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Bitcoins Seized In Drug Bust

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the funny-money dept.

Bitcoin 198

First time accepted submitter Salo2112 writes "In a case believed to be the first of its kind, federal authorities have seized a Charleston man's virtual currency due to an alleged drug law violation with possible links to a shadowy online black market. From the article: 'The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently posted a forfeiture notice indicating that agents had seized 11.02 Bitcoins worth $814 from 31-year-old Eric Daniel Hughes for allegedly violating the federal Controlled Substances Act. No other details were provided.'"

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198 comments

It was bound to happen (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#44208971)

I'm surprised it took so long.

Re:It was bound to happen (2)

A Huge Loud Fart (2975425) | about 10 months ago | (#44208973)

He should have encrypted his computer.

Re:It was bound to happen (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209037)

And have a good backup. Even if the seized money is encrypted, it's still seized and unlikely to be returned.

Re:It was bound to happen (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209257)

my friend's sister makes $88/hr on the laptop. She has been fired from work for nine months but last month her check was $12967 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here> ---- WEP6.COM

Re:It was bound to happen (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209411)

147 hours fucking a horse on a live webcam is more than "a few".

Re:It was bound to happen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209555)

Which makes the term "seized" maybe inapplicable. If the computer they seized didn't contain the only copy of the bitcoins, he may still be able to exchange them for regular money.

Re:It was bound to happen (5, Interesting)

killkillkill (884238) | about 10 months ago | (#44209269)

Most likely it was a sting operation and he sent the funds to an address the DEA had created. There was a transaction [blockchain.info] for that amount on the day they were "seized" linked to his account. If they seized the wallet on his computer I imagine it would have been more than that.

Re:It was bound to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209449)

Yes, now they have justification to go after the "illegitimate den of criminals" to start shutting down BitCoin. The banks who control the world monetary system are not keen on to see any of these "unregulated" currencies gain any traction.

Re:It was bound to happen (5, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#44209577)

They haven't banned cigarettes due to their being used to fund terrorism. We'll see.

Re:It was bound to happen (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 10 months ago | (#44209681)

"He should have encrypted his computer."

I think it would have been good enough if he just encrypted the data. It is really hard to use an encrypted computer.

Re:It was bound to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210209)

He should have encrypted his computer.

Well if each bitcoin had an individual serial number then the 11.02 coins stolen by the feds could be removed from circulation therefore rendering them worthless feds loose ..

Re:It was bound to happen (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209013)

Yes, but only because the USA's Federal Government hates competition.

Re:It was bound to happen (4, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | about 10 months ago | (#44209161)

Why is this statement modded down? It's a perfectly legitimate assessment of the flow of money and labor. If people were allowed to trade their own labor or goods without having to invoke the mandatory use of Federal Reserve notes/bits it would be much more difficult for the USA's Federal Government to put a toll on that transaction. Indeed Bitcoin is a competing currency that allows people to bargain directly with one another which the Federal Government would interpret as competition - in much the same way Taxi unions in Houston declared bicycle rickshaws as "stealing" from them and had the rickshaws regulated out of existence. The US Government - unlike the Taxi Union - sees ALL business transactions done without them as competition and since they have direct law making power will address such things directly.

Re:It was bound to happen (0)

mcgrew (92797) | about 10 months ago | (#44209351)

Why is this statement modded down?

Morons get mod points, too. Right now it stands at 50% offtopic, 50% insightful. Somebody goofed, that's all.

Re:It was bound to happen (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209461)

Surely you mean the moron with Insightful mod?

"Guy got caught dealing drugs, got his posessions confiscated, there were Bitcoins in there" - "It's because govt hates Bitcoin!"

FFS, from items in other case in the seizure notice:

13-DEA-582125, Snap-On Tool Cabinet and Assorted Tools, (1) Snap-On Rolling Tool Cabinet, #:s437254a; (6)
Assorted Testers; (1) Snap-On 8 piece 1/2" Rachet/Wrench Set; (1) Snap-On 4 piece 1/2" Rachet/Wrench Set; (36)
Assorted Screwdrivers; (16) Speciality Tools; (32) Assorted Allen Wrenches; (56) Assorted Sockets 3/8"; (22) Socket
Extensions 3/8"; (1) Adapter 1/2" - 3/4"; (11) Assorted Rachets/Wrenches; (1) Nut Driver 1/4"; (1) Allen Tool Combo;
(1) Ryobi Drilling and Driving Accessory Kit; (36) Assorted Rachets/Wrenches/Sockets; (5) Assorted Snap-On Tools;
(4) Assorted Rachet/Extensions; (8) Assorted Vice Grips/Wrenches; (1) Blue Point Rachet Wrench Set 5/16"-3/4";
(68) Assorted Combination Wrenches; (1) Snap-On Box End Combo 7/8"; (3) Assorted Wrench Sets; (1) Roberts
Knee Kick Carpet Stretcher 10-412; (1) Snap-On 3x5 Toy Tool Box; (1) Ryobi Temperature Sensor, #:CW1112; (9)

Government hates wrenches!

captcha: deluding - it surely knows.

Re:It was bound to happen (2)

tompaulco (629533) | about 10 months ago | (#44209527)

It will be interesting to see how these seized items relate to the drug case. Or is this not seizure of evidence, but seizure of property just for the hell of it, because the guy may someday be found guilty of a crime?

Re:It was bound to happen (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about 10 months ago | (#44209611)

In the War on Drugs in the US, the Police can and will confiscate all your property if you are convicted of a drug felony.

Re:It was bound to happen (5, Insightful)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44209779)

You don't have to convicted of anything to have your property stolen by the government. It has eminent domain over everything you have, including the corpse you presently occupy.

Re:It was bound to happen (4, Insightful)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 10 months ago | (#44209937)

In the War on Drugs in the US, the Police can and will confiscate all your property if you are accused of a drug felony.

FTFY

Re:It was bound to happen (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#44209625)

Maybe they found the drugs in his tool box and seized the whole box as evidence. Or maybe they have evidence that he used drug proceeds to buy the tools. In the latter case, it would be the same justification they had for seizing the bitcoins.

Re:It was bound to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209665)

Judging by "Ryobi Temperature Sensor", it might have been seized in a pot growing op.

Re:It was bound to happen (1)

ecotax (303198) | about 10 months ago | (#44209743)

Surely you mean the moron with Insightful mod?

Talking about morons with mod points - I just wanted to moderate your posting but mis-clicked, moderating it as 'redundant'.... Oops.
Only thing I can now do is make a post in this discussion too, eliminating my own moderation.

Re:It was bound to happen (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209393)

Which part of "Bitcoins seized in drug bust" did you and GP miss to dive into "It's a plot against Bitcoin!" rant? What would you rant about if the title was "VPN access credentials seized in drug bust", "Truecrypt volumes seized in drug bust", "Microsoft Windows installation seized in drug bust", "iPhone seized in drug bust", "Pair of blue socks seized in drug bust", ...?

I'd say mod whole this story as offtopic.

Re:It was bound to happen (1)

MrNaz (730548) | about 10 months ago | (#44209733)

Never underestimate the subversive power of blue socks. Empires were felled with them. Brutus was wearing a pair when he heard the words "Et tu?".

Re:It was bound to happen (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#44209591)

There is no such mandate. If you want to trade goods for goods, the government will not interfere with that. However, if you use such trading to generate income, it's taxable just as if you had used cash. There are minimum wage laws, though and they exist to protect workers from exploitation and to prevent tax evasion.

Re:It was bound to happen (1)

jythie (914043) | about 10 months ago | (#44210225)

While people might rant about the philosophy behind it and feelings of control, the core motivation is that tax part. There has been a pretty strong anti-tax movement over the last few decades and this is just another front in that movement.

Re:It was bound to happen (5, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#44209643)

If people were allowed to trade their own labor or goods without having to invoke the mandatory use of Federal Reserve notes/bits it would be much more difficult for the USA's Federal Government to put a toll on that transaction.

Yes, we get that Bitcoin is potentially useful for tax evasion. Can you spell out why that is socially desirable?

Indeed Bitcoin is a competing currency that allows people to bargain directly with one another which the Federal Government would interpret as competition

People do bargain directly with each other now. The government isn't involved in that. But if good or services are sold, that transaction tends to be subject to taxes, although not always. And that does ignore the underground economy that tends to involve cash transactions.

I don't think you are showing much of a case here.

Re:It was bound to happen (1, Troll)

pecosdave (536896) | about 10 months ago | (#44209903)

People do bargain directly with each other now. The government isn't involved in that.
See above [slashdot.org] .

Yes, we get that Bitcoin is potentially useful for tax evasion. Can you spell out why that is socially desirable?

Can you spell out why every transaction a person is involved in should be taxed? Instead of answering your question about why it is socially desirable I'm going to ask my own question. Is it socially desirable for me stand around in Kentucky Fried chicken, seizing a single piece of chicken from every order to feed some random individual outside on the street? What if I told you that random individual picked up trash on the highway - it doesn't matter if you litter or not.

If you can tell me why that is socially desirable, then you will have answered your own question.

Re:It was bound to happen (2, Funny)

pecosdave (536896) | about 10 months ago | (#44210471)

Lots of big state mods today.

How can I troll them? I know! Marxism sucks because eventually you run out of other peoples money and/or labor!

Re:It was bound to happen (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210055)

Yes, we get that Bitcoin is potentially useful for tax evasion. Can you spell out why that is socially desirable?

There are massive arguments in favour of tax havens. Most effect and help people who don't use them more then you would ever think.
The biggest one in my opinion is that it creates competition for governments. You might think this is a bad thing if you are a big and unwieldy government, who isn't providing visible value for the taxation. But if you are a normal person, then it means that there is downward pressure on the government to provide value for the money it is stealing from its citizenry.
Forbes: Why Tax Havens Are A Force For Good [forbes.com]
CATO Institute: Why Tax Havens Are a Blessing [cato.org]
Foundation for Economic Education: In Praise of Tax Havens [fee.org]

Re:It was bound to happen (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210075)

Yes, we get that Bitcoin is potentially useful for tax evasion. Can you spell out why that is socially desirable?

It is socially desirable to avoid paying taxes because the goverment just hands it over to the NSA to spy on us.

And they have yet to produce anything of value from all that money.

Hows that...

Re:It was bound to happen (2)

pla (258480) | about 10 months ago | (#44210187)

Can you spell out why that is socially desirable?

Because some people don't approve of robbing from the poor to give to the rich.

Simple as that.

Re:It was bound to happen (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209731)

Indeed Bitcoin is a competing currency that allows people to bargain directly with one another which the Federal Government would interpret as competition

Bitcoin isn't a currency at all but rather a digital good of dubious and highly fluctuating value. The government's interest in seeing the downfall of bitcoin isn't petty jealousy but rather the same interest as that found in prosecuting operators of Ponzi schemes.

Bitcoin will eventually collapse and anyone left holding the bag will be out a ton of real actual dollars, euros, or whatever the currency of the nation they frequent most happens to be. When BTC proponents tell you it is infinitely divisible they are making the selling point that you will get rich if you get in early. This is merely the pump section of the pump-and-dump maneuver highlighted last decade by Enron. Bitcoin will get huge, thousands of dollars per BTC, at which point all the smart investors will bail and the next day it will be worthless.

This was the fatal flaw of the gold standard, the idea of price-fixing a currency to an object. If that object ever becomes trendy then the currency's value bounces all over the place and the resulting unstable market collapses. We went off the gold standard for a reason, it is non-sustainable for societies larger than a few thousand people. Ironically the death knell of bitcoin will be mass adoption, the very thing bitcoin users believe will legitimize it as a currency.

Re:It was bound to happen (0)

pecosdave (536896) | about 10 months ago | (#44209927)

Buyer beware - the only difference between US money and Bitcoin is who's in charge of it's quantity. I don't trust either.

Re:It was bound to happen (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about 10 months ago | (#44209805)

Because it's totally off topic, this has nothing to do with what bitcoin is. If you get busted for drugs, the police will cease anything of value including cash, real estate, possessions, if you buy gear for your WoW character or land in Second Life with drug money that has resale value they can in theory cease that one too. The point is that bitcoins have been hyped up as anonymous money to buy drugs so lots of dealers should have bitcoins which makes it surprising that they haven't found any to cease before. Nothing here happened to his bitcoins that wouldn't have happened to anything else he owns.

