Statists might fool themselves that something that doesn't stick in their eyes doesn't exist, so things could also go on peacefully.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:29 | 4256026 Money Squid
Money Squid's picture

Statist work to control your mind. If do not think it exists, does it?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:12 | 4256100 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

Theoretically, BTC's could continue existing... Just make it something like them AirMiles.  Those are "almost" like a currency, you can buy some stuff with it, but you just can't convert to cash.  Plus, it'd solve the problem of Air Miles inflation (which for a long time is why I hated those things).

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 10:01 | 4256820 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

There is no way that any business of any size above a mom-and-pop, backroom kind of thing would accept bitcoin behind the governments back. Too easy to find out what is going on, too easy to slap them with a 7 or 8 figure fine. 


Wed, 12/18/2013 - 23:07 | 4259571 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Got NSA?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:47 | 4255916 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Every law passed against Bitcoin is a great thing in my opinion.  Unlike the war on drugs, terror, etc, etc the war on a virtual currency won't even have any symbolic victories.  They shall flounder for all the world to see as the price of Bitcoin skyrockets in spite of all their best efforts.

Your society is shit, your government is shit, your laws are shit.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:26 | 4256021 Money Squid
Money Squid's picture

If you think that every law passed against bitcoin is a great thing I suspect you do not understand how the law works.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:31 | 4256030 fonestar
fonestar's picture

It is not important for us to understand these laws.  They are meaningless on a global scale and laws do not spell adherence.

Personally, I am in favour of repealing laws until we get back closer to 12 of them.  That's a more manageable number.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:25 | 4256123 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

A dangerous, rogue like yourself, fonestar, can flout the law, but legitimate businesses cannot. What good is bitcoin, if no merchants will accept them. And it's not about laws really, but fees and regulations and certifications and so on that governments can impose on businesses for them to accept bitcoin.

Oh, and the price of bitcoin has not exactly been "skyrocketing" lately. I think "flaccid" would be a better description.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 05:26 | 4256370 greenbear
greenbear's picture

How is fonestar breaking the law by posting on Zero Hedge that he thinks bitcoin is a good idea?  What kind of a statist dog are you anyway, Elvis?


What we see are rogue governments flouting their own laws to attack free market money which they officially admit they have no authority over.  As long as bitcoin, or any other crypto-currency, is valued over $0.00001, their death grip on money is finished. 

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 10:05 | 4256827 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

Reading comprehension, greenbear, is a wonderful thing. Fonestar's short post, right above mine, implies that he will ignore any bitcoin-restrictive laws. I stated, in pretty simple English, that an individual may choose to do that but a legitimate business will not.

So, which of the words in either post didn't you understand???

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 16:09 | 4258412 greenbear
greenbear's picture

Did you forget to read the second half of my post, you totalitarian lapdog?  It's none of their business if people want to transact using a private virtual currency, you mangy fascist mutt.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 11:09 | 4257021 messy
messy's picture

@ElvisDog  so why is finestar a "dangerous, roque" ?   if you do not believe in BTC, why do you care?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 04:21 | 4256315 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

'It is not important for us to understand these laws.'

Prisons the world over are full of people who agree with you.

No wonder you like bitcoin.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 11:14 | 4257039 fonestar
fonestar's picture

"Prisons the world over are full of people who agree with you.

No wonder you like bitcoin."


So you admit that you are a state-worshiping goon who respects "laws"?  Thanks for clearing that up!

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 04:49 | 4256335 greenbear
greenbear's picture

What are the other two?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:57 | 4256166 Mine Is Bigger
Mine Is Bigger's picture

The governmetn could ban Bitcoin outright, but it iseems to be rather simply nudging the Bitcoin business ecosystem toward a more compatible form with existing financial businesses.  Isn't this good news for Bitcoin?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 06:00 | 4256387 greenbear
greenbear's picture

No, governments cannot stop bitcoin.  And bitcoin is not compatible with the current system, so it will destroy it.  And yes, this is very good news for any freedom loving person.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:58 | 4255950 Tinky
Tinky's picture

Setting the hyperbole aside, it could only be a double standard if they were equivalent, and they're quite obviously not.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:21 | 4256008 pipes
pipes's picture

Obviousness is relative to ones understanding - or MISunderstanding - of a given subject.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:09 | 4256091 Tinky
Tinky's picture

Right, they're equivalent.

