Quotable (#52)

A chunk of impressively scrappy Bitcoin politics commentary at qntra:

In a piece appearing on ZDnet today Ken Hess wrote a piece on his letter campaign to inform United States Senators of “Bitcoin’s illegality” and of how Tom Coburn’s office responded. Mr. Hess’s case for Bitcoin illegality consist of his reading of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 of the United States constitution which enumerates as a power of Congress: “To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;”

And which Mr. Hess interprets as meaning with respect to Bitcoin: “What makes it illegal is Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 of the Constitution of the United States. Only the US Treasury can coin currency. If the US government doesn’t produce currency, it is illegal. End of story. Now you have the confirmation from a US Senator to prove it.”

This of course is the result of a tortured reading of the United States Constitution and gross misunderstanding of the relationship between Bitcoin and the United States. Bitcoin is foreign to the United States, and the politics of Bitcoin are such that Bitcoin exists. Bitcoin exists whether the legislature of the United States wants it to or not. The only extent to which the United States can allow anything at all with respect to Bitcoin is the extent to which it can reform itself to work inside Bitcoin.

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