Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Yale Law student takes a look at Bitcoin (draft of legal paper) (ssrn.com)
60 points by spenvo on Apr 25, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments



He's seeking feedback on his draft. His forum post can be found here: http://www.bitcoin.org/smf/index.php?topic=6247.0

Edit: He has pointed out issues that he will flesh out in the next version of the paper in the forum thread^.

[He plans to expand the paper's scope only in a superficial way as it pertains to international law: (from the forums) "Your point about internationality is very well taken. The paper is very U.S.-centric. I will try to do a better job in the next draft of pointing that out and mentioning the internationality of bitcoin. I may try to touch upon laws or regulations in other countries, but I don't have expertise in other countries' laws."]


> Furthermore, other legal issues that have not been analyzed in this paper are probably significant, including tax evasion, banking without a charter, state escheat statutes, and money laundering.

The Internet's first decentralized and anonymous currency will have an impact on so many different areas though not all areas necessarily need this research.

This study will be even more useful with less Flattr vs. YouTipIt comparison and more "store of value" versus "currency" comparison (and why each classification is important). Less comparison to WoW Gold and more comparison to e-gold (and why that comparison would be important as well).


Digital currencies are so fascinating. There are HUGE markets waiting on cost-effective micropayments. There are also cool futuristic ideas like programs that earn their own money and pay for their own hosting.


My feedback is that as a lawyer, the author should concentrate on the legal arguments (which are interesting), rather than branching off into economics.


This is US only. Your laws dont apply to the rest of the world even though you like to think they do.


Provided you never travel to, though or over the USA, volitionally or by ill luck, nor hold assets there, provided your government doesn't have a cravenly subservient extradition-at-whim treaty, and provided you aren't high profile enough for them to bend rules, then US laws probably don't apply to you.


I feel your frustration and, while it is true that any individual person is exquisitely vulnerable to legal and extra-legal coercion by state power, this still does not mean that the laws of one country apply to the citizens of another country.


That's little solace to the people that do things that are perfectly legal in their own country, only to be arrested because their plane had to make an emergency landing at a US airport.


Was there anything to suggest that it wasn't US-only? This is a Yale law student, after all.


An American lawyer writing about currency. Let us make unjust remarks about their narrow worldview!


The good part:

| Most importantly, Bitcoin currently operates in a legal grey area. The federal government’s supposed monopoly on issuing currency is somewhat narrow and statutes that impose that monopoly do not seem to apply to Bitcoin due to its digital nature. However, a bitcoin may be a “security” within the meaning of the federal securities laws, subjecting bitcoins to a vast regime of regulations, including general antifraud rules. Furthermore, other legal issues that have not been analyzed in this paper are probably significant, including tax evasion, banking without a charter, state escheat statutes, and money laundering.


He missed the last part on the title: "in the US"




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: