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Florida Arrests High-Dollar Bitcoin Exchangers For Money Laundering

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the if-we're-not-peeking-you're-not-allowed dept.

Crime 149

tsu doh nimh writes "State authorities in Florida on Thursday announced criminal charges targeting three men who allegedly ran illegal businesses moving large amounts of cash in and out of the Bitcoin virtual currency. Experts say this is likely the first case in which Bitcoin vendors have been prosecuted under state anti-money laundering laws, and that prosecutions like these could shut down one of the last remaining avenues for purchasing Bitcoins anonymously."

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149 comments

So he agreed to be part of an illegal scheme? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198549)

How is this news?

Re:So he agreed to be part of an illegal scheme? (0, Troll)

Spad (470073) | about 2 months ago | (#46198557)

Bitcoins!

Re:So he agreed to be part of an illegal scheme? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198649)

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet. (Copy-paste the html from here [pastebin.com] so links don't get mangled!)

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design. Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] in a new tab. After seeing that, click here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]

Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors - only discuss Beta
  http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

-----=====##### LINKS #####=====-----

Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=56395415 [slashdot.org]

Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3321441 [slashdot.org]

Alternative Slashdot: http://altslashdot.org [altslashdot.org] (thanks Okian Warrior (537106) [slashdot.org] )

Its not the beta that annoys me. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199269)

It is the people who ruin every single discussion and make it about the beta. Sites change and evolve get over it.

Re:Its not the beta that annoys me. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199703)

Beta isn't evolution, it's chlorination. It will completely sterilize slashdot of all reasons to come here.

Re:So he agreed to be part of an illegal scheme? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198757)

We can be CERTAIN these men are NOT BLACK. Their crime took planning to carry out. Black crimes are more like "guy got beaten over the head or shot by some thug nigger and had his wallet and his valuables stolen".

you know it's true!

Re:So he agreed to be part of an illegal scheme? (0, Offtopic)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 months ago | (#46199091)

Governor Scott, you really shouldn't be on the Internet when you've been drinking.

The people of Florida have enough problems without their governor trolling again.

Re:So he agreed to be part of an illegal scheme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199653)

Governor Scott, you really shouldn't be on the Internet when you've been drinking.

The people of Florida have enough problems without their governor trolling again.

Yes but it is like a Zen koan. When one trolls about niggers, is one truly trolling?

Re:So he agreed to be part of an illegal scheme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199067)

And yet in British Columbia, Canada, the Government of Canada allows a private business to install and operate ATMs specifically for the purpose of exchanging or converting Bitcoins into hard currency.

I bet (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 months ago | (#46198559)

I bet Beta is a money laundering scheme. Florida authorities should be notified.

As to the topic itself, of-course the gov't sees Bitcoins and thinks 'money laundering'. Don't you know? All money belongs to the government, they can't stand the thought of people figuring out this whole freedom thing, what if the people realise they don't actually have to pay taxes en mass and simply don't pay. What happens when everybody simply stops paying?

Re:I bet (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198675)

As to the topic itself, of-course the gov't sees Bitcoins and thinks 'money laundering'. Don't you know? All money belongs to the government,

All money is regulated by the democratically elected government, yes.

they can't stand the thought of people figuring out this whole freedom thing,

No, people with a dictator complex like the thought of creating something unaccountable to government, i.e. unaccountable to the people.

what if the people realise they don't actually have to pay taxes en mass and simply don't pay.

"What if Somalia?"

What happens when everybody simply stops paying?

What if everyone just starts raping and shooting everyone? What if the real world was like one dimensional fiction? Nerds, tell us.

Re:I bet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46200415)

No, people with a dictator complex like the thought of creating something unaccountable to government, i.e. unaccountable to the people.

Not everything need be accountable to government or the people they represent. Very little would be legal and no one would be free under such a system. It's the height of hypocrisy to suggest the free actions of consenting adults is somehow indicative of a dictator complex. Projecting much?

While I don't have a problem with the government managing and regulating a currency on behalf of the people they represent, in a free society, government should not have a monopoly on currency, outlawing all other forms. Not to mention, the US government, among others, have abused their power to manage the people's currency by debasing it through inflation -- both as a backdoor method to increase taxes on the people and as a way to reduce the debt they've incurred through their constant spending of the people's money. Those, such as yourself, who defend the government's monopoly of currency, naively and ignorantly endorse this activity.

Such abuse by the government illustrates why the people should be free to create their own forms of currency and methods of exchanging goods and services, if they so choose -- not that abuse by government is a required justification in a free society. Provided all exchanges are voluntary and nothing is misrepresented, why should government or anyone else care how free people exchange goods and services amongst themselves? The answer, of course, is that they shouldn't. That is unless you are a tyrant or dictator.

Bigger crime here (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198563)

The bigger crime here is slashdot beta. Even worse than the "Business Intelligence" dashboard.

Re:Bigger crime here (-1, Offtopic)

cshark (673578) | about 2 months ago | (#46198631)

It is awful.

Re:Bigger crime here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198671)

Like slashdot beta?

Captcha: Sincere

Re:Bigger crime here (0)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 months ago | (#46198937)

Posts about the slashcott have been deleted.

Re:Bigger crime here (0)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | about 2 months ago | (#46198993)

Oh, no they haven't - they're still here but have been modded down to -1. What level are you browsing at?

Re:Bigger crime here (0)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 months ago | (#46199101)

Oh, no they haven't - they're still here but have been modded down to -1. What level are you browsing at?

Thanks - you were right I was browsing at 0.

HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199985)

Hoist with your own petard!

Florida arrests Dice for rolling out BETA! (-1, Offtopic)

foobar bazbot (3352433) | about 2 months ago | (#46198581)

Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet. (Copy-paste the html from here [pastebin.com] so links don't get mangled!)

On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design. Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] in a new tab. After seeing that, click here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.

We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]

Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
Commentors - only discuss Beta
  http://slashdot.org/recent [slashdot.org] - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

-----=====##### LINKS #####=====-----

Discussion of Beta: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=56395415 [slashdot.org]

Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&type=submission&id=3321441 [slashdot.org]

Alternative Slashdot: http://altslashdot.org [altslashdot.org] (thanks Okian Warrior (537106) [slashdot.org] )

And the circle is complete (1)

djupedal (584558) | about 2 months ago | (#46198609)

"Coin Wash Laundry" ...and how many times has one been a front for a counterfeit puppy sex change massage parlor bag drop underground railroad safe house, after all.

BITCOIN !! MONEY LAUNDERING !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198611)

Duh !!

Crack pipe !!
Crack addict !!
Duh !!

Hoe !!
Pimp !!
Prostitution !!

Beta !!
Slashdot !!
Pile o'shit !!

Yeah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198619)

Fuck BETA and the horse it rode in on.

Re:Yeah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199343)

Fuck BETA Fuck BETA Fuck BETA

Go ahead, waste mod points on me you BETA fanboys !!

Re:Yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199423)

Idiots wasting mod points on negative BETA comments, or could it be DICE marketing droids doing it? oh and fuck BETA.

why does my comment always get fucking delete?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199549)

I've typed comments out durring lunch that took a moment to revise and after posting and checking on it later.. it doesn't even show existing. WTF. so frustrating, it makes me feel you slashdotters live in such a closed universe you can parse out the hethen brogrammers like me when we toss our two cents.

maybe it's just me and not slashdot

but fuck it, and fuck beta! This looks like crap. there is too much space all around and no info. why this beta look like a wordpress anyway? cmon! and it's too bright here

Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims? (1)

cshark (673578) | about 2 months ago | (#46198623)

I would make a case for entrapment. If anyone comes to you and says something along the lines of, "I've got some drug money to launder, I need $30,000 in bitcoins..." don't say yes. I mean, Jesus Christ, how fantastically stupid do you have to be to go for that?! Still, law enforcement is breaking the law when they create crimes to arrest people for. Beyond that, unless they're going to make private money transactions illegal, this case doesn't really mean anything for the bigger picture.

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (0, Troll)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#46198645)

It's law enforcement, so they get to break the law whenever they want to, even if it means slaughtering someone in full view of online media (Fullerton, CA). If the existing law fails them, they can use made-up economic crimes like "money laundering," which is nothing but the legal term for trading in cash.

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199329)

can we kill the statist fuck who modded this troll?

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (1)

CTU (1844100) | about 2 months ago | (#46198647)

Yeah I agree. It should mpt be a crim for people to do what they wish with their money. So unless they willingly take in money they knew was from drugs or something ilegal then there should NOT be a case.

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 months ago | (#46198721)

It depends on how law enforcement first came into contact with those that were arrested. The article is somewhat ambiguous about how these guys came to the attention of law enforcement. It does appear that the only real crime these guys committed was being "unlawful money transmitters", which seems like a crime that should not exist to me. When the undercover agent told them that they wanted the bitcoins in order to do something illegal, they should have told them, "Sorry, I will not do business with you." Not because I think that they should legally have to care, but because people who genuinely want bitcoins to do something illegal are not likely to tell you that. This suggests that the person who is telling you his reasons is something other than someone who wants to conduct a transaction. It also seems likely that the reason they presented that they wanted to use the bitcoins for something illegal was because they doubted a jury would have convicted the men on the "unlawful money transmitters" charge.

Ultimately, I do not know if this was entrapment by the legal definition, but it does seem like a waste of law enforcement resources.

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46200113)

I do not see how they can bust someone for money laundering when BitCoin isn't even considered a valid currency, under US law. And the Feds have continued to use illegal, and entrapment tactics, and they continue to get away with it.

Im sure some lawyers will figure out a way to ruin the feds case, the feds have always been morons and tried to destroy anything that gives people any "real" or "true" freedom.

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (2)

westlake (615356) | about 2 months ago | (#46198771)

I would make a case for entrapment.

If you step into trap willingly, it ain't entrapment.

Still, law enforcement is breaking the law when they create crimes to arrest people for.

This is beyond stupid.

Money laundering has been practiced for over 6000 years, but the term itself comes from the prohibition era of American history.

money laundering [urbandictionary.com]

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (2, Interesting)

tftp (111690) | about 2 months ago | (#46198851)

If anyone comes to you and says something along the lines of, "I've got some drug money to launder, I need $30,000 in bitcoins..." don't say yes. I mean, Jesus Christ, how fantastically stupid do you have to be to go for that?!

On the other hand, one has to be fantastically naive to expect a similar magnitude of business from people who only want to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. BTC attracts criminal proceeds like honey attracts flies. In essence, there is hardly any legal use of BTC (outside of pure speculation and experiments.)

One would be better off buying that TV or that subscription with an inflating currency than with a deflating one. Credit cards also give you insurance, and protection, and a small kickback, and a grace month during which you own the item but haven't paid for it yet.

Reality bites. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 2 months ago | (#46198911)

I would make a case for entrapment.

If you step into a trap willingly, it ain't entrapment.

Still, law enforcement is breaking the law when they create crimes to arrest people for.

This is beyond stupid.

The elements of the crime of money laundering are set forth in the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. [2000] It is defined as knowingly engaging in a financial transaction with the proceeds of a crime for the purpose of concealing or disguising the illicit origin of the property from governments.

Criminalizing money laundering [wikipedia.org]

Money laundering has been practiced for over 6000 years, but the term itself comes from the prohibition era of American history.

money laundering [urbandictionary.com]

unless they're going to make private money transactions illegal, this case doesn't really mean anything for the bigger picture

[Cash for legal purposes is defined as any] transaction in which the recipient knows the payer is trying to avoid the reporting of the transaction on Form 8300.

FAQs Regarding Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000 (Form 8300) [irs.gov]

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 months ago | (#46199061)

Still, law enforcement is breaking the law when they create crimes to arrest people for.

It happens all the time, the best example being the "To Catch a Predator" type stings. Law Enforcement create a situation, a honeypot if you will, and waits for the flies. Fake pawn shops for fencing stolen goods is another example. Cops have also been known to encourage murder-for-hire in domestic situations like messy divorces.

But like this Bitcoin thing, "entrapment" is not legally defined the way most people suppose it is... In criminal law, entrapment is when a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit an offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit. They seem to get around it by supposedly providing opportunities to walk away. But like a fat person in front of a table piled high with Little Debbie's [littledebbie.com] , it usually works out for the cops...

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199281)

Cops have also been known to encourage murder-for-hire in domestic situations like messy divorces.

Wait, wha?.. How does that even work? Got pointers on further reading about that? Should be an interesting read.

How can you nonchalantly push someone towards hiring an assasin in case like this - and prove afterwards that there was gonna be murder anyways even if you didn't push them?

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 months ago | (#46199523)

Wait, wha?.. How does that even work? Got pointers on further reading about that? Should be an interesting read.

I should have been more specific: The under-cover cop encourages the perp to hire the under-cover cop to kill the spouse. Quite common with these sorts of crimes.

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199617)

Oh, ok, now that makes sense. Finding it was easy now, too.

For those looking, searching "undercover cop+divorce" gives plenty of hits about that case, and even a candid video of negotiations [mirror.co.uk] .

Re: Why do they always make grand inaccurate claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199709)

In case your anyone forgot to tell you. I someone asks if thou art a god you say yes.
If someone ask will you commit a crime if I pay you money you say no.

Re:Why do they always make grand inaccurate claims (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 2 months ago | (#46199875)

It means that the federal government is serious about treating bitcoins as a real currency. Which means that if you're an exchange you better file suspicious activity reports and comply with all the legislation and if you're an individual you better pay taxes on whatever you own. It's going to be incredibly difficult to convert bitcoins from anything like silk road into US dollars because you're going to get reported to the government at some point along the way.

It also means that pretty soon that anyone doing legitimate business in Bitcoin is going to be identifiable in the transaction history, which is going to be kind of interesting and make the feds wet themselves with glee. Bitcoin is not anonymous, it was only anonymous because the exchanges weren't following the law.

Slashdot in Florida (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198639)

Rolling Slashdot Beta in Florida is against the law and will be punishable to the maximum penalty allowed by the local law.

Long live the FUCK BETA!

sounds like they have a case (4, Insightful)

NynexNinja (379583) | about 2 months ago | (#46198655)

If someone comes up to your business and says "hey i'm going to use this for illegal purposes", and then you agree to accept the money, you're in violation of several laws. RICO is one, and so is money laundering in some cases. His biggest mistake was at the point when they said what they were going to use the money for, in this case to buy stolen credit cards online, he accepted the deal and continued working with them. He should have said that he doesn't do anything illegal and not dealt with the potential customer at that point. That would have shielded him from liability.

Re:sounds like they have a case (5, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | about 2 months ago | (#46198817)

His biggest mistake was not being politically connected, like HSBC, where they have laundered money for drug dealers and terrorists. They just got a slap on the wrist with a fine. There are two classes of people in America, those who are politically connected, and are immune to jail time, and the rest of America, who are bound to infinite arbitrary laws which are selectively enforced.

Re:sounds like they have a case (4, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 2 months ago | (#46199065)

It's less about being politically correct than it is about the amount that was laundered. If there were six more zeroes at the end of the sum, the guy would have gotten off with a warning.

Re:sounds like they have a case (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#46200551)

It's less about being politically correct than it is about the amount that was laundered. If there were six more zeroes at the end of the sum, the guy would have gotten off with a warning.

