Old daemon and wallet version 0.18.3
Issues for Discussion About FTC Forum Economy
The purpose of this post is to raise some issues that I hope will get discussed, which in turn may provide valuable insight to help guide the progression of FTC.
Context/ Scope: Please keep in mind that this post is not intended to be authoritative, I do not know where the activities take place, the laws that govern that area, or even how crypto currencies get categorized. However, as I’m sure we all do, I pay particular attention to news about government action involving cryptos. Additionally, I am based in the U.S., so my views are largely shaped by how I think it applies to me as a U.S. citizen.
TLDR: (See below line break for this post in all its rambling glory)
1. I like the FTC Market project a lot, and I think its success is very important not just to FTC but to call cryptocoins
2. A successful Market rollout plan needs to be carefully crafted, the suggestions that follow are my personal opinion that Iâ€m hoping will encourage response
- FTCâ€s potential with Market is at hyperbolic levels. There are plenty of ways for it to thud and have no effect one way or the other, but it could also cement a permanent spot in cryptocurrencies
- FTC would benefit by distancing itself from gambling, my opinion is that the gambling options should be removed. Market is legit by all standards, gamblingâ€s legitimacy is subject to all different kinds of standards. I think FTC has more to gain by promoting itself as legit, stable and long term. These are not words that associate smoothly with gambling.
3. Full Tilt Poker, CA vs BTC Foundation, U.S. vs Dwolla/ Mt. Gox. In light of the reasons given for the govâ€t to take action against these companies, it is all about control, reporting and taxing. Past govâ€t actions prove a willingness to be aggressive when threatened by the possibility of not having ultimate control of everyoneâ€s finances. FTC should expect at least some level of interaction. Therefore, probably well worth the extra efforts to develop Market a little tighter, where reasonable and feasible, in areas of transaction history, accounting profits, as well as integrating specific parameters set by specific rules. Ex: AML rules, common charges/ accusations include, fraud, embezzlement, laundering etc, therefore, develop blocks for this kind of activity, be able to produce proof/ documentation/ records etc of proactive efforts made to prevent illegal use.
Note: An FTC scandal hurts everyone, so these safeguards arenâ€t just for compliance, itâ€s for consumer confidence to encourage more activity.
If you have the time, give the rest of this a read â€" below-
Issues for Discussion: FTC seems to be a particularly active community and there appears to be even more efforts put in to grow the community and create more ways to use FTC directly as an exchange for value. By far, my favorite project by FTC is the Market and the development. This effort is a notable indication of the support behind FTC to ensure that it survives the whimsical alt currency market and can prove to be a viable alternative to traditional fiat currency. Based on what I currently know, it appears that those backing FTC are serious about its survival.
However, we may be approaching an important crossroad - this is no exaggeration - a crossroad that could significantly impact whether FTC thrives or dives.
My specific area of concern is how the addition of the Market could effect what is already in place? I personally love the idea of the market, and think that creating a platform where FTC can actually be used as intended is an imperative. While I don’t expect all the details to be revealed to the general public, it would still be good to get some reassurances that various issues have been at least been addressed. The most important of which are probably any AML requirements and/ or other related checks/ licenses/ approvals etc that might be required - and specifically required as a precaution against allowing the services to function as cover for financial crimes.
*Skipping the discussions about the value of freedom of currency vs the value of protection against financial dishonesty*
As the laws currently stand in the U.S., these alt currencies are assigned a value and therefore subject to taxes. The key point here is that alt currencies are given value. I have no idea what kinds of reporting might be necessary, if at all. It could very well be the case that a simple archive of transactions will suffice.
----But it is probably a good idea to at least discuss and address any matters relating to AML requirements, fraud prevention and similar matters. At minimum, it seems like a good idea to put in whatever effort necessary in order to barrier Market from being used as a vehicle or channel for dishonest currency. Ideally, such precautions would serve the dual purpose of keeping the FTC Marketplace safe and honest, along with a strong reputation reflecting this, in addition to meeting regulatory requirement, so as to avoid as much as possible, allowing any ground to open up upon which an injurious action can stand.
Another important topic of discussion - gambling. I can’t emphasize enough how encouraged I am by the development of the Market and the optimism I hold for its success. Market, as conceived, is 100% legit (as far as I know). The business model is without controversy and is accepted as legitimate throughout the world. Promoting FTC on this platform will be a perfect demonstration of the utility of altcoins.