Re:It was bound to happen (1)

unique_parrot (1964434) | about 10 months ago | (#44209139)

Exactly, you can't piss on somebody's leg by making your own money system. That's what they have waited for to get rid of it (at least at the first step) !

Re:It was bound to happen (2)

pecosdave (536896) | about 10 months ago | (#44209983)

you can't piss on somebody's leg by making your own money system

Why not? This isn't the first time, it's happened many times before, arguably trading gold for the first time was doing exactly that. Then making notes backed by gold was doing it again, then making currency backed by nothing was doing it one more time. I would argue Nintendo Points [wikipedia.org] are their own form of currency - granted a highly regulated one - that Nintendo created. I would totally do a small amount of work for some Nintendo points to buy new games with - that would be trading my labor for their currency. The fact that currency can only then be used for purchasing games is the only reason I would limit my amount of work for the points. Were I able to pay rent, buy a car, and buy groceries with Nintendo points I might just work full, but not likely as I can only surrender those points to Nintendo. If however I could trade those points with someone else - what do you know - a new form of currency meant to piss on the leg of the government and Sony.

Re:It was bound to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210211)

I believe that in lots of countries seriously making you own currency basically counts as trying to overthrow the government

brain wallet (1)

Resoow (2865889) | about 10 months ago | (#44209001)

He should have used a brain wallet.

Re:brain wallet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209033)

Doesn't protect against a 5$ wrench.

Re:brain wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209661)

Doesn't protect against a 5$ wrench.

That's not a problem anymore, seeing as how the feds seized all the wrenches they could find.

Seized: 13-DEA-582125, Snap-On Tool Cabinet and Assorted Tools, (1) Snap-On Rolling Tool Cabinet, #:s437254a; (6)
Assorted Testers; (1) Snap-On 8 piece 1/2" Rachet/Wrench Set; (1) Snap-On 4 piece 1/2" Rachet/Wrench Set; (36)
Assorted Screwdrivers; (16) Speciality Tools; (32) Assorted Allen Wrenches; (56) Assorted Sockets 3/8"; (22) Socket
Extensions 3/8"; (1) Adapter 1/2" - 3/4"; (11) Assorted Rachets/Wrenches; (1) Nut Driver 1/4"; (1) Allen Tool Combo;
(1) Ryobi Drilling and Driving Accessory Kit; (36) Assorted Rachets/Wrenches/Sockets; (5) Assorted Snap-On Tools;
(4) Assorted Rachet/Extensions; (8) Assorted Vice Grips/Wrenches; (1) Blue Point Rachet Wrench Set 5/16"-3/4";
(68) Assorted Combination Wrenches; (1) Snap-On Box End Combo 7/8"; (3) Assorted Wrench Sets; (1) Roberts
Knee Kick Carpet Stretcher 10-412; (1) Snap-On 3x5 Toy Tool Box; (1) Ryobi Temperature Sensor, #:CW1112;

Public Record (4, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 10 months ago | (#44209009)

They'll have to enter the hash into the court records as evidence.

Nothing new. (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#44209047)

They'll have to enter the hash into the court records as evidence.

Nothing new. I'm sure hash has been on record as evidence in drug cases before.

Re:Nothing new. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#44209629)

Nothing new. I'm sure hash has been on record as evidence in drug cases before.

I can't wait until someone cracks their records.

Re:Public Record (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 10 months ago | (#44209103)

It'll all go into one big pot

Re:Public Record (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210223)

Isn't it a bit too blunt to have everything joint in a bowl? Then you'd have to weed out the hash from the pot.

Re:Public Record (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209747)

Let's just hope they don't confuse that for a Twitter handle and arrest some other poor sod who just happened to have the twitter name of:
#11AB178CD29EF11A09A
Yeah, that would be bad times for that guy.

Who Cares?? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209045)

Why is every minutiae associated with Bitcoin posted on the front page here?

This is not news for nerds. Criminals will always look for ways to hide money, whether it is in hard cash, diamonds, or even bitcoin it is not new.

Stop this nonsense now.

Re:Who Cares?? (1)

A Huge Loud Fart (2975425) | about 10 months ago | (#44209117)

He wasn't hiding money in Bitcoin, he was selling drugs using Bitcoin (likely on Silk Road)

Re:Who Cares?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209191)

I have bitcoins, and I don't sell drugs. Cmon this guy only had 11 coins! If he was selling drugs for bitcoins, that makes him a really bad drug dealer.

Re:Who Cares?? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 10 months ago | (#44209287)

I have bitcoins, and I don't sell drugs. Cmon this guy only had 11 coins! If he was selling drugs for bitcoins, that makes him a really bad drug dealer.

Or he did hide his actual wallet (the one where the big money is stored) really well.

Re:Who Cares?? (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 10 months ago | (#44210403)

Why is every minutiae associated with Bitcoin posted on the front page here?

Just like Linux, Bitcoin is the little man's fight against the big entities. I believe this is the reason.

Business models (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about 10 months ago | (#44209051)

Ahh the joys of self-financing government departments. "We believe those assets were used in connection with a crime". Suddenly, they don't have to prove anything, they just have to seize it and it's theirs. Nice and convenient. Can they even prove where the bitcoins came from?

Re:Business models (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 10 months ago | (#44209239)

don't be ridiculous, the $800+ is nothing, chump change. The DEA will not be able to finance itself taking small amounts of bitcoins.

Re:Business models (2)

sjames (1099) | about 10 months ago | (#44209495)

Of course not. They take the smaller amounts for spite when they don't get the big bux they were hoping for.

Re:Business models (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 10 months ago | (#44209607)

that's not how the War on Drugs makes money, the kind of operations talked about in this article are paid for with tax dollars, not confiscated goods. The big bucks in the War on Drugs would be big pharmy, illegal CIA/armed forces working with drug lords (e.g. afghanistan), the prison system business, the "defense contractors" who outfit DEA and other statsi with gear

Re:Business models (1)

sjames (1099) | about 10 months ago | (#44209671)

of course. They get to use other people's money to cover operation costs and use the confiscated money for the hookers'n'blow fund.

Re:Business models (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210243)

and mean they always want to make sure the drugs are sold first, confiscating drugs cost money when it needs to be destroyed, letting the dealers sell the drugs and then seize the money provides funding

Re:Business models (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#44209283)

Can they even prove where the bitcoins came from?

The sad irony is even if they cannot, the burden of proof is now on their former owner. If he takes the time, money, and council to prove these assets didn't come from nefarious activity, well, he'll likely be in the red recovering his eight hundred and change.

Re:Business models (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 10 months ago | (#44209471)

Theoretically they can. The Bitcoin network keeps the history of transactions. But to check that they needed to seize the coins. It's not just money, it's evidence.

Re:Business models (2)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 10 months ago | (#44210515)

Ahh the joys of self-financing government departments. "We believe those assets were used in connection with a crime". Suddenly, they don't have to prove anything, they just have to seize it and it's theirs. Nice and convenient. Can they even prove where the bitcoins came from?

As someone who's dealt with seized assets before (not for myself, for another employee in a previous job), "seizing" does not mean it's "theirs", unless you've been watching too many crime dramas on TV.

The seized assets have to be proven to be used in a crime as part of a conviction, otherwise they are returned. In our case, the seized assets were returned to us after the trial. The only catch was we archived everything that was seized in case additional evidence was needed later.

Only in Hollywood does the government seize assets forever in some Indiana Jones-esk warehouse and never return them.

Aww, so sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209055)

Did they take his legos as well?

How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209061)

Any BC experts want to speculate on how they seize them? ( Short of putting him in jail and impounding his PC, but even then they dont 'have' them, he just cant get to th em )

Re:How? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209213)

You're expecting some kind of sophisticated takedown here; it's not going to be as exciting as you hoped.

Once a 3rd party has access to your wallet it's game over. The wallet contains the private key necessary for you to send money out of your wallet.

No Great Loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209069)

I doubt he'd be able to use the Bitcoins to pay his lawyer or buy stuff in the prison commissary.

Re:No Great Loss (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44209111)

it's friggin 814 bucks. well, tomorrow it might be something else, if it goes down are they going to charge him with tampering of evidence..

on the other hand, them consulting someone to tell them what a bitcoin wallet is was probably more than 814 bucks.

Seize wallet or real coints? (1)

freakingme (1244996) | about 10 months ago | (#44209097)

I wonder if the DEA transferred the money to own of its own accounts, or if they merely seized a drive that contained the wallet. If the latter is the case, I wonder what will happen if there's a copy of that wallet, that now starts sending money. That'd be one hell of a way to accuse the DEA of fraud with seized goods...

Re:Seize wallet or real coints? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44209125)

the wallet of course.. they can't exactly just go on selling evidence.

or admitting that bitcoin = cash. because if they sold it they would have to argue that is exactly equivalent.

Re:Seize wallet or real coints? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209157)

the wallet of course.. they can't exactly just go on selling evidence.

or admitting that bitcoin = cash. because if they sold it they would have to argue that is exactly equivalent.

Seized non-currency assets are sold all the time. Ever see those ads for government auctions of seized vehicles?

Re:Seize wallet or real coints? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44209251)

the wallet of course.. they can't exactly just go on selling evidence.

or admitting that bitcoin = cash. because if they sold it they would have to argue that is exactly equivalent.

Seized non-currency assets are sold all the time. Ever see those ads for government auctions of seized vehicles?

sure, after they have been used as evidence.
though no, never seen an ad for those. only in simpsons.

and this is still alleged, so I don't think they sold them yet.

Re:Seize wallet or real coints? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 10 months ago | (#44209587)

Police auctions are commonplace in the US. So are accusations of police stretching the grounds for seizing assets so they can have more to sell.

In the case of bitcoins, there is nothing stopping the coins being sold once the case is over - but there is a strong possibility that word will come down from the higher levels of government, concerned that a government sale of the coins could be interpreted as an 'endorsement' of the currency. If that happens, the wallet will be simply deleted (removing the coins from circulation) once the case is over any any legal minimum period for retaining evidence is over.

Re:Seize wallet or real coints? (1)

MrNaz (730548) | about 10 months ago | (#44209801)

Out of interest, how to deleted coins get replaced into circulation? If there is a finite supply of BitCoin, and a slow de-circulation due to loss upon deletion, how does that get fixed?

In the real world, the government has statisticians who work out the approximate total loss due to destruction and re-mint coin to replace it. How would that work in the BTC world?

Re:Seize wallet or real coints? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209869)

They don't.

There's no way to distinguish whether a bitcoin just lies under someone's virtuall matress, or was it lost in a HDD crash, or did the owner die and the password to his wallet wasn't found (yet).

There might be several million BTC from early days out of circulation already. For example, Satoshi himself had a million or so, IIRC, and those were never used in any transaction - may be he bids his time, or may be he died and we don't know (what with him being anonymous and all), or may be he lost the key.

Re:Seize wallet or real coints? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 10 months ago | (#44210001)

As the sibling post said, they don't. But unlike cash, Bitcoin are extremely divisible (you can send 0.00000001 BTC to someone), so the same practical problems (not having enough coins and bills to pay for things) don't really apply.

There are economic consequences of having a fixed supply, of course, but that's a different issue.

Re:Seize wallet or real coints? (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 10 months ago | (#44210013)

They are lost forever. That's not as big an issue as it might seem (except for the owner) for reasons which have been explained to death elsewhere.

Re:Seize wallet or real coints? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 10 months ago | (#44210159)

The coins vanish. They aren't replaced. Fortunately they are also highly divisible. Extreme deflation is to be expected. This makes economists rather annoyed - inflation, the bane of savers, is required for the proper functioning of an economy. This isn't really an issue with bitcoins (yet) because they are primarily used as a medium of exchange rather than as a value store. No-one asks for a loan in bitcoins, or makes an investment longer than a few days.

Re:Seize wallet or real coints? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 10 months ago | (#44209373)

I wonder if the DEA transferred the money to own of its own accounts, or if they merely seized a drive that contained the wallet.

If the latter is the case, I wonder what will happen if there's a copy of that wallet, that now starts sending money. That'd be one hell of a way to accuse the DEA of fraud with seized goods...

Well, to transfer the money they'd have to have access to the wallet in any case. Maybe the Bitcoins weren't actually in his possession (for example, they might be deposited in some external party's account that they can demand them from).

