« How fractured the world - Wolf's Building Imaginary Worlds | Main | Amazon launches virtual currency »

Jan 22, 2013



Aren't there already laws that prevent non-government organisations such as companies from issuing currency?


There are laws requiring that a person accept paper money issued by the government as a form of payment at the stated face value. There are also regulations on customer loyalty programs. But to my knowledge there are no laws defining a exactly what will be understood as a "private currency" and declaring that no one may issue it. It's thorny.

I imagine there's a substantial chilling effect. It's not clear how regulators and courts would react. Meanwhile, though, nothing has stopped Bitcoin and Yutils from operating freely. Liberty Reserve is a huge processing system. What's the line between a processing system and a currency? Where are the bright lines between Facebook's currency exchange system, Liberty Reserve, the Federal Reserve, and Starbucks/Square?


Super. Now when they screw up my order and give me a credit for a free cappuccino I'll have to get a 1099-MISC to go with.


I suspect that by 2023 enough of these made up virtual currencies will have gone boom that people will consider a private corporation's virtual currency about as stable as the Zaire was.

If these things aren't money then there's no consumer protection at all is there? I could sell you 1000 Stabsies for 1000 dollars then simply close or hyperinflate the currency and keep your money perfectly legally. Caveat emptor.


Excuse me if I decline to have anything to do with an outfit that has 'struck a payments deal with Starbucks'.

The comments to this entry are closed.