Sigh. That is a load of horseshit, and you should be embarrassed for believing that all it takes is to be involved in high-profile economic activity. Counterexamples abound. You have to be well-connected. http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com] https://libcom.org/library/all... [libcom.org]

Re:sounds like they have a case (2)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 2 months ago | (#46199895)

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) was founded by a Scotsman in 1865 to take advantage of the opening of trade with China, including the opium trade. They have been laundering money for drug pushers from the start, back when the British were the drug pushers.

Re:sounds like they have a case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199631)

I bet no one at the bank ever got arrested because a person who cashed his check said I am going to use my money to do illegal things on the internet.

Matter of time (3, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 months ago | (#46198665)

The entire 'barter system' scares governments as they cant track and tax it. Things like bitcoin will be crushed, one way or another.

They also are not keen on regular currency, for similar reasons.

Re:Matter of time (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 months ago | (#46198685)

No it's government that will be crushed. It's just a matter of time. It always is. And then the game starts again.

Re:Matter of time (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 months ago | (#46198751)

No, Bitcoin is actually very close to their wet dream; they just need a little additional legislation:

* Require that each bitcoin wallet is registered with the owner's name at some government agency and make it a crime to use unregistered bitcoin wallets
* Make it a crime to use or provide mixing services (possibly already covered by money laundering laws)

That way, they'll have what they dream of: A complete record of every single transaction a person makes. The bitcoin protocol gives them the wallet numbers involved in the transaction, and the government database gives them the owner of the wallet.

Re:Matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199143)

That way, they'll have what they dream of: A complete record of every single transaction a person makes

That already exists, it's called a credit card statement.

The only way out of the hole is cash, which is why "money laundering" is a thing, it makes it impossible for the government to track where money is going unless the people receiving it keep track for them.

Re:Matter of time (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 months ago | (#46199195)

Bills have serial numbers. How hard do you think it is to have ATM's scan serial numbers on the bills they dispense so the machine/bank/gov't knows who they were given to, and have the bank scan in the deposits so they know who is receiving the bills? Not hard at all. I'm not saying it's actually being done - at least for smaller denominations, but implementation is trivial considering how everything is automated nowadays. Oh it wouldn't be a perfect system, there would still be a gap before a bill is put into or taken out of circulation, but this gap may be much less than one would assume.

Re:Matter of time (1)

EETech1 (1179269) | about 2 months ago | (#46199773)

I have had that same thought. I'm sure ATM's could record the numbers, as well as the counting machines that are used when you bring in lots of bills to the bank.

My old bank put in an automated counter that dispensed your with withdrawal to the teller, and it didn't give me the correct amount and the cashier called in back and they verified the transaction and gave me my missing money.

I asked her previously why they didn't count the money back when they gave it to me out of the machine, and she said they didn't have to anymore.

They didn't have to come count what was left in the machine, so they must have reviewed what went out to me and counted every bill it dispensed to find out. The part of the machine that dispensed the money thought it did the right thing, so there had to be another way for them to remotely verify my transaction that was independent from the counter mechanism. What better way than to independently take a picture or record the serial numbers of each bill dispensed. With how terrible the BETA site is, I mean after what we've learned from Edward Snowden, just imagine what that system is all connected to!

I'm sure there's a list of bills that are known to still exist from a time before they could record everything that get heavily scrutinized when they finally show back up at the bank. Who had these and how did they get them, because there's 99999 more of those $100 bills have been hiding (likely in sequential order) somewhere for 20+ years.

Re:Matter of time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198989)

This is what people don't understand though, bitcoin is actually more traceable than cash. It is not anonymous* and was never meant to me.

* Yeah, yeah, mining and transferring coins behind 8 proxies it might be somewhat but not any more than anything else you do on the Internet

Re:Matter of time (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 2 months ago | (#46199063)

This is something the voters in a democracy need to decide. Do they want it to be possible to conduct large anonymous transactions or not. There are advantages and disadvantages to either choice. The technology is almost irrelevant, what matters is the desired outcome.

For the people who argue that voting doesn't matter, that the government is controlled by non-democratic entities, then there isn't much to do, since then those entities will decide what they do or don't want. Again the technology really isn't important.

Re:Matter of time (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 2 months ago | (#46200015)

The "barter system" doesn't scare anyone because on a macro scale it doesn't work and never has. The fact that it doesn't work is entirely why currency was invented in the first place, nothing to do with taxes, taxes existed just fine in pre-currency economies, they just required your labour or the fruits thereof rather than cash.

Leaving that aside, Bitcoin isn't a barter system, it's a currency just like US dollars. It's a deflationary currency with huge privacy and security issues, but it's still a currency. Barter is the direct exchange of value for value (goods for other goods or services).

Open source HA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198669)

Awww did the open source fags get popped? Yes they did - suckers!

Reply (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198681)

What the hell are you talking about - you miserable, self-hating faggot?

Am I the only person that likes Beta? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198683)

From the dawn of bulletin boards, operators have been besieged by faithful users every single time the interface was overhauled. Yet nearly as many times, within a few months of the new interface nobody can even imagine those dark, dark days of being forced to use the prior one.