If they actually got access to the wallet by seizing his hard drive, then that is something that could be defended against. Just have a backup with enough coordination so that if the computer is seized the money gets immediately transferred someplace safe. The wallet that was seized is worthless if the money gets transferred before it is decrypted.

Re: Seize wallet or real coints? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210005)

I'm interested as well. Should he get out on bail and transfer the money, it'd be hard to prove that he was the one in control of the wallet. Maybe he just had an encrypted wallet on his machine without access to the password. BS, but to a jury that doesn't understand BTC, anything is possible.

How to make money selling drugs. (4, Interesting)

six025 (714064) | about 10 months ago | (#44209151)

Anyone under the misapprehension that the drug war is about catching scum bag drug users or dealers should watch this excellent documentary:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1276962/ [imdb.com]

You'll learn who the really big players are. Hint: it's not who you think it is ;)

Peace,
Andy.

Let me guess. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209403)

It's a movie that states that the prison industry, law enforcement, law enforcement's suppliers, the pharmaceutical industry (not wanting just as good natural treatments on the market to compete with their over priced not as good products), governments in S. America that are getting "aid" to fight the drug war, and of course the lobbying industry.

I've read a few essays on the evils of the drug war and I'm sure I'd agree with them and just about everything they have to say - except for any hyperbole about the benefits of the now illegal substances.

I am not going to sit through 96 minutes listening to Woody Harralson, Susan Sarradon, Eminem, 50 Cent and other entertainers. It looks like a pro-drug puff piece - stick it to the Man; which I am VERY sympathetic to, but I am well beyond that kind of horsehit. This does not look informative and I have better things to do with 96 minutes that to even find out. It's not worth my time.

How about a documentary with legal scholars and investigative journalists of old (Arianna Huffington?! Please!) grilling the lobbyists, law enforcement, prosecutors, and every above as well as researching the money trail.

THAT would be interesting and informative.

Re:Let me guess. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 10 months ago | (#44209659)

There's some truth in those. Not the pharmaceutical industry part, but the others.

US prisons are largely privately owned for-profit facilities. As might be expected, this means they put a little effort as possible into rehabilitation. To them, a repeat offender is a repeat customer - rehabilitation costs too much money, and does nothing to turn a profit. This also plays well politically - votes are easily gained by a show of being 'tough on crime' and casting the criminal population as demons to be hunted down, but a focus on rehabilitation or lighter sentencing leaves a politician open to accusations of weakness and endangering public safety.

Law enforcement above the very lowest levels is a political job, and drug busts are an easy way to advance a career. Minimal investigation needed, a nice two-dimensional evildoer to catch without any public sympathy, usually a quick and simple trial or plea bargin. Your basic good-vs-evil thing, great for impressing the public with minimal risk.

I'm not saying that there is any sort of grand conspiracy or shadow council running the drug war - just that, for a lot of people in key positions, keeping it going is to their benefit. They can't win (because any idiot can grow pot), but profit from the constant effort. Either financially or via career advancement.

Re:Let me guess. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210255)

US prisons looks more and more like slavery reinstated by the back door

Re:How to make money selling drugs. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209407)

>Hint: it's not who you think it is ;)

No, I'm pretty 100% certain it's the Jews. If the documentary doesn't mention that, then Jews made the documentary.

Re:How to make money selling drugs. (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 10 months ago | (#44209817)

And featuring prominently in the credits is 50 cent.
This documentary just lost all credibility with me.

Re:How to make money selling drugs. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#44210313)

And featuring prominently in the credits is 50 cent.
This documentary just lost all credibility with me.

I bet he'd feel the same way about your slashdot comments, if he had any idea who you were, or what slashdot was.