Never mind that the Central Banks are by far the largest holders in the world of one, and are rapidly banding together to help facilitate the attempt to crush the other.

To be fair, perhaps that point wasn't obvious to you.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:25 | 4255861 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

BTW, what is bitcoin backed by?

Zoinks and Zonks?

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:31 | 4255872 One And Only
One And Only's picture

What is gold backed by? 

Oh, it has intrinsic value. You can hammer it into thin transparent tubes and snort coke.

Governments don't really "like" gold or bitcoin yet they are perfect compliments. The fact that governments and banks don't like it means that it is from god him(her)self.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:17 | 4255922 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Gold 1.0 is not backed by hashing power like gold 2.0 is. 


(It's backed by the oil and man hours spent getting it out of the ground, feel better now?)

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:48 | 4256055 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

My favourite part of the bitcoin ATM machines is that you have to scan your palm.


Awesome, hopefully it will evolve soon to scanning my/our foreheads.


Cash-for-bitcoins: World’s first palm scan-activated bitcoin ATM to open in Canada


Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:05 | 4256084 fonestar
fonestar's picture

I would never use such a machine.  It's a direct betrayal of everything Bitcoin stands for.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 06:36 | 4256402 greenbear
greenbear's picture

When you and your kids are scanning your right hands to buy lunch I will be anonymously transacting in bitcoin from my phone. 

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 08:00 | 4256475 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

ROFL....hahahahahsha...anonymous from my phone...hahahahahsha... good one... Gotta catch my breath.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:51 | 4256067 Alpha Monkey
Alpha Monkey's picture

God probably doesn't have a vag or a cock.  Probably best to refer to it as an "it", or just stop at "from God."

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:25 | 4256128 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

I prefer the Greek Gods, because if you were lucky you could sometimes fuck a Greek God. Of course, they would usually turn you into a sea serpent or something afterwards. 

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:18 | 4256006 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

If you were a REAL libertarian, and not one of those fair-weather kind, or a Troll, you'd know that it is backed by the good faith of the Free Market.

Unlike your FRN, which is backed by the DOD and LEAs, which will kill or jail you, if you fail to pay them Extortions (aka Taxes).

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:22 | 4256014 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

long mining trojans

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:25 | 4256023 hangemhigh77
hangemhigh77's picture

REAL freedom.  The best way to take on the banksters, by taking thier business model and making it obsolete.  However, now someone has to start taking back the govt from the banksters so the goons don't enforce their illegal rules and regs they will most undoubtedly create.  One must consider that it will have to be a world crackdown and in so doing one must also consider that maybe the rest of the world may go with bitcoin as it is an alternative to the hated dollar.  

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:30 | 4256130 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

The dollar does not exist in isolation. It is more or less equivalent to the Euro, Renimbi, and Yen. The central banks in those countries are no better or worse than the U.S. Fed. Those four horsemen of the fiat currency apocalypse pretty much cover the globe.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 04:28 | 4256324 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

Zoinks and Zonks would be good names for fractional bitcoin.  Say 10 zonks per zoink and 10 zoinks per bitcoin.   At the going rate one zoink will get you one boink.  Just insert card into the slot.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:43 | 4255898 forwardho
forwardho's picture

Agree or disagree with fonestar, but you cannot take away his passion for a topic he believes in.

Like most of us here, he see's the shitstorm on the horizon and has taken steps to protect himself he has the conviction to take.

How many here have done as much with such confidence?


Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:45 | 4255913 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

it's passion on a level I have never seen before. It's awe inspiring. He has personally spoken to every canadian about this.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:52 | 4255927 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Yes, it was a non-trivial feat but I did speak to every Canadian on this issue and they were very much intrigued and inspired by Bitcoin.  Unfortunately, they did not want to commit any funds to BTC at this time.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:02 | 4255961 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Shoulda offered them free mayonnaise as a perk.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:01 | 4255963 forwardho
forwardho's picture

Fighting the good fight!


Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:29 | 4256131 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

Passion does not equal intelligence or wisdom. Anyone who follows Fonestar's investment advice will not admire his passion.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 08:09 | 4256480 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Passion no... freedom yes. On having conviction? Yes, that comes immediately before losing freedom. Someone with genuine conviction as you describe it would likely not be on display in this forum as it diminishes the impact of the genuine feedback loop, like a slow leak... IMHO.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:45 | 4255908 fonestar
fonestar's picture

"Does this mean that fonestar is now Bitfucked?"

In case I haven't made it abundantly clear by this point (you're slow, I get that) the cryptoanarchists don't pay much regard to your "laws", your "government" or what worthless things they say.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:00 | 4255949 sixsigma cygnus...
sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

Fonestar Bitf*cked?  Who knows?  Fonestar could be a guy named Tom living in Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto, Canada for all you know.  The important thing to remember is that BitCoin and cryptoanarchists are super anonymous.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:02 | 4255970 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Anonymity is a choice online.  I am as vocal with my support for Bitcoin, my hatred of dollars in real life as virtual life.  So I really see no point in exercising that choice at this time.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 09:27 | 4256695 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Anonymity online is a choice and Cass Sunstein is a 1970's folk singer.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:10 | 4256103 e-man
e-man's picture

"Fonestar could be a guy named Tom living in Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto, Canada for all you know."

Ah, I see what you did there...


Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:27 | 4256025 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Please type slowly, so the Bubbas can keep up.

They are programmed to hate anything they don't understand, rather than make an honest and genuine effort to learn.

When some people proposed that the earth was not flat, the push-back was severe. Fact is, even among the so-called 'intelligent' and the 'learned', they are most likely to want to reach a quick decision than the correct decision. In large part, this is due to our fast-paced American culture (with its Frontier roots). In some however, we see proof that Homo Sapiens did indeed breed with some Neanderthal females, rather than kill them all.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 09:55 | 4256803 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture


Buy that double shot espresso with organic goat's milk NOW.....buddy.  The only coffee shop in town that accepts Shitcoin will soon charge MOAR for that cup of java.    Or you're going to have to overclock the SHIT out of the Nividia Titan GPU of yours.


Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:15 | 4255843 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Time to shine bitcoin. Time to prove you are out of the reach of the man.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:35 | 4255873 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Bet a steak dinner?  I say it is still under $1,000 in 12 months.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:44 | 4255904 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I appreciate the wager. I am a big fan of side bets on here. However Bitcoin does not have the positive characteristics of social media stocks. they are the only things I would wager would be higher (obviously). Besides it's not fair to you with the steak dinner bet. I would require a meal only from a grass fed cow and organically grown vegetables. That stuff is probably not your thing. 

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:33 | 4256034 JMAH
JMAH's picture

take you up on that

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:42 | 4256155 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

I said the same yesterday. Bitcoin will never cross $1k unless the USD collapses.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 05:00 | 4256350 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

bitcoin still works fine at $100.. will be nice to see how the feds play after it goes under the radar again...  it won't die but it won't be Gold 2.0 like some greedy fucks wanted... but thanks to them I was able to sell over $1000 many times


haters saying it will die need to clarify themselves.. it has been around 4 years ya know.  It is still a simple way to transact anywhere but that whole store of value got bitchslapped since it outgrew its britches


so hows that whole NSA, created by the government doing?  Still going to say that everyone?   Or just keep throwing darts until something sticks?


either way I tripled my money even if it drops to $5..   how's gold doing this year? or silver?  do you even trade?



Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:16 | 4255847 Conman
Conman's picture

Don't you dare try money laundering with bitcoins.. but  feel free doing it the usual way. We have banks for that duh.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:48 | 4255921 overexposed
overexposed's picture


Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:29 | 4256032 hangemhigh77
hangemhigh77's picture

And that is the REAL reason the crooks are coming after BTC, it's competition for the illicit money the banks thrive on.  NOT the fact that a transaction COULD be illegal, heaven forbid. But the fact that BTC is getting the shady transaction and not the banks as usual. BTC is taking the bank's gravy.  Ahahahahaha

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:16 | 4255848 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

More importantly, where is the explanation as to what is going on with BTC in China? Volume on trading has gone virtually silent.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:03 | 4255876 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

Is that site even connected to Chinese exchanges?  If you squint really hard at the bottom of THIS PAGE you can see Chinese volume data.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:38 | 4255886 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Volume from China used to be about 70% of total volume.  Now it is completely dead.  One can watch for 10 minutes and not a single trade from China.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:57 | 4255943 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

You ask some of these guys a simple question on BTC and all you get is bullshit.