You need to embrace the future to continue to be a part of it. Sometimes you even need to get a step or two ahead of it. Beta represents movement in that direction, and on reflection could probably use a few additional enhancements to appeal to a new user base:

  • It's vital that it works on mobile, but to truly attract the cellphone audience it should emit satisfying audio responses to user input or delay.
  • There is a distinct lack of video, and for a website to really pop these days it should begin playing any streaming content the instant you load a page (that's why you're there, right?)
  • Huffington Post gave users badges and highlights for... fuck if I know, but they sold for $315 million. Make some badges.
  • Make bulleted lists work again.

It's like peeling off an exceptionally large bandaid. You should do it fast, without complaint, and maybe with the help of a few friends. Things will be back to normal before you know it.

Re:Am I the only person that likes Beta? (-1, Offtopic)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 months ago | (#46198707)

Make bulleted lists work again.

Dice won't give us bullets, for fearing that they'll end up in the heads of those who decided to create beta. ;-)

Re:Am I the only person that likes Beta? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199107)

Make bulleted lists work again.

Dice won't give us bullets, for fearing that they'll end up in the heads of those who decided to create beta. ;-)

You must be speaking of the Indian overlords at Dice Holdings. Yeah they should be deported to Club Gitmo because the job board has been useless. I see the same jobs posted month after month by the same companies. Really? Are these companies all waiting for the proverbial purple squirrel? A bullet in the head of these clowns is too humane.

Re:Am I the only person that likes Beta? (-1, Offtopic)

maliqua (1316471) | about 2 months ago | (#46198777)

if that what you want then use every other site on the fucking internet thats not what we want here
we want content density, comments and minimal javascript

i have to assume you work in the DICE marketing or web design department because i can't imagine anyone else who uses this site spouting crap like that.

Re:Am I the only person that likes Beta? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198801)

if that what you want then use every other site on the fucking internet thats not what we want here
we want content density, comments and minimal javascript

i have to assume you work in the DICE marketing or web design department because i can't imagine anyone else who uses this site spouting crap like that.

Whoosh.

Re:Am I the only person that likes Beta? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198789)

You forgot a rich and varied set of emoticons. :)

Re:Am I the only person that likes Beta? (2)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 months ago | (#46198913)

There is a distinct lack of video, and for a website to really pop these days it should begin playing any streaming content the instant you load a page

I can't think of a better example of what I DON'T want slashdot to ever do.

"really pop" - WTF, are you fucking serious?

Bitcoins are the future. Betacoins are here! (-1, Offtopic)

gridzilla (778890) | about 2 months ago | (#46198695)

We are Dice. Lower your standards and surrender your community. We will add all your story submissions and any associated posts to BETA. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

Re:Bitcoins are the future. Betacoins are here! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198765)

Why not create a usenet newsgroup or select an existing one, and move the community there.

Re:Bitcoins are the future. Betacoins are here! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 months ago | (#46198887)

How do you implement Slashdot's moderation system on Usenet?

Otherwise, creating alt.slashdot should be easy.

But maybe we should borrow ideas from Slashdot's current darling, Bitcoin: Make a distributed cryptographic Karma system!

Anyway, this discussion is better done over there. That submission has too few comments anyway.

Old Nerds Against Change (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198743)

We are ONAC. We demand that you keep Slashdot the way it is. The way that WE like it! By the way, get off our lawns!

Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (5, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46198747)

... why, if news stories are any indication, there seems to be such a high percentage of money laundering activity or the like compared to what happens with other forms of currency?

This is a sincere question... not a challenge to the usefulness or benefits of bitcoin, but just a question that, if bitcoin is to really have any kind of future, I think that people who *are* law abiding and might want to use it someday really need to understand.

Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (4, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 2 months ago | (#46198877)

I'm not a Bitcoin advocate.. At least, not of the currency - the technology is marvelous, however. Nevertheless, here's a shot at answering your question...

I think one of the issues here is that it concerns a very specific type of money laundering - if it can even be called that.

Basically the seller is acting as a money services business, without being licensed to do. As such, they do not formally have AML (anti-money laundering) and KYC (know-your-customer) compliance anywhere on their radar. That, in turn, can lead to the actual money laundering allegation.

I say allegation, because there's no 'money laundering' going on when you decide to sell your PS3 for $100 to buy some BTC with that somebody just mined on their rig. Nowhere in that entire exchange chain would there be an illicit aspect.

That explains one aspect of why 'money laundering' seems to pop up relatively often.

Another aspect is that you, me, and everybody can fairly easily buy, and sell, Bitcoin to whoever we want. If you want to buy Euros, you'll have to go to an exchange bureau. If you want to sell them again, you'll have to go to an exchange bureau. Those are, of course, licensed money services, but there's also far fewer of them - generally only at major international ports (be that airport or seaport and maybe the odd exchange bureau at border towns).
Loosely tied into this is the fact that in the U.S. you really don't have much use for alternative currencies. Sure, you can buy some Canadian dollars or some Pesetas. But why would you, unless you were to go to those countries? You can't exactly spend it at a website. With Bitcoin, you can. So there's far fewer such exchanges occurring 'in the wild' to begin with.

And, lastly (well there's a few more, but I see these as the major ones) - well, let's face it.. Bitcoin em used for quite a few illicit purposes. Be that the well-known Silk Road aspect, or people in other criminal circuits trying to look clean, or even just people who want to hide some of their money from the IRS.

