[cryptography] funding Tor development

Tom Ritter tom at ritter.vg
Tue Oct 22 07:35:26 EDT 2013


On 21 October 2013 15:46, Kelly John Rose <iam at kjro.se> wrote:
> On that note, I really would love to hear from a lawyer as to why
> accepting bitcoin or anonymous donations would be problematic. Unless
> they start laundering money, I don't see that really being an issue.

Part of any organization's advice, given by a lawyer, is both "What,
in the courts (and my) interpretation of the law, is legal", and ALSO
"What I feel comfortable defending you for" and "Ways your life can be
made miserable through things like frivolous court cases that are
reasonable enough to go to a judge."

It's entirely possible that: Lawyer A loves bitcoin, reads all they
can about it, and would go to court (or more likely, private meetings
with the IRS) in a heartbeat citing case law and making a spirited
defense.  Lawyer B; however, is kind of curious about bitcoin, but
doesn't have much free time to read more about it, or look up case
precedence, because s/he's very busy - perhaps overworking themselves
by giving cheap rates to a bunch of nonprofits. Lawyer B isn't
necessarily opposed to bitcoin, but actually making a defense of it
would require a ton of research on their part, which would incur a
large cost for the organization.

The decision to not accept bitcoin doesn't always hinge on "I think
this is legal vs illegal", but a spectrum of "How much of a pain in
the butt is it going to be for me if someone _does_ take issue with
it, given my current financial situation, legal representation, and
business relationships."

-tom


More information about the cryptography mailing list