LlewClaasen,Executive Director of The Bitcoin Foundation, has announcedthat the organisationhas retained legal counsel to advisein its effort to fight against increasing federal and state regulation in the US. The foundation believes that increases in regulation are attempts to control and stifle the adoption and use of so-called virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
In a press release, Claasen claimed that the organisations first priority is to attempt to build a more open and diverse dialogue with the USCongress. The effort is a response to the planned introduction of a bill thataims to bring Bitcoin into the scope of USmoney-laundering enforcement agencies.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency or “cryptocurrency” thatwas created by an unknown programmer (or group of programmers) under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto in October 2008. Unlike traditional forms of currency, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies use encryption techniques to regulate the generation of currency and thetransfer of funds. This means that the currency is decentralised so no single institution controls the Bitcoin network. At the time of writing, one Bitcoin is approximately worth 3,365.27.
Because of encryption, the use of Bitcoin can remain anonymous. Though receipts of transactions are stored in “blockchains”, users of the currency do not have their names, address, or other forms of personal information attached to their Bitcoin profiles. While some high street shops and bars accept the currency, many people associate the use of Bitcoin with the buying and selling of illicit services on the dark web.
Just last month two of the dark webs largest markets “Alphabay” and “Hansa”were seized in a joint effort from European police, Interpol, the FBI and the DEA. The websites users bought and sold drugs and chemicals from one another using Bitcoin to protect their identities.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in response that, This is likely one of the most important criminal investigations of the year. He also claimed that The dark net is not a place to hide. We will find you.
The Bitcoin Foundation is, however, more optimistic about the future and use of the virtual currency. Their vision is to turn Bitcoin into a globally accepted method of exchanging and storing value which will operate without the need for third parties like banks.
In the release, Claasen said that, the increased regulatory push by federal and state authorities, if it continues, is sure to threaten the existence of the fintech[financial technology] industry nationwide.
MrClaasen added: Just as the fintech industrys use of cryptocurrency was stifled in New York by the adoption of the so-called Bitlicence, it is highly likely that increased regulatory and legislative burdens [placed upon Bitcoin] will have a similar negative impact.
The Bitcoin Foundation was founded as a non-profit in September 2012. The body’smission statement is to ensure that every human has the right to privacy in transactions that involve no harm to others and the right to economic participation without a bank account or credit history.
In their efforts to defend Bitcoin, The Bitcoin Foundation has retained the Ciric Law Firm, PLLC for counsel. The firm is currently challenging the US Department of Financial Services Virtual Currency regulation (Part 200 of Chapter 1 of Title 23 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations), which was promulgated in 2015 and is also known as the New York “Bitlicence”.
Speaking to The Independent, MrClaasen said, state and federal legislation creates hurdles for innovation, well in advance of knowing what the impact of the technology is going to be or what it enables.
[The Bitcoin Foundations] view is that it is not yet clear what bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are. But by regulating the technology prematurely, you put it into a box it might not fit into later on. Its not that we dont believe theres a time and place to regulate Bitcoin, were just saying that its too early and that regulation will just do harm to very innovative businesses and technologies.
When questioned on Bitcoins potential to be used for fraud, money laundering and the buying and selling of illicit goods, MrClaasen said, Reports by the European commission in June specifically found that there is very little of that activity, particularly there is very little terrorist funding and money laundering.
Claasen added: Bitcoin is too hard for criminals to use at the moment. Its easier for a criminal to use the United States dollar.
Alongside being the foundation’s Executive Director, MrClaasen is a member of the international marketing advisory boards the CMO Council Advisory Board for Africa, the Customer Experience Boardand The Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience. He is also the co-founder of Clicks2Customers, a digital marketing agency with annual billings of over 80 billion.
Claasen made it clear that Bitcoin Foundation, doesnt want to break the system, but it is concerned that the system is already broken.
Bitcoin has the potential to be a store of value thats outside the control of central banks. In the future, we would like to see more adoption of Bitcoin. Its not going to be the only currency, and it wont replace the current system, but among other options its a useful case for the future.
The venture capitalist from Cape Town claims that Bitcoin is not currently at a stage where there are concerns that it will interfere with global monetary policy.
Its immature technology, he claims. There is a perception that it allows unlimited transfer of value, but it can only do three or four transfers a second. The network cannot handle larger transactions.
A key reason Claasen opposes regulation is because, it is not possible for governments to take the view they want to regulate Bitcoin. Its important to understand that a decentralised currency means one which is not under control by anybody.
I understand that regulators need to protect the currency and people from risk. [In the future] regulators will probably regulate at the end points of the cryptocurrency network. I get that, its inevitable. Around the world the view is the same. But governments and financial services are already struggling, as in Venezuela, and people need an alternative way.
Llew Claasen concluded that,Aside from other things, [Bitcoin] is a positive technology. It is not one that seeks to destroy or disrupt. Its a pity when regulators view it as something that is dangerous.
- Bitcoin Dips Below $7,000, Hitting Lowest In 2 Weeks - August 8th, 2018
- Things you need to know Bitcoin.com - July 29th, 2018
- Bitcoin - Bitcoin Price Live, BTC Value, Mining, BTC to USD ... - July 10th, 2018
- Digital Currencies and Financial Inclusion: Revisited | CGAP - May 19th, 2018
- Bitcoin vs. Electronic Money: Digital But Different | CGAP - May 19th, 2018
- Must I pay tax this year if I transfer bitcoin from ... - April 4th, 2018
- Will a 1099-B form work best for reporting bitcoin ... - April 4th, 2018
- Bitcoin (BTC) price: News & Live Chart - Trading Analysis ... - March 29th, 2018
- Bitcoin USD - BTCUSD Overview - MarketWatch - February 28th, 2018
- Buy Bitcoin IRA | Bitcoin IRA Investment & Retirement Account ... - February 28th, 2018
- Bitcoin Fees Have Become Infeasible - Bitcoin News - December 23rd, 2017
- Bitcoin's incredible surge takes it above $9,500 - Nov. 27 ... - November 27th, 2017
- Warning Signs About Another Giant Bitcoin Exchange - November 23rd, 2017
- What Is Bitcoin, and How Does It Work? - The New York Times - October 6th, 2017
- Why Beanie Babies make for a better investment than bitcoin - MarketWatch - September 5th, 2017
- Bitcoin's price hit $5000 last week. It's still a dumb investment - Los Angeles Times - September 5th, 2017
- Bitcoin dips another $300 after China's cryptocurrency crackdown - CNBC - September 5th, 2017
- IRS Eyes Profits From Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash Investments - Investopedia - September 5th, 2017
- Sequoia, IDG to Invest in China Bitcoin Mining Giant - Bloomberg - September 4th, 2017
- Bitcoin Price Drops By Over $250 as Crypto Markets Lose Billions - CoinDesk - September 4th, 2017
- Bitcoin $5,000: Currency Hits New Record High | Fortune.com - Fortune - September 2nd, 2017
- Bitcoin Drops Below $5000 as Crypto Markets See $13 Billion Sell-Off - CoinDesk - September 2nd, 2017
- Searching for the future of currency, major companies try Bitcoin technology - PBS NewsHour - September 2nd, 2017
- Bitcoin Mempool is Empty and High Transaction Fees are no Longer Required - newsBTC - September 2nd, 2017
- Literally just one huge chart showing bitcoin's incredible rise to $4800 - MarketWatch - September 2nd, 2017
- Bitcoin's nearly five-fold climb in 2017 looks very similar to tech ... - CNBC - September 2nd, 2017
- BTC-e's Big Claim: Bitcoin Withdrawals to Begin Tomorrow - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - September 2nd, 2017
- As bitcoin surges in price and popularity, so do the complaints - CNBC - August 31st, 2017
- Here is how Indians are minting a fortune in bitcoins - Economic Times - August 31st, 2017
- Why Miners Are Mining Bitcoin Cash and Losing Money Doing It - CoinDesk - August 30th, 2017
- Bitcoin jumps nearly 70% for August to record high, offshoot 'bitcoin cash' falls to more than one-week low - CNBC - August 30th, 2017
- Bitcoin's epic rise leaves late-1990s tech bubble in the dust - Economic Times - August 30th, 2017
- 99Bitcoins | Buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Guides & Reviews for ... - August 29th, 2017
- Dark web finds bitcoin increasingly more of a problem than a help, tries other digital currencies - CNBC - August 29th, 2017
- Bitcoin Meets Zcash: Developers Test Tool for Trustless Trades - CoinDesk - August 29th, 2017
- Russian Regulator: Bitcoin Should Be Limited to 'Qualified Investors' - CoinDesk - August 29th, 2017
- As bitcoin and rivals surge, so too have complaints to the CFPB - MarketWatch - August 29th, 2017