Oh, and also, it's actually a fair bit easier to identify the parties in these cases. If you're a major Bitcoin exchange, you undoubtedly have a business address or have some other way to be found. If you're a user of localbitcoins.com then you can simply be invited for an exchange and could be arrested on the spot. Finding out money laundering operations, locations, etc. in the traditional movie-/TV-show-popularized sense is, quite frankly, a lot harder.

Anyone can buy and sell Euros (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199097)

If you want to buy Euros, you'll have to go to an exchange bureau

Not true. At least not universally true.

As long as the dollar-value is small and there's not some other crime, like fraud or misrepresentation going on, nobody is going to care. If I come back from a trip to Europe with a pocket full of Euros and sell them to a friend who is about to go there himself, I dare the Feds to arrest us for money-laundering. If they tried, it would be a public-relations nightmare.

Heck, some local ethnic-oriented businesses even advertise that they "accept [insert non-US currency here]." Of course, the exchange rate is very favorable to them and as a result there is very little in the way of "selling goods for [insert currency here]" going on.

Captcha: exchange

Re:Anyone can buy and sell Euros (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 2 months ago | (#46199643)

True, and of course you can do this for small and big amounts.

However, for the latter, it seems as though you in fact run afoul of some laws, depending on state, etc. See also a comment of mine further down.

Businesses accepting non-local currency is a bit different, as they tend to sell goods - rather than another currency. However, that prompts further questions again which...is also in that other comment :D

Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198881)

I'm not a bitcoin advocate, but I think I have an explanation.

Regular currency has controls that generally prevent large amounts of it from being spent conveniently without entering the banking system and thereby being trackable (for plenty of good reasons for government -- the money's harder to hide from taxes, illegal ventures become less profitable for criminals, etc.) Bitcoin doesn't have these controls.

Relative to using regular currency, Bitcoin carries more risk (in my humble opinion, others may vary.) So the people who seek it out at present are a mix of people who are politically interested in seeing it succeed, think it's a cool technology and would like to see it succeed, trying to get rich quick with mining/investing, or who think they can fly under the radar with it for illegal activity. There aren't enough places you can casually spend Bitcoin yet, and I think that has to change before you see it open up to more "legit" traffic because otherwise what use does the average person have for it? But then I could see it disrupting credit/debit cards for online payments at the very least.

Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46198927)

A bitcoin advocate's position on this would be something along the lines of "because government wants to destroy bitcoin, and government owns the media."

However, this tells you more about bitcoin advocates than it does about your original question.

Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (3, Insightful)

Bronster (13157) | about 2 months ago | (#46198955)

Tell me the last time you heard a cash story that wasn't about money laundering or counterfeit cash.

Person pays person for product and/or service, everybody happy with transaction - not news.

Basically, news stories are an indication of shit that sells news - and unsurpisingly, money laundering is one of those things. So news stories are biased. You mostly hear about the things which are crap, because they're "newsworthy".

#include

Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46199113)

My point is that you *don't* hear about those things as often as you do with bitcoin, and I was wondering why.

Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (1)

tftp (111690) | about 2 months ago | (#46199493)

My point is that you *don't* hear about those things as often as you do with bitcoin, and I was wondering why.

You probably do [michellemalkin.com] , but you simply don't pay attention [wikipedia.org] . (Those examples are just from the top of a random Google search.) A bureaucrat takes cash bribe for a favor ... stop the presses!

On top of that, I would think that a large number of cash transactions are successful, and invisible to the government. (All drugs are sold and resold for cash, modulo the extinct Silk Road.) The proceeds are then carefully and accurately laundered through a network of businesses; and those operations are not ran by fools, like in this case. The underground economy is alive and well, and its size far exceeds the entire supply of BTC in the world.

The last "cash" story I heard was something else (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199115)

Tell me the last time you heard a cash story that wasn't about money laundering or counterfeit cash

The last "cash" story I heard was about a homeless guy who turned in a bag or wallet or something full of cash to the police. The rightful owner was very grateful.

This was in the last few weeks. And yes, I am in the USA.

Captcha: charity

Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 2 months ago | (#46198961)

... why, if news stories are any indication, there seems to be such a high percentage of money laundering activity or the like compared to what happens with other forms of currency?

It only seems that way because when (several orders of magnitude more) money laundering happens on a regular basis involving any of the national currencies, it doesn't generally make the news, whereas anything involving bitcoins is apparently newsworthy—including some rather careless individuals getting arrested for knowingly participating in a crime which had very little to do with cryptocurrencies. (In this case the buyers reportedly said that they wanted the bitcoins for the purpose of buying stolen credit cards, and the sellers chose to go through with the transaction anyway.)

Face it, money laundering isn't very interesting on its own. It mostly comes down to failure to file the right paperwork. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is something new and different, so it's no surprise that the news covers Bitcoin-related money laundering and not USD-related money laundering, even though the latter is far more commonplace.

Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (1)

naasking (94116) | about 2 months ago | (#46199105)

... why, if news stories are any indication, there seems to be such a high percentage of money laundering activity or the like compared to what happens with other forms of currency?

