The Coming Bitcoin Clampdown

02/19/201712 Comments

We all know the old dictum: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" Well, governments have their own version: "If you can't beat 'em, use your jackbooted thugs to go out and steal their idea and outlaw all competition."

Case in point: bitcoin.

As I pointed out in my Tech Trends for 2017 editorial, bitcoin regulation is going to be one of the dominant themes of the year. Indeed, that prediction has (unfortunately) already come true, with the EU Council proposing the registration of all bitcoin users under the guise of "anti-terrorism" legislation and the IRS' legal pursuit of information on all Coinbase users continuing to play out in the courts.

But perhaps nowhere is this clampdown more obvious than in China, where the population's hunger for circumventing capital control laws is matched only by the government's hunger for clamping down on capital outflows. The booming Chinese bitcoin market has been widely recognized as the driving force behind the currency's meteoric rise in the last six months to once again pass the $1000 mark, and it has not done so without drawing renewed scrutiny from the so-called authorities.

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Comments (12)

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  1. HomeRemedySupply says:

    I love the idea of decentralized, peer-to-peer scrip.
    Whether that scrip is virtual or solid is a matter of preference.
    Example of solid (besides precious metals):

    Bill Still reports on Bitcoin and Crypto-currencies Feb 18, 2017.

    For those who don’t know, Bill Still is famous for his film “The Money Masters”, the 15th most watched documentary in internet history.

  2. mkey says:

    Hungary repays IMF loan earlier than planned

    Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government, which faces an election in 2014, has sought to end what is has portrayed as undue foreign influence over its economic policies.

    Last month the Central bank chief György Matolcsy, Orbán’s former economy minister, announced he would initiate closure of the IMF’s resident representative office in Budapest, saying it was “not necessary to maintain” any longer.

    Old, but I found this to be quite under reported.

    Iran to Ditch US Dollar in Official Reports

    I’m not sure if they mean petrodollar, I thought Iran already dropped it. This may be more of a bookkeeping issue, however some outlets are presenting this as a pivot for war on Iran.

    Russia to Pay Off All Remaining Soviet Debt by the End of 2017

    Now for the national debt of some 150 billion, is it?

  3. n4x5 says:

    Nice article, James. I think there’s reason for optimism. The technology is still in its infancy, and new applications are being developed all the time. One can hope that the attempts to co-opt it will only trigger more innovation and accelerate the evolutionary process that much faster.

    • ralphodavis says:

      I’ll take the other side of that argument with no glee in doing so. When I first explored the prospect of purchasing Bitcoin on an exchange, one purported to be a western mainstay, I was immediately put-off by the degree of personal data required simply to buy from or through them.

      I’ve withstood security clearance investigation by the FBI in the past and don’t recall having had to spill my guts in the way that this Bitcoin exchange required for the privilege of ‘anonymous’ transacting.

      Then, too, the exchanges themselves seem quite capable of self-destructing through malfeasance if not infiltration by third-party cyber-thieves or spanner-wielding government agencies with likely relentless control agenda.

      Not to forget the necessity of both healthy electrical and web infrastructures that have no guarantee of uninterrupted availability nor legalized exchanges. The banksters are hot to ‘improve’ on their taxable block-chain versions to keep central banking fully authoritative and reportable.

      Bitcoin is simply too tech-dependent to be left unmolested by monetary authority. If one has to use their infrastructure to make it truly practical, barring revolutionary changes from the status quo that seems ridiculously unlikely, we’ll be doing it their way under their thumb.

      Besides, the way things look right now in America, the only viable economy 8 or so months from now will be of the very local variety where barter of real goods will precede even use of metals.

      Taking a Bitcoin budget and buying some small denomination junk-silver; dimes, quarters etc., makes a whole lot more practical sense towards rebuilding economy destroyed by corrupted central controls.

      • HomeRemedySupply says:

        I hear ya.

      • n4x5 says:

        Certainly the exchanges are a weak point. There are ways to avoid using them, but admittedly those methods come with their own drawbacks.

        Notice that I focused on new applications and innovation as opposed to saying that the options that exist now are 100% robust or user-friendly. Also, keep in mind that Bitcoin is only one blockchain application. There are others.

        My outlook for the future economic / political situation isn’t as apocalyptic as yours, but I try to keep my own sense of prescience in check. You could be correct. For what it’s worth: Bitcoin is currently in use in Venezuela, albeit by a small portion of the population. I suppose it would be instructive to look at that case in further detail and try to determine what lessons could be learned from it.

        In any case, diversification of assets (including precious metals, as you suggest) isn’t a poor idea. Ultimately, time will tell.

  4. tyler.c says:

    For those interested in staying abreast of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency doings, I recommend bookmarking these two sites: (Immense reddit style postings) (Play with the pretty graphs and charts!!!)

    For those interested in staying anon-like in the future of digital currencies search around for “encrypted wallets”.

  5. amjamiediggins says:

    For those who have none, there is only what value you, as a human, posses. I know what I bring [to the collective table], what say you? Are your needs or wants greater than mine?
    Sad, how “people” want to control everything that lives and breathes, ain’t it. Perhaps there is a better way…
    Peace, Andy.

  6. theplanet.myhome says:

    Thank you!

    They keep playing the “anti-money laundering” card, boy! that gets so old, especially since they are doing the MOST money laundering.

    I’m wondering if all the European banks that are going under at this time (Greece and Italy) is not just another agenda to push their own version of crypto currency onto un-suspecting, already troddened on public.

    • mkey says:

      They have almost infinite potential to turn any sort of failure into a victory. When dollar/euro go under, the proposed solution will probably be SDR. International currency for the international elite.

  7. scpat says:

    Russia to Block Access to Cryptocurrency Exchange Websites

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