Mar 242013

The U.S. Treasury Announces Money-Laundering Rules Apply to “Virtual Currencies”

You didn’t think the Treasury was going to just let the bitcoin business develop outside the system, did you?

WSJ reports:
The U.S. is applying money-laundering rules to “virtual currencies,” amid growing concern that new forms of cash bought on the Internet are being used to fund illicit activities.

The move means that firms that issue or exchange the increasingly popular online cash will now be regulated in a similar manner as traditional money-order providers such as Western Union Co. WU 0.00% They would have new bookkeeping requirements and mandatory reporting for transactions of more than $10,000.[…]

The arm of the Treasury Department that fights money laundering said Monday that the standard federal banking rules aimed at suspicious dollar transfers also apply to firms that issue or exchange money that isn’t linked to any government and exists only online.

One of the fastest-growing alternative cash products is Bitcoin, an online currency launched in 2009 that isn’t backed by a central bank or controlled by a central administrator. Currency units, known as “bitcoins” and consisting of a series of numbers, are created automatically on a set schedule and traded anonymously between digital addresses or “wallets.” Certain exchange firms buy or sell bitcoins for legal tender at a rate that fluctuates with the market[…]law enforcement, regulators and financial institution have expressed worries about the hard-to-trace attributes of virtual currencies, helping trigger this week’s move from the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCen.

Creating clear-cut rules for virtual currencies is difficult. A FinCen official said that anti-money-laundering rules would apply depending on the “factors and circumstances” of each business. The rules don’t apply to individuals who simply use virtual currencies to purchase real or virtual goods.

The new guidance “clarifies definitions and expectations to ensure that businesses…are aware of their regulatory responsibilities,” said Jennifer Shasky Calvery, FinCen director.

Titanian Law Project




When government by law was first invented, eight thousand years ago in Sumer, the basis of law (and hence government itself) was “might makes right”. The kings and tribal chieftains who could afford to field armies saw it was to their advantage to form a power-brokerage cartel to manage their shared monopoly of power over their neighbors. The mechanism that they invented to accomplish this feat, we know today as hierarchy. It is the central feature of almost all our institutions today, including those of Banks, Organized Religion, and Government (BORG).

Today it is generally understood, at least in the developed western world, that the “might” of military and police forces does not, in fact, confer the “right”, upon those who wield such coercive power, to command the lives of those who lack these powers. Accordingly, most of the world’s governments give lip-service to the notion that they exist to serve the interests of those whom they govern.  And indeed, in an ethical human society, this concept would represent reality.

Unfortunately, for most of the people of the world, government that serves the interests of the public is just a myth, perpetuated by those who use the lie to facilitate their manipulation of those less resourceful than themselves. By believing the lie we permit our own enslavement.

In reality the nature of government has not changed since the days of Sumer.  It remains a power-brokerage cartel that truly serves only its own interests:

  • Maximization of its members’ profits,
  • Maximization of its powers of coercion, and
  • Stabilization of its monopoly role in the power-brokerage marketplace.

The rest of society, with few and insignificant exceptions, complies with the demands of government, even to the extent of mirroring one of its worst features, the use of hierarchy as a mechanism for power-brokerage, within the structures of virtually all our institutions, both public and private.

Thus it is that humanity today labors under the burden of a vast parasite, which, left unchecked, will do what all parasites do: it will destroy its host, even though its own survival depends upon the health of its host.  Today the parasite of government has the power to turn our entire planet into a radioactive cinder, unfit to sustain any kind of life as we know it.  As things stand now, it is likely to do this.

But maybe it’s not too late. Maybe, by using HoloMatic institutions comprised of ethical Octologues, we can pull ourselves back from the brink of disaster and transform human society into a sustainable thriving whole.

Whether you are a legislator, a judge (active or retired), an attorney (practicing or not), a paralegal, or merely a justice-minded law student, your participation in the development of Titania, your personal effort, your creativity could be crucial to the future of humanity itself.