Suppose you created an easy to use and widely available barter system that the government does not yet know how to track. Doesn't it make sense that criminals would be some of the very first ones on the bandwagon? Normal currency has less money laundering as a percentage because everyone uses it, and the ratio of crooks to citizens is thus much lower.

A barter system is just a barter system though. People will use it when it's sufficiently convenient and widely available, just like they do the internet despite its use for criminals.

Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (1)

dumky2 (2610695) | about 2 months ago | (#46199741)

Here's another question for you: why is "money laundering" illegal? Two people want to make an exchange, there is no victim.

Most of the money transfers which those laws are supposed to help catch are drug-related. If drugs are de-criminalized or legalized, can we get ride of the money laundering laws too and let innocent civilians do as they want with their property (until proven guilty of an actual crime)?

Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 2 months ago | (#46199993)

Essentially up until fairly recently Bitcoin wasn't considered a "real" thing of value by the US government, which means that bitcoin exchanges weren't required to submit any of the kind of documentation that a bank or forex market would be required to. Specifically in relation to this case, suspicious activity reports. The drastic fluctuations in pricing also made it particularly easy to hide ill gotten gains. Essentially it was under regulated and vastly unstable which made it perfect in a lot of ways for money laundering.

Now of course you won't be able to move more than 10 grand in Bitcoins through any US exchange without them notifying the feds, and other countries will probably follow suit, China has essentially shut down the Bitcoin market there. You're going to have to house exchanges in seriously dodgy places to be able to do anything anonymously and the risk just probably won't be worth it.

Re:Can a bitcoin advocate explain.... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#46200507)

Essentially up until fairly recently Bitcoin wasn't considered a "real" thing of value by the US government, which means that bitcoin exchanges weren't required to submit any of the kind of documentation that a bank or forex market would be required to.

Uh no. And also no. Up until fairly recently, the US government had not made any formal announcement that Bitcoin was considered a real thing. That is however entirely different from your statement. Under the law, if it looks like a bank and smells like a bank then it's required to be a bank and do the things that banks have to do. However, only banks are required to do bank-style reporting. Other agencies which handle large amounts of currency, like casinos, are also required to do similar reporting, but it falls under different rules entirely. Only banks are banks, but anything that acts like a bank has to behave like a bank or it's breaking the law.

Illicit purchase intention aspect isn't one? (3, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 2 months ago | (#46198805)

I see a lot of the comments so far are about how stupid it was to go through with the transaction after it was mentioned that the buyer was going purchase illicit material with it.

However, as I understand it from Krebs' post - and the Florida law in question - that doesn't necessarily factor into it. The law seems to state that as soon as you act as a money transmitter, and the exchange is between $300 and $20k within a 12 month period, without being licensed to do so makes you liable for a third degree felony.

Some questions I would have for a lawyer that actually knows the ins&outs of Florida state law in this field:
1. Is the above, in fact, the case? I.e. are the charges on those accounts completely unrelated to the disclosure of what the purchased material (in this case, Bitcoin) would be used for?
2a. Does that mean that the state of Florida sees Bitcoin as a currency?
2b. If it does not, then how would this same law be applied to e.g. physical goods if used as a material for exchange (e.g. gold nuggets, diamonds, etc.)
3. Would similar apply to a travelers going in opposite directions exchanging their currencies when the value exceeds $300 (something easily possible if you forget to empty out your wallet), rather than going through the official exchange bureaus at the airport (and incurring the rather hefty exchange fees)?

Re:Illicit purchase intention aspect isn't one? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 months ago | (#46199171)

The reason it was stupid to go through with the transaction once it was mentioned that the buyer wanted to make the transaction in order to do something illegal is NOT because (or not just because) doing so made the other party complicit in the illegal behavior thus mentioned. The reason it was stupid is because when someone tells you that they want to buy something from you in order to do something illegal, it is likely that they are law enforcement attempting to catch YOU breaking the law.
In addition it seems to me likely that the reason law enforcement mentioned that they wanted to conduct an illegal operation with the bitcoins was because they suspected that a jury would not actually convict the guy on the other charges, not because he was not guilty, but because they would have thought the charges were silly and/or would not have understood them.

Re:Illicit purchase intention aspect isn't one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199559)

I see a lot of the comments so far are about how stupid it was to go through with the transaction after it was mentioned that the buyer was going purchase illicit material with it.

However, as I understand it from Krebs' post - and the Florida law in question - that doesn't necessarily factor into it. The law seems to state that as soon as you act as a money transmitter, and the exchange is between $300 and $20k within a 12 month period, without being licensed to do so makes you liable for a third degree felony.

I am not a lawyer, I can see why the police did what they did. There are actually two aspects to the allegations here. The first is failing to comply with anti-money laundering laws by not doing the required KYC checks and obtaining the correct licenses. This is in some way a 'passive' offence as it could be done by laziness or misunderstanding. The second is the active offence of helping someone who you know (or think you know) is involved with crime. That's direct money laundering. By constructing a case for both you would greatly strengthen the likelihood of conviction. Even if you don't end up prosecuting for the second alleged offence, you have proved that the first alleged offence wasn't just laziness or misunderstanding on the part of the defendant, so have minimized the chance that the jury or judge will let them off with little or no punishment.