Trading volume has collapsed in China, that much is certain. I was just wondering if any of them had some info or insight on what this means going forward.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:10 | 4255983 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Nobody said this would be an easy fight.  But I do believe the global internet (of which Bitcoin is a part) is more important, more relevant, more useful than overbearing and antiquated government systems.  I am betting on a Bitcoin victory.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:22 | 4256016 Money Squid
Money Squid's picture

"This is going to be an easy fight" - fonestar

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:36 | 4256143 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

The future of bitcoin is as a cult following of a few bitter individuals like Fonestar who will pat themselves on the back for being true "cryptoanarchists" while the rest of us get on with our lives. The cryptoanarchists will continue to trade bitcoin between themselves, but it will really be more of a barter system.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:41 | 4256153 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

Yeah like a $10 item trading for $10 plus some amount in Bitcoin :-)

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 04:40 | 4256329 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

Well let them get on with it. It is their prerogative.  I don't hear you dissing people who trade pokemon cards.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:11 | 4255989 One And Only
One And Only's picture

I'll put it this way.

China wasn't accepting of the internet at first. The internet failed.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:22 | 4256010 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Good point.  I see port 8333 becoming as important in the future as 80 and 443.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:34 | 4256037 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Same port as VMware server admin.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:35 | 4256045 fonestar
fonestar's picture

Worse comes to worse you can always >> /dev/tun0

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:40 | 4256049 JMAH
JMAH's picture

You guys are tripping fucking balls, go to and compare CNY volume at ANY point in recent time to Mt.Gox, which is supposed to be the mainstream international exchange. CNY >>>>> $

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:39 | 4256148 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

I compared it just now and MtGox blows it out of the water.
And your point was...?
P.S. Exchange rate in China just dropped below 3,000.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:58 | 4256174 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

Word on the street China just blocked banks from sending CNY to BTC exchanges.  Waiting on more info..

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 05:04 | 4256355 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

yep.. liquidity trap.   BTCChina only allowed to let money out, not anymore in unless someone drops cash in their hands.. so it's been a mad rush to buy ~400 on btcchina and quickly move it to the other exchanges to drain their liquid before news spread...   crazy times..   where is nanex to map this out


probably back to anywhere 100-300 before the china craze ignited a few months ago


Wed, 12/18/2013 - 05:42 | 4256382 TheHound73
TheHound73's picture

Gotta admit bitcoin is/was a gigantic loophole as far as chinese currency controls are concerned.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:59 | 4256077 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

My conjecture is that at first China did not mind Bitcoin when it appeared that it would only threaten other fiats (the dollar!). But when an exponential number of their own started to swap CNY for BTC, they had to clamp down.

If they were smart, they'd have opted to link BTC to gold (in some ratio). Then they could've seen it as a tool, rather than a threat. But, given its culture (Stability above all!), we should not be surprised.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:45 | 4256058 Alpha Monkey
Alpha Monkey's picture

Shit, we must have different fiatleak websites because mine set off the "ding" (over 20btc/sec) alert... on moves into china... after about 1 minute of watching.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:34 | 4256134 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

I said that in a comment yesterday... It's dead, Jim.

And now it's 1:30pm Japan time and I looked at FL for 2 min:
- only 70 BTC traded
- 68 in the US
- 1 each in Australia and Japan
- 0 in China

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 03:44 | 4256297 RmcAZ
RmcAZ's picture

Did China switch to Dogecoin? After all, Dogecoin is the crypto currency to end all other crypto currencies. Much value.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 06:43 | 4256406 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Go home /pol/ you're drunk.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:46 | 4256160 discopimp
discopimp's picture

The Chinese can not put new money into BTCChina without giving total ID as to who they are and that goes for getting money out...I belive most Chinese will just move there BTC to a paper wallet, take a trip,  and do the transaction back into fiat in another jurisdiction.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:17 | 4255850 Kina
Kina's picture

This is exactly the mechanism I suggested the other day, and is basically an extension of existing regulation regarding cash transactions (in Australia at least).


