Tag: bitcoin jesus

Senate Bill Threatens Future of Cryptocurrency

By Andrew Zirkle|WASHINGTON

Hidden within the “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017”, also known as S.1241, are far-reaching regulatory provisions expected to heavily affect users, traders, and holders of all types of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.

The bill was pushed into a Judiciary Committee hearing on the 28th of November, without much notice to the public. The bulk of the 2-hour hearing focused on other elements of the bill, with the only mention of cryptocurrency happening very briefly during a discussion on money laundering. The hearing also featured a testimony from Kathryn Haun, who is on the Coinbase board of directors. She did not mention any information regarding cryptocurrency or its exchanges.

The bill, which contains 20 sections, was written under the guise of preventing illegal money operations. However, its relatively small changes to the legal status of cryptocurrency are expected to have far-reaching ramifications. Section 13 of the bill indicates that “digital currency” is to be added to the list of items that the US Treasury Department will consider as “financial institutions.” Although this change in legal definition may seem small, the impacts it would have for cryptocurrency users would be significant.

The owners of cryptocurrency would be required to report their holdings in cryptocurrency to the IRS as assets, and also may be required to pay a long-term capital gains tax of up to 25%, or regular federal income tax of up to 39.6%, on the revenue earned from selling cryptocurrency for more than its previous value. Holders of cryptocurrency who do not report their holdings as assets to the IRS would be subject to tax evasion penalties or jail time. The bill fails to address many of the complexities of digital currencies, including the tax protocol for exchanging US Dollars for cryptocurrency multiple times before selling back to dollars, as well as any tax burdens that may be held by cryptocurrency exchanges.

The measure also subjects holders of cryptocurrency to more government scrutiny, meaning individuals who are believed to be misrepresenting their crypto holdings or transactions could have their financial information seized by the IRS or subpoenaed in court. Section 13 of the bill also requires the “detailing a strategy to interdict and detect…digital currencies…at border crossings and other ports of entry for the United States.”  This means that even someone with basic electronic equipment could be questioned or searched by border and customs officials, as well as the TSA.

Although the bill does contain a lot of important updates to the criminal code regarding money laundering, many in the cryptocurrency community are calling for a re-examination of the bill itself and section 13, as it is widely believed that it does not properly account for the nature of cryptocurrencies in its attempts to regulate.

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“Bitcoin Jesus” is Making a Country

By Mason Mohon | USA?

Roger Ver is a self-described Bitcoin Angel Investor and fan-described Bitcoin Jesus. He is partnering up with another Bitcoin entrepreneur, Olivier Janssens, to create the world’s first sovereign voluntaryist country. Olivier being the “founding father” and CEO, while Roger is the co-founder.

They have titled the project Free Society, and are looking to join forces with a willing government and purchase the territory from them. According to Jansenns, they have amassed over 100,000,000 dollars to create the country.

According to Trustnodes, Janssens released much information about the goals for the country. It would be heavily based on libertarian and anarcho-capitalist principles. There would be no monopoly on military, courts, or police like there is by the state in most countries across the world.

…the country would operate on a fully voluntary basis. That means “enforcement will happen through private arbitration, competing court systems and private law enforcement,” the project says.

At the same time, intellectual property would be a no-go, for many libertarians believe it is in violation of private property rights, and it often gives rise to patent trolls. Victimless crimes would not be crimes at all, such as drug use and prostitution. According to Olivier:

We have backing of over 100 million USD in private capital and are committed to the mission of realizing the world’s first Free Society.

On the project website, which can be found here, they have stated that the governments they are currently negotiating with cannot be revealed for confidentiality reasons, but they did provide some standards on what kind of territory they’re looking for. Among these standards was proximity to both water and economic powerhouses such as Europe, Asia, and the United States. They are looking to go on a national rescue mission of sorts in return for their own voluntaryist system. Janssens made the following quote to Cision PR Newswire.

There are many nations that have a significant national debt or are in crisis. Our aim is to help them resolve that and create an economic powerhouse next to their doorstep as a bonus. It’s a win-win for everyone.

The fateful debate between anarcho-capitalism and minarchism is not a new one, especially in the Austrian school of economics. This country will determine whether or not an anarcho-capitalist/voluntaryist society is possible or not.