Categorized | Bitcoins

Bitcoins Vs. Government

Court room sketch of Ross Ulbricht

Courtroom sketch in U.S. Federal Court in San Francisco, California October 4, 2013 Photograph: Reuters

Bitinstant CEO Charlie Schrem was arrested in January for drug trafficking on Silk Road an online black market that allowed for transactions using bitcoins. Federal agents shut down Silk Road in October and investigations are ongoing. More information on the investigations can be found in The Guardian’s The man behind Silk Road article. Since October, the future of digital currencies has been a topic of much debate. Bitcoins are the most well-known and widely used digital currency. Our [Introduction to Bitcoins] post has more in-depth information. Norway declared that bitcoins are a commodity, not a currency and the US Government is currently discussing how to regulate bitcoins.

Bitcoin supporters are against government regulations as this would make fees higher and legitimate international business more difficult to conduct. Bitcoin users argue that cash has been used for illegal activities since currency was invented. Let’s Talk Bitcoin founder Adam Levine told the LA Times “When you tame the west, you’ve got to hang all the outlaws . . . The legitimate uses cannot be overshadowed by the illicit uses,” (What seizure of illicit Silk Road means for virtual currency Bitcoin). Bitcoins users around the world surely hope their governments agree.

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