So it removes the anonimty of bitcoin transactions if persons wish to trade in the non-black market world.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:20 | 4255852 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Why outlaw Bitcoin quickly when the NSA can track its users and charge them with tax evasion for the next decade or two after they define increases in Bitcoin value as taxable income that no one reports?  In Tax Court, no one can hear you scream (or at least they don't care much if you do).  Oh, and money laundering in violation of a zillion federal laws you never knew existed, and probably funding terrorists while they are at it.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:30 | 4255871 seek
seek's picture

Because plenty -- indeed, I'm willing to bet in the US, the majority -- of those that made profits through an increase in exchange rates will declare the income. So they end up letting a competiting currency rise to power, while gaining no meaningful leverage over the people using it.

What I think they're really afraid of is bitcoin developing an internal economy independent of exchanges. Its needs exchanges to bootstrap, but once enough is circulating and people are both being paid in bitcoin and spending in bitcoin, then they really have a problem on their hands. As long as taxes are paid a lot of their tools become moot in a pure bitcoin economy, and they can't let that happen.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:54 | 4255930 forwardho
forwardho's picture

We are fast approaching the time when your innermost possession (your thoughts) as expressed in your public electronic comments will be used against you.

Be that in a court of law or the side of a drainage ditch.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:28 | 4255865 DIgnified
DIgnified's picture

I love the concept of Bitcoin.  That being said, I think Bitcoin has an intrinsic problem: needing internet (which governments can control access to) to function.  That, and the blockchain that comes with mining, which is about 12GB right now. . 

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:28 | 4255866 DIgnified
DIgnified's picture

EDITED: Double-post removed

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:30 | 4255870 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

FinCEN’s mission is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.


It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - Tyler Fitzgerald (1:59)

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:32 | 4255878 seek
seek's picture

This goes hand-in-hand with the reports about Chase shutting down all bitcoin business accounts. They've clearly opened the next front of attack on bitcoin, and unsurprisingly it's coming from banking regulators (that work for the banks, obviously, since god knows one bank laundering as much cash as bitcoin's entire market cap didn't seem to warrant anything more than a comparatively small fine and absolutely no prosecutions whatsoever.)

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 10:13 | 4256864 ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

It's not surprising at all (the money laundering angle). No one in the government believes bitcoin is really being used to launder money. It's just the excuse they will use to tax and regulate it. And they don't have to even worry about the clandestine transactions. They will tax and regulate merchants who accept bitcoin.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:04 | 4255881 One And Only
One And Only's picture

Everyone assumes that bitcoin is soley for money laundering. What the fuck.

Asian nail salons are used for organized crime to launder money so maybe we should make them all illegal.

Actually, just ban any business that involves cash transactions.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:07 | 4255981 pipes
pipes's picture

Only idiots assume that. No one else.


Not the feds, not the central banks, no one.


"Money laundering" is just intimidating word-play meant to scare the chickens, and keep theblinders on the dim bulbs out there. It's cover for overreach and intimidation.


And it won't matter in the long run.



Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:21 | 4256116 Pseudonymous
Pseudonymous's picture

Only idiots assume that. No one else.


Not the feds, not the central banks, no one.


You imply that the feds and central bankers aren't idiots. Are you sure about that? Any evidence? Just wondering...

Other than that I agree with what you said.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:37 | 4255889 jeffgroove102
jeffgroove102's picture

So what, buy silver, trade it as a commodity, use that for money. These people in government just don't get it, capital is best where it is content. They just cannot look in the mirror at their insane policies. It's really pretty easy tho, just eliminate all the unnecessary agencies, put a sales tax on everything at the smallest possible amount, wipe out bullshit wars and nobody complains. Jail some asswipe bankers, and then your a made man politically, it really is that simple for any politician reading this.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:37 | 4255892 ILikeBoats
ILikeBoats's picture

Bitcoin is 100% reserve, there is no way to do fractional reserve banking with Bitcoin in the way that traditionally USD has been used.  That means no leverage, no conflation of money with credit, etc. It means that banks have to accept their fees for facilitating transactions as the only way to make money.  Since that method requires actual work and actual customer service, the banks hate it and will fight it; they much prefer all the funny-money games that let them reap huge profits without having to do anything useful.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:36 | 4256142 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

Not sure if I am wrong on this, but technically if derivatives come into play with BC's you could be selling/buying forward BC's that don't exist.


