[cryptography] Is Bitcoin legal?

Ian G iang at iang.org
Thu Jun 16 13:37:39 EDT 2011

On 16/06/11 12:34 AM, John Levine wrote:
> Bitcoins aren't securities, because they don't act like securities.

Right.  Or more particularly, he asked:

     "... I can’t help wondering why
     Bitcoins aren’t unregistered securities."

And the answer is that the registrar of securities defines what the 
securites are, and the SEC's definition is a long way away from BitCoin.

     "Uh-oh?  Maybe someone will be hearing from the SEC?"

No, that's not how the SEC works.  The SEC is a responding organisation. 
  They only deal when there is a complaint.  Even when there is a 
complaint, they will try their best to ignore it.  C.f, Madoff, which 
was dealing in securities.

If there is an interest, it will come from UST, via USSS.

> There's no promise to pay, no nominal value, and you don't have a
> claim on some part of something else.

Nod. A security is a contract where something is secured by one party to 
the benefit of another.  We're missing the three components here, so 
where do we start?  Who's going to complain and what's their complaint?

Rock on...


More information about the cryptography mailing list