Horrible Summary (2, Informative)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | about 10 months ago | (#44209339)

Can we at least make sure stuff is adequately summarized before it hits the front page?
For the record, it was in South Carolina.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston [wikipedia.org]
Geography

In Australia:

        Charleston, South Australia

In Canada:

        Charleston, Newfoundland and Labrador
        Charleston, Nova Scotia

In New Zealand:

        Charleston, New Zealand

In United Kingdom:

        Charleston, Dundee, an area of Dundee, Scotland
        Charleston, Angus, near Dundee, Scotland
        Charleston, Paisley, Scotland

In the United States:

        Charleston, Arizona
        Charleston, Arkansas
        Charleston, California (disambiguation)
                Charleston, Merced County, California
                Charleston, Yolo County, California
        Charleston, Illinois
        Charleston, Iowa
        Charleston, Kentucky
        Charleston, Maine
        Charleston, Mississippi
        Charleston, Missouri
        Charleston, New York, in upstate New York
        Charleston, Staten Island, in New York City
        Charleston, Oklahoma
        Charleston, Oregon
        Charleston, South Carolina
        Charleston, Tennessee
        Charleston, Utah
        Charleston, Vermont
        Charleston, West Virginia, the state capital
        Charleston County, South Carolina
        Charleston Township, Coles County, Illinois
        Charleston Township, Michigan
        Charleston Township, Tioga County, Pennsylvania
        Mount Charleston, Nevada, a mountain town in Clark County, Nevada
        Mount Charleston, Nevada, the highest mountain in the Spring Mountain Range
        North Charleston, South Carolina
        South Charleston, Ohio
        South Charleston, West Virginia
        West Charleston, Ohio

Re:Horrible Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209439)

Can we at least make sure stuff is adequately summarized before it hits the front page?

You must be new here.

Re:Horrible Summary (2, Insightful)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 10 months ago | (#44209835)

Can we at least make sure stuff is adequately summarized before it hits the front page?

As already said, you must be new here.

For the record, it was in South Carolina.

Umm, what the heck? When a name like "Charleston" is just given without any other qualifier, it's obviously referencing the most well-known city with that name, i.e., the one in South Carolina.

Given that the "U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration" is explicitly mentioned, the summary automatically rules out your localities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK, so listing those as possible interpretations of the summary is ridiculous and ignorant.

And while, yes, there is possibly one other well-known Charleston on your list (the capital of West Virginia), the rest of the members on your list of U.S. cities are not generally known widely enough that they would be recognized by a wider audience without qualification.

I'm not from the South, nor have I lived most of my life in the southern U.S., but if I said the name "Charleston" to just about anyone I know, without further qualification, they would assume I'm talking about Charleston, SC (unless context suggested otherwise).

When someone says "New York" in an article, you don't assume they are talking about New York in Linconshire in the UK [wikipedia.org] , nor do they think you might be talking about New York, Kentucky [wikipedia.org] or New York, Texas [wikipedia.org] . Similarly, a story about "Los Angeles" shouldn't leave the reader befuddled about whether we're talking about Los Angeles, Texas [wikipedia.org] , let alone the much more significant city of Los Angeles in Chile [wikipedia.org] . If you're from West Virginia, I can understand being a little irked that the South Carolinian Charleston is more famous, but just about all of the other Charleston locations you listed in the U.S. are pretty insignificant, with most of them having populations of a few hundred to a couple thousand. Heck, you even listed Charleston, Arizona [wikipedia.org] and Charleston, Oklahoma [wikipedia.org] , which are both freakin' ghost towns.

Next time, take two minutes and do some research by clicking the top link for "Charleston" in an internet search before pasting in an irrelevant list from Wikipedia that you didn't even bother to read.

Re:Horrible Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44209991)

When a name like "Charleston" is just given without any other qualifier, it's obviously referencing the most well-known city with that name, i.e., the one in South Carolina.

It's obvious to who? I didn't know it existed until now.

Re:Horrible Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210557)

I live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (there are a few Amsterdams :-).
Most people would call it Holland, but that would be like calling the U.S.A. "Dakota" (which from last week onward I have vowed to call the U.S.A :-).

I am European, but that doesn't guarantee my knowledge of geography.
I have heard of Charleston, I believe it is a dance, and it feels southern, I would not have known it would be in South Carolina.

Oh, I guess I could use Carolina as a name for the U.S.A. as well.

Horrible List (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210305)

There hasn't been a Charleston in Yolo County, CA, for a long time.

Re:Horrible Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44210491)

there's TONS of CharlesTONS, but CharlesTOWN, Mass. is The Town [wikipedia.org] ! Represent!

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