It might not be exactly fractional reserve lending that we think we know of now... but it there has been discussions about it.  Bitcoin wiki seems to think it is possible -> gives example of, random search: this site appears to connect people for P2P lending, showing expected 10% APR?


Wed, 12/18/2013 - 05:43 | 4256381 css1971
css1971's picture

Bitcoin can be fractionally reserved in exactly the same way gold and bits of paper and metal coins can.

i.e. They give you a Bitcoin account and a Visa card, and you  can spend your "bitcoins" anywhere that takes visa.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:38 | 4255893 Crawdaddy
Crawdaddy's picture

Damn I hate to hear that. Especially since half of my net worth is in Spitcoins. Guess they are coming for me next. Spit in one hand and wish in the other. Spitcoins!

Better wipe my hands to get rid of the genome spitchain.

Thu, 12/19/2013 - 13:58 | 4261178 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Maybe you can buy a wish sandwich with 'em!

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:39 | 4255896 frankTHE COIN
frankTHE COIN's picture

Que the Music from Jaws.

Tue, 12/17/2013 - 23:57 | 4255944 Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa's picture

I don't see how a business that simply accepts BTC for payment could be considered a "money transmitter". This is probably just a delaying action designed to intimidate merchants who might be inclined to accept Bitcoin. If someone had several million dollars and several years, they could probably successfully challenge this.

But if this doesn't do the trick, I'm sure that the laws will be changed to prohibit BTC. If people were allowed to choose, they would drop the dollar and switch to BTC. The dollar would become worthless. So BTC will be stopped at all costs in the US and other developed countries.

But BTC just might have a future as the universal currency of third world countries. For example, the dollar is commonly used throughout South America. BTC might replace the dollar there. If so, lots of overseas dollars would come back to the US and cause serious inflation. Look for the US government to help foreign governments to crack down on BTC by providing hardware, software and intel to track BTC transactions.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:04 | 4256083 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

You buy shit for Bitcoin. You sell shit for Bitcoin.
You transmit currency from your customers to your suppliers.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:07 | 4255975 OldE_Ant
OldE_Ant's picture

The government will give new meaning to an AT&T advertisment.

"Reach out and touch someone"

Guess who they want to reach & touch now?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:25 | 4256018 Ridge_Runner
Ridge_Runner's picture

I wonder if bussinesses can make a simple case by pointing out the difference between money and currency? Who am I kidding, I know the governments answer to that one.....

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 04:06 | 4256305 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

And I just read the new Sterling will be plastic (polymer).   So paper money may go plastic.   Tiddily winks or "Don't Break the Ice".   We are going to be useing dead dinosaurs for fiat.  Can you print it like other plastic things ?

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:28 | 4256029 q99x2
q99x2's picture

How is the CIA and Washington D.C. politicians going to get paid if they shut down bitcoin? The old way by HSBC and Chase. That's so passe.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 00:47 | 4256059 Duc888
Duc888's picture

Next comes taxation.



Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:03 | 4256085 q99x2
q99x2's picture

I'm completely out at $625 to see where it is going.

Bitcoin Last:$666

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:07 | 4256090 compound interest
compound interest's picture

The Bitcoin protocol, the underlying principle is an amazing invention and an innovation, which just makes transferring money on the internet much-much cheaper and easier than it is. Double spending problem solved, and you can send money in email to anyone, it's just as simple as that. The genie is out of the bottle; this technology will have a bigger impact on the global monetary and banking system, than mp3 and peer-2-peer filesharing had on the music industry.

The idea has come, and won.

However, the Bitcoin, as a unit of account, as a "cryptocurrency" may be the "Napster" of this new technology. It's the early bird that has brought us the new thing, but it's gonna get killed, and evolution steps in.

The real future of Bitcoin lies in the possibility of combining fiat money with the protocol, and companies making their own currencies based on this protocol. Currencies that are pegged to commodities, or something like that.

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