Reuben Grinberg on the legality of Bitcoin

January 31, 2012 · 3 comments

Reuben Grinberg, a recent Yale Law School graduate now in private practice in New York City, discusses his paper, published in the Hastings Science & Technology Law Journal entitled, Bitcoin: An Innovative Alternative Digital Currency. Grinberg first gives a brief overview of Bitcoin, the decentralized, digital currency. According to Grinberg, Bitcoin can maintain sustainability, even though it is not backed by an institution or commodity, but it must overcome several hurdles. Grinberg then discusses the potential security problems and legal issues Bitcoin faces. He also describes some of the unique qualities of Bitcoin, including the ability to conduct transactions anonymously. Grinberg ends the discussion with his thoughts on what Bitcoin could potentially become.



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  • Anonymous

    Regarding the Von NotHaus case, Reuben seems to fall into the trap of believing the prosecutor’s argument that this was not about privately-issued money. It certainly was about private currencies. Who would ever be duped by accepting real silver instead of steel and zinc-plated government money? Come on, Reuben. Please read up on GATA and also what happened to Doug Jackson at e-gold for simply trying to assist in the transfer of ‘real’ value. The objective is in protecting the Fed’s monopoly and these are what are known as ‘example cases’ to foster a chilling effect, alarmingly not very different from the prosecutions against Wesley Snipes and Martha Stewart.

    GATA Files Liberty Dollar ‘amicus curiae’ Brief
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  • Adam

    Very good interview,

    Its true bitcoin has its downsides when you try to use it as a currency to buy goods, but their are many up sides too. Like Reuben Grinberg said bitcoin is a new technology, and the potential applications are huge. It’s unique properties allows bitcoin to do things our money system cannot. one point i dont agree with is…. i think it has a good chance of replacing traditional currency, i would argue that a purely digital, and better designed money will one day “take over”, will that new money be bitcoin, maybe maybe not, but if its not bitcoin it will be something similar,something digital something that can’t be controlled by anyone person or company.

    personally i think its going to change things in a big way, and virtually no will resist it, because in the end it will benefit everyone, government and people alike.

  • Adam

    on more thing.

    At its core bitcoin is an experiment , now
    weather or not this experiment is successful is besides the point. The point is
    the with experimentation knowledge is gained and progress is made.