To understand what is needed, let’s take a quick look at what is wrong with our current legal systems.  Such systems today, the world over, are prone to the following obvious flaws, foibles, or weaknesses:

  1. Many laws forbid ethical acts.
  2. Many laws require unethical acts.
  3. Many laws take money, property, financial opportunity, privacy, or freedom away from those to whom it belongs and bestow it upon those to whom it does not belong.
  4. Many laws, regardless of their merit, are passed by legislators to curry favor with voters or with the lobbyists who pay for their election campaigns.
  5. Many laws continue to be enforced long after it is obvious that they do not produce the behavioral results that they were intended to produce – or even when they produce the opposite effects.
  6. Many laws are passed and enforced in the name of “protecting the public” when, in fact, they primarily serve to give a group of influential people protection against the market encroachment of another, less influential, group of people. In this the public is the loser.
  7. Many judges openly forbid jurors from considering the merits or legitimacy of the laws being enforced in their courtrooms. This serves to bureaucratize the legal system by immunizing it against corrective feedback. In this case everyone is the loser.
  8. To be legitimate, by modern standards, a law must serve the best interests of the people – all the people – who are supposedly being protected by the law. When this principle is violated, the resulting law is not legitimate and cannot be ethically enforced.
  9. Enactment of a law is, by its nature, a delegation of authority from the legislators enacting the law to the legislative body that those individual legislators comprise. When a group of legislators enact a law that delegates authority that those legislators do not possess as individuals, the resulting law is not legitimate and cannot be ethically enforced.
  10. Mindful of the fact that governments are power-brokerage cartels whose true purposes are purely self-serving, it is clear that laws that support and/or enforce the true purposes of government are never ethical. The vast majority of laws in the world today fall into this category.

From the foregoing description of the “Foibles” of government-enacted law, and from what we have shown elsewhere in this website concerning the E+ Ethic and the “Comforting Lies”, we can draw the following logical conclusions, which comprise some of the principles of just law:

  1. Government, as we know it, is incapable of enacting and/or enforcing just (ethical) laws.
  2. Political systems, at best, determine who gets to participate in the power-brokerage cartels that we call “governments”; but nothing in any political process enables the people governed to alter the unethical nature of government. Majority Rule contributes to this fact.
  3. For a society to thrive it must have a legal system that is entirely independent of government.
  4. Such a legal system must be privately funded and privately operated by a group of people committed to the principles of just (ethical) law.
  5. Just laws must be enacted solely to serve the ends defined by the E+ Ethic or an alternative ethic that is the logical equivalent of the E+ Ethic, and must be further be constrained to embody the principle that ethical ends can only be achieved by means that are ethical ends in themselves.
  6. Any law, rule, regulation, or procedure sanctioned by the Bill of Ethics qualifies as an artifact or embodiment of just law.
  7. Any law, rule, regulation, or procedure not sanctioned by the Bill of Ethics is not an artifact or embodiment of just law.
  8. For a society to thrive, its unjust laws and the rules, regulations, and procedures that support and enforce them must be repealed.
  9. The exercise of (coercive) power over others is never ethical except  in the case of the defense of self or others against unethical acts – and then only when all available non-coercive means have failed – and even then limited to the application of the minimum amount of coercive force required to prevent further occurrence of the unethical act or to provide redress of the harm done by the unethical act or acts already perpetrated.

It is the intention of Titania to create and operate an alternative legal system to which the public can turn for the arbitration of conflicts, the redress of grievances, and the establishment and enforcement of just laws. To that end:

  1. The Titanian Legal System (TLS) will be built upon the definitions and principles provided by the Bill of Ethics.
  2. The TLS will be privately owned and operated, entirely independent of government, and will be funded entirely by voluntary payment of service fees and subscriptions by persons wishing to avail themselves of the services afforded by the TLS.
  3. Organizational elements of the TLS will be structured as HoloMats of Octologues according to the definitions provided by the Constitution of Titania.
  4. Over time, and as its means permit, the TLS will define and codify just law in the fields of contracts, business, torts, the environment, and criminal law.
  5. On the same basis, the TLS will offer services that may include, but not be limited to the following:

b. Arbitration,
c. Education,
d. Consultation,
e. Expert testimony,

f.  Judicial services,

  1. Defense of persons unjustly accused of criminal charges under government-enacted laws in government courts.
  2. The writing of legal briefs arguing for the repeal of unjust laws and the redress of grievances for persons against whom unjust laws have been enforced.
  3.  Development of a system of legal defenses against the enforcement of any and all laws providing for the practice of taxation by government at all levels.

If you understand the foregoing and are prepared to make a significant investment in bringing the TLS to reality, then you may be in a position to “play” in the Titanian “Legal Sandbox”.

Now let’s consider some of the other ways you can PARTICIPATE IN TITANIA.