But… Gambling is not so widely accepted. If we are to roll out Market, which suddenly gives altcoins a purpose beyond speculative investment, then we also have to consider that if it really is a game changer as we all hope, then we should expect all FTC activities to be scrutinized. And it is possible, if not altogether more likely, that if people found out that that FTC, already risky because it is a newer currency within an already new category of currency, combined with the knowledge that FTC activity outside of trading was founded on gambling (yes, I am aware of the hypocrisy of that statement, but the intent is to illustrate mainstream thinking), the mainstream reaction could be reluctance. The risk of the premise in altcoin, multiplied by the reputation of having roots in gambling (likely a negative multiplier for a split of the population) is unlikely to yield results that suggest that the a reasonable consumer would have confidence in Market, regardless of everything that it may actually be.
Please consider the following events and how the similarities in fact/ function/ business operation applies to us viewed through a scope of objectivity. Also, please consider the similarities in the government’s motive, whether or not or how it applies to us. (This is certainly not a question I have an answer to, but it is a question that I’ve asked myself. It is through this process of questioning that my thoughts and opinions were largely created and developed)
1. Full Tilt Poker: Online poker site. My recollection was it began due to concerns of circumventing tax laws through improper reporting. My distinct recollection was that the gov’t kept watchful eyes on all online poker activity, and here, there was a very real possibility that the intent to prosecute these businesses was predicated on the mere assumption that a business which operates transactions of tremendous value is automatically a suspicious circumstance and points to acts of impropriety. Although the ends, as realized, were the desired result, the means taken to achieve the desired result created questions. The takeaway lesson I took from this story is that savvy tax calculations must be done correctly and thoroughly. And also that if the gov’t ever takes an interest in you, eyes will be close, and it is only a matter of time before any human being makes a mistake that is grounds for arrest, best to avoid this situation entirely. Other charges that held were violations relating to licenses, gaming permits and other matters related compliance regulation. Plus, fraud and money laundering.
2. Recent Cease and Desist Order Issued by the State of California Against Bitcoin Foundation. My interpretation of the facts is that there was very little basis for the C+D. It seems that the intended goal of this legal action was indirect, certainly, the suggestion that the purpose was to send a general message to the entire community, is supported. When I first read this news, I immediately began thinking back to Full Tilt. All sorts of accusations of financial misdeeds, and between the two completely different businesses, the common element that is likewise the common focus, is that the government gets very uncomfortable when it does not know everything about every dollar that goes in and out of an account. And, while the extent of govâ€t action remains to be seen with BTC and others, it would be very surprising if the govâ€t doesnâ€t expend significant resources towards disrupting or terminating the crypto market. We should, at the very least expect some level of opposition. Of course, the level of opposition will depend on the strength, influence and societal integration of altcurrencies.
3. Freezing of Mt.Gox linked Dwolla Accounts. Iâ€m sure we have all thought about this quite a bit and have our own, highly detailed opinions on the matter. Again, the attack is based on reasons of permitting illegal financial transactions.
When I do the math here, and I start adding things up, I foresee a near certainty that FTC Market will undergo some level of scrutiny. And in light of the actions made by the govâ€t, it is reasonable to conclude that the govâ€t has defined an interest in altcurrencies. I canâ€t tell based on their responses whether any opinions or decisions have been finalized. It is possible, although unlikely, that the immediate objective is merely to slow crypto development while the govâ€t figures out how to address it, whether to enforce bans, develop methods of tracking and accounting, or perhaps even exploring ways to adopt. One certainty is that whatever the govâ€t is working on, the purpose and goal is entirely on being able to regain control of the financial system as completely as possible.
My personal opinion is that if Market is a genuine effort, and the immediate goal is to lay a foundation from which FTC can grow and secure a permanent spot among the altcoins, then our PR efforts - which are already in effect and promoting the support and security of FTC - these efforts should also be applied to how this forum operates. Put plainly, my strong opinion is that, a successful launch of Market should take priority over other FTC action. Additionally, the launch of Market should receive the focus of the community’s attention, this impliedly means that I believe that FTC will benefit in the long run by removing potentially distracting activities such as gambling. I am also stating expressly that I believe that FTC would benefit by the removal of gambling, at least in the short term, because this site, which is the official FTC site and resource, is proactively developing legitimate purpose for FTC. Common sense, supported by mountains of scientific proof, predict that when a person feels discomfort (which naturally comes with unfamiliarity) that person will look for an exit or try to find some other way not to complete the taks.
If we expect FTC to become so enticing that people new to crypto currencies buy straight into FTC - skipping the BTC broker - I would strongly encourage us to think thoroughly about how we can prove the necessity of FTC.
Whether you agree or disagree, I look forward to any responses and hopeful that the postings will provide thoughtful and insightful material to help ensure that the best decisions are made.