Internet commerce and business is almost completely conducted in soft electronic currency, one in which transactions are reversible, and exchanges are overseen by trusted third parties such as banks and credit card companies. Furthermore, transactions are virtually never anonymous, and records of all financial actions are dutifully stored.


While this way of conducting business aligns closely with the economic philosophies and goals of the US federal government, an opposing outlook has emerged and materialized in the form of Bitcoin. Based on a 2009 paper by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is a digital currency that is fully anonymous, decentralized, and non-reversible. The system eschews the more common idea of a trusted third party and instead utilizes strong cryptography to ensure the safety and security of the currency.


Just like traditional currency, one can purchase Bitcoins on an exchange or receive Bitcoins in return for goods or services performed. However, unique to Bitcoin is the ability to obtain Bitcoins by solving difficult math problems that expands the Bitcoin network.


Proponents of Bitcoin extol the virtues of a currency free from any regulation and with an un-manipulable value. However, there are some serious economic, legal, and political questions to be raised regarding Bitcoin.


Many doubt whether Bitcoin should legal. As it is fully secure, anonymous, and decentralized, there is no way to tax or regulate transactions. If it were to grow significantly in popularity, Bitcoin could start to undermine many of the financial roles of government. There is also a possibility that the anonymous nature of the currency could facilitate many black-market, or otherwise illegal transactions.


This Website's Goal

This webiste explores the issues surrounding Bitcoin and attempts to determine what, if any, place Bitcoin or other digital currencies have in our modern economy. Our apporoach to answering the above question is the ask the follwoing questions.

  1. What is Bitcoin?
  2. Is Bitcoin legal under United States law?
  3. Should Bitcoin be legal in the United States?
  4. How can the United States enforce any laws it makes concerning Bitcoin?

As we answer these question we will be taking an indepth look at how Bitcion works, how the United States handles other alternative currencies ,and what implication does a Bitcoin economy arise.

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