Re:Illicit purchase intention aspect isn't one? (1)

xiando (770382) | about 2 months ago | (#46199723)

> act as a money transmitter, and the exchange is between $300 and $20k within a 12 month period

That's fascism for you, using cash was basically outlawed while you stupid americans were busy watching TV. $300 isn't even one Bitcoin. This effectively makes everyone who buys or sells bitcoins criminals - unless they get a "license" to do something which should be perfectly legal to do without a license in the first place.

Re:Illicit purchase intention aspect isn't one? (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 2 months ago | (#46199819)

$300 isn't even one Bitcoin. This effectively makes everyone who buys or sells bitcoins criminals

Could always sell a fraction of a Bitcoin, of course :)

Re:Illicit purchase intention aspect isn't one? (1)

westlake (615356) | about 2 months ago | (#46200143)

The law seems to state that as soon as you act as a money transmitter, and the exchange is between $300 and $20k within a 12 month period, without being licensed to do so makes you liable for a third degree felony.

The federal rule is that any transaction intended to circumvent the reporting requirements will be treated as a cash transaction.

Bitcoins. Postage stamps. Seashells. It doesn't matter.

Fuck beta (5, Insightful)

Indigo (2453) | about 2 months ago | (#46198875)

The new Slashdot design is based on Windows 8. That fact alone, even aside from the numerous usability issues, indicates that the new owners have no fucking idea in the world what they've acquired.

Slashdot is a technology site, a geek site, an open source site, a programming site, an Internet / Web advocacy site. But more than that, it is a Linux community site. It lives and dies by its community. That community, by and large, is made up of passionate Linux advocates who can be whipped into a frenzy at the mention of Microsoft, who think Bill Gates is the Great Satan, who sincerely believe in free and open source software, and who implement that passion in their lives, hobbies, and jobs. Sure, not everyone here fits the mold. But that's the core of the community.

As one single data point, I work on simulators in the aerospace segment. We develop and integrate specialized, whole-system, software-only simulators, supporting software development when the hardware has limited availability or hasn't been built yet. Our user community is not large, but includes key technical people at well known organizations. Like others we interface with, our work has gone from Windows and Linux in the beginning, to mostly Linux, plus Windows if we have to. That's how we like it. Linux works for us - it's developer friendly, it's rock solid, it's quite deployable, and it lets us do what we need to do. And a bunch of us come to Slashdot to catch the news on Linux and other geek-worthy subjects, and discuss it with others.

And now the owners, having acquired this rather unique and valuable site, want to make it into Windows fucking 8 - the friendly, cuddly, but unusable Fisher-Price operating system that represents everything we despise? The mind reels. You might as well just make it a SEO parking page for Microsoft.

Seriously, DICE, do not do this thing. I know you don't care about the history, community, or shared values of this site, but this move will destroy them, and take the site with it. It will become a ghost town, abandoned by its residents, only visited by tourists and people that got lost on their way somewhere else.

Wow, much troll. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199719)

Lots of trolling here, but I'll try to refute the basics.

The new Slashdot design is based on Windows 8.

Not at all. You're just taking something that's unpopular with the users of this website (certainly not representative of the whole Windows user base) and making an unsupported coloration between the two. If anything, the new Slashdot beta is based on your typical Linux Desktop environment. Poorly organized, with lots of unused space scattered around, and not very functional.

But more than that, it is a Linux community site.

Ehh, fuck off. Yes, there are a large number of Linux zealots that infest this site, but they are NOT the community itself. The Linux zealots abuse the moderation system to support their trolling and have always been the dark side of Slashdot. If the new Beta drives them away, nothing of value was lost.

Seriously, DICE, do not do this thing

Again, and I say this proudly, GO FUCK YOURSELF, ASSHOLE. You've made it clear you're part of the GNU/FREETARD faggot brigade. Find a new place to spread your filth and circle-jerk with your "community" somewhere else.

slashcott (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46199409)

Something tells me 'tsu doh nimh' is a pseudonym.

purpose is irrelevant (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 2 months ago | (#46199721)

From the article;

and Florida’s anti-money laundering statutes, which prohibit the trade or business in currency of more than $10,000.

This is factually incorrect, The satute does not prohibit the transaction, it just requires reporting. This makes me believe that the dealer was charged under 869.102 which mentions "trade or business". Had it been 869.101 them the source of the money would have come into relevance.
The money laundering statute, Title XLVI Chapter 869 section 102 [state.fl.us] , is about reporting.

All persons engaged in a trade or business, except for those financial institutions that report to the Office of Financial Regulation pursuant to s. 655.50, who receive more than $10,000 in currency, including foreign currency, in one transaction, or who receive this amount through two or more related transactions, must complete and file with the Department of Revenue the information required pursuant to 26 U.S.C. s. 6050I., concerning returns relating to currency received in trade or business.

If the bitcoin seller did not collect enough information to fill out the form and report the transaction so he was arrested. The law does not care if the money came from legal or illegal sources. If you don't report the transaction you have broken the law.

What the fuck have you done to slashdont? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46200163)

It is broken.

Get rid of beta ffs, we don't want it.

"High dollar" "bitcoin" (1)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | about 2 months ago | (#46200455)

Which is it, dollars or bitcoin???

Seems the concept is so new that the language hasn't caught up yet.

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