- Is Bitcoin the New Gold? - TheStreet.com - August 28th, 2017
- This Swedish guy bet all his life savings on bitcoin and it made him 100 times richer - Business Insider Nordic - August 28th, 2017
- How To Gain Bitcoin Exposure Inside Of Your Traditional Brokerage Account - Seeking Alpha - August 28th, 2017
- Value of all digital currencies hits record around $160 billion as ... - MarketWatch - August 28th, 2017
- Why Motherboard Is Capitalizing 'Bitcoin' Again - Motherboard - August 28th, 2017
- New Bitcoin.com Charts: The Bitcoin Ecosystem at a Glance - Bitcoin News (press release) - August 27th, 2017
- Expert Predicts Bitcoin Will be Worth up to $20000 in the Next Three Years - Futurism - August 27th, 2017
- Does Bitcoin Have a Mining Monopoly Problem? - Fortune - August 27th, 2017
- Bitcoin poised to challenge record after recovering from correction - MarketWatch - August 26th, 2017
- Bitcoin Prices Rise But Fall Short of All-Time High - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - August 26th, 2017
- Bitcoin and Artificial Intelligence Can Help Fight Sex Trafficking ... - Fortune - August 26th, 2017
- Bitcoin Investors, Beware: The IRS Is Coming for Your Vast Riches - TheStreet.com - August 26th, 2017
- Bitcoin's Lightning Network Moves Closer to Compatibility - CoinDesk - CoinDesk - August 26th, 2017
- A sketchy Satoshi has popped up to promote his new blockchain - The Verge - August 26th, 2017
- Bitcoin And Why You Think You're Right (Even When You're Wrong) - Seeking Alpha - August 26th, 2017
- Bitcoin and Ether rise, helping take crypto space above $150 billion market cap - MarketWatch - August 23rd, 2017
- Bitcoin Prices Are Up Over $100 Already Today - CoinDesk - August 23rd, 2017
- MGT Capital Raises $2.4 Million to Expand Bitcoin Mining Operation - CoinDesk - August 23rd, 2017
- Hackers Swipe Bitcoin by Stealing Your Cell Phone Number First - Inc.com - August 23rd, 2017
- Bitcoin rebounds after briefly entering correction territory - MarketWatch - August 22nd, 2017
- Here's Why Bitcoin Rose More than $1000 in Two Months - Futurism - August 22nd, 2017
- The IRS Has Special Software to Find Bitcoin Tax Cheats - Fortune - August 22nd, 2017
- Bitcoin Prices Dip Below $4000 to Hit 7-Day Low - CoinDesk - August 22nd, 2017
- China's two biggest bitcoin exchanges helped themselves to $150 million in idle client funds - Quartz - August 22nd, 2017
- Bitcoin Analysts Compete for the Highest Price Forecast - Bloomberg - August 21st, 2017
- A Bitcoin Law for Every State? Interest and Animosity Greet Model US Regulation - CoinDesk - August 21st, 2017
- Take Two: Bitcoin Miner BTCS Announces New Merger Deal - CoinDesk - August 21st, 2017
- Bitcoin About To Burst - Seeking Alpha - August 21st, 2017
- 10 Bitcoin Wallet Apps You Should Consider Using Today - HuffPost - August 20th, 2017
- Bitcoin-accepting shops leave cookie trail that crumbles anonymity - The Register - August 20th, 2017
- Bitcoin Trades Sideways as Bitcoin Cash Price Drops to $800 - CoinDesk - August 20th, 2017
- 'Bitcoin cash' surges 40% in single day as investors bet on its faster processing speeds - CNBC - August 19th, 2017
- 'Bitcoin cash' soars to record high above $900 as 'mining' profits jump - CNBC - August 19th, 2017
- Photos: Inside one of the world's largest bitcoin mines - Quartz - August 18th, 2017
- Bitcoin Surged to a New High Adding $17 Billion in Just Over a Week - Fortune - August 18th, 2017
- Another major country joins China and Japan in cracking down on bitcoin exchanges - CNBC - August 18th, 2017
- Bitcoin Cash Breaks Price Doldrums to Push Past $400 - CoinDesk - August 18th, 2017
- Poloniex and Breadwallet Will Support Bitcoin Cash Transfers - The Merkle - August 14th, 2017
- Bitcoin Price Flies To More Than $4100 Over Weekend - PYMNTS.com - August 14th, 2017
- Why is Bitcoin worth more than gold? - Independent Online - August 14th, 2017
- Bitcoin breaks $4000 - BetaNews - August 13th, 2017
- Bitcoin just passed $4000 - TechCrunch - August 13th, 2017
- Bitcoin vaults to new record above $4K, boosted by Japan and multiplying its value fourfold - CNBC - August 13th, 2017