Just when the value of the newest currency overtook that of gold, the United States senate committee is scrutinizing the world’s largest and popular digital currency.
Should we expect tighter regulations? Are the politicians and interested parties seeing a currency that they cannot control as a threat … or are they viewing it as an asset?
This could be anyone’s guess but it’s evident that Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are quickly growing in popularity. The Bitcoin value soared to a new all time high of $1,000, up from a mere $100 just a few years ago. Cutting off banks from all their transactions, Bitcoins have made trading seamless and perhaps very private and secretive.
This is perhaps why the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs has had different meetings in a bid to determine whether or not legalize or ban the use of Bitcoins. On numerous occasions, there has been reports that Bitcoin as a method of payment is promoting criminal activities as well as encouraging illegal casino activities. This was witnessed when the FBI shut down the popular black market, Silk Road, where illicit services and drugs were being sold using Bitcoin. In the process, they netted more than 170,000 BTC, valued at $100 million.
Is it illegal to transact using Bitcoin?
So far so good, there’s no law that’s been published legalizing the use of Bitcoins. There are however countries that have laws and regulations that limit the use of other currencies including Bitcoin. Argentina and Russia have laws that prevent the use of foreign currencies and should you be found using one, you’ll face some time behind prison. Other countries such as Thailand have limited the licensing of Bitcoin exchanges, citing that they promote illegal activities in their country.
However, be warned that despite the fact that Bitcoins haven’t been illegalized, if you are found making payments of involving yourself in any illegal activities, you are bound to be prosecuted.
Bitcoins and Online Casinos – Is it legal?
The legality of online casinos has been a hot topic of discussion in most places around the world, especially in the US and Australia, where there are different laws regarding the same.
In the US, laws may differ from one state to another, and it all depends on the senate. As such, you’ll find states such as New Jersey and Las Vegas supporting online casino services, while other states have banned the same. However, the online casino industry in the US seems to be bright as more and more states seem to be following New Jersey’s noble act of legalizing gambling and betting. At the time of writing this article, states such as New York, Washington, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Mississippi all have laws in Senate regarding the legalization of online casino activities.
How about Australia, is gambling illegal?
In Australia, online casino services aren’t entirely illegal. There are laws that have been passed to ensure that Australians get access to only safe and secure services. This includes banning all offshore operators from offering their services to Australians. This law however exempted live casino services, and thus encouraging more companies to use it to offer Australians online casino services.
However, with the increase in number of gambling addiction problems in Australia, the government seeks to cap off this law and in it’s place fix a series of strict rules and regulations that will ban all illegal gambling services that will not have met the set standards. It also seeks to vest more power in the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which will enable it to issue infringement notices, warnings, injunctions and civil penalties to companies that will be found to have broken any law.
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And here are two very interesting reads about the legality of crypto casinos at Investopedia and Katie Wager.