Interacting with fiat institutions, a guide

Marti, 18 Martie, Anul 6 d.Tr. | Autor: Mircea Popescu
Subject: Message for Mircea Popescu from U.S. SEC
From: “Waxman, Daphna A.” waxman
Date: Fri, February 14, 2014 1:20 pm
To: officeoffice

Dear Mr. Popescu

My name is Daphna Waxman and I am an attorney with the Enforcement Division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Commission staff would like to speak with you concerning the listing of shares of SatoshiDICE on MPEx.

I would appreciate if you would contact me directly by email or telephone. Please see my contact information below.

Thank you,
Daphna Waxman

Daphna Waxman
Senior Attorney
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
3 World Financial Center, Ste 4300
New York, NY 10281
(212) 336-1012
Waxmand@second.govi

Subject: Re: Message for Mircea Popescu from U.S. SEC
From: “‘office office
Date: Fri, February 14, 2014 2:10 pm
To: “Waxman, Daphna A.” waxman

Go right ahead.

All the best,
Mircea Popescu

Subject: Message for Mircea Popescu from U.S. SEC
From: “Waxman, Daphna A.” waxman
Date: Fri, February 14, 2014 2:15 pm
To: officeoffice

Dear Mr. Popescu

Would it be possible to schedule a time to speak via telephone?

Thank you,
Daphna

Subject: Message for Mircea Popescu from U.S. SEC
From: “‘officeoffice
Date: Fri, February 14, 2014 2:20 pm
To: “Waxman, Daphna A.” waxman

The best we can come to if you absolutely need real-time communication would be #bitcoin-assets on Freenode. (You can connect via http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=bitcoin-assets in your browser if you do not have a client). I’m usually around.

Bar that, there’s nothing a call can carry that a letter wouldn’t carry as well, is there ?

All the best,
Mircea Popescu

Subject: Message for Mircea Popescu from U.S. SEC
From: “Waxman, Daphna A.” waxman
Date: Fri, February 14, 2014 2:31 pm
To: officeoffice

I’m unable to connect to freenode so email will have to do for now.

As part of our investigation of SatoshiDICE, we would like to request that MPEx voluntarily provide certain documents to us: (1) a list of all SatoshiDICE shareholders prior to the sale of the company in July 2013(preferably by name, address, or BTC address); and (2) an account history for Mr. Erik Voorhees showing the sale of shares, payment of dividends etc.

Does MPEx have such documents and would you be willing to provide them to the staff?

Thank you,
Daphna Waxman

Subject: Message for Mircea Popescu from U.S. SEC
From: “‘officeoffice
Date: Fri, February 14, 2014 2:45 pm
To: “Waxman, Daphna A.” waxman

In general, MPEx maintains a vast outreach program intended to help members of the general public understand the topics involved in this novel field. MPEx also complies with all legal requests.

So far our relationship is of the first kind, so inasmuch as you’d need help with any particular topic please feel free to ask. Inasmuch as you’re soliciting private information you will have to sufficiently establish your authority to do so, which includes defeating specific challenges of jurisdiction that on a cursory examination seem to bar the institution you claim to be associated with from making these specific requests.

So far all we have is an email address, something which is spoofed on a regular basis - I get numerous notices of various sorts each week purporting to come from all sorts of banks and other institutions I’ve never had any relationship with, for instance.

All the best,
Mircea Popescu

Subject: Message for Mircea Popescu from U.S. SEC
From: “Waxman, Daphna A.” waxman
Date: Fri, February 14, 2014 2:50 pm
To: officeoffice

I’m happy to provide any additional information that would verify who I am and my association. Also, feel free to search my name on the Internet and call my office phone number to listen to my voice mail message or the SEC’s front desk at (212-336-1100) and ask to be connected to my line.

Subject: Message for Mircea Popescu from U.S. SEC
From: “‘officeoffice
Date: Sat, February 15, 2014 2:37 am
To: “Waxman, Daphna A.” waxman

Perhaps we misunderstand each other. Should you wish to establish your authority on the matter you would have to present all of :

a) the legal basis upon which the SEC is investigating a Bitcoin enterprise, whichever that may be. This would customarily come in the form of an Act of Congress specifically authorising the SEC to review MMORPGs and online activities involving such computer games and their virtual currencies, be they WoW gold, Linden Dollars, EVE Isk, Bitcoin, etc and so forth. Absent that, it may come in the form of a court ruling - definitive and irrevocable or whatever the equivalent of that may be at common law - judging the SEC has such authority. This, of course, is a thornier issue.

b) the authority upon which the SEC is making requests of personally identifying information from me specifically, which would necessarily include solid grounding in both Romanian and EU law.

c) the authority you personally have in the matter. This would customarily come in the form of an order or other such instrument signed by the officer in charge of your department directing you to investigate. Employees of all kinds do indeed often have a phone link in their office, but this is entirely irrelevant in this discussion.

Should you understand you have no authority in the matter but nevertheless wish to pursue some sort of amicable understanding, you will first have to appreciate the difference between legal and illegal requests. In this sense, asking someone to pick up your daughter from school is a legal request (as far as I know of the rapidly deteriorating legal environment in the US, at any rate). Asking them to pick up your daughter and throw her over a cliff however is an illegal request. The difference between these is, broadly speaking, that the party satisfying the first type of request exposes themselves to no liability, whereas the party satisfying the second type of request does expose themselves, perhaps to significant liability, both civil and criminal.

Secondly, yet perhaps as importantly, you will have to appreciate the fact that MPEx has to date, and long before the SEC as much as heard of Bitcoin, pursued with some success if with different means roughly the same agenda, which is to say the exposure of scams and the protection of the general public from scammers of all sorts and types*. In the particular case you brought I must confess I have my own suspicions, which I do not necessarily have either the means to verify or in any way enforce.

I was from the onset and remain for the indefinite future strongly committed to discouraging scams in Bitcoin finance, while nurturing a vibrant, diverse and free marketplace - and this commitment engages MPEx as well as a variety of other Bitcoin institutions and groups. It is on this basis that I would very much welcome a working relationship with your institution, as I believe our respective strengths complement each other superbly. Nevertheless, the commitment to freedom is not merely verbiage, but quite as strong, and on this basis I perceive we may encounter difficulties going forward, especially taking into account the confused legal environment and occasionally misguided political choices coming out of the US.

In the spirit of candor, let me make it perfectly clear that what’s being discussed here is nothing else and nothing short of the SEC’s ultimate relevancy and importance in the Bitcoin space, and so far I am not particularly impressed. Let us work together to improve upon this shaky basis if at all possible.

All the best,
Mircea Popescu

* References :
- exposing the Pirate scam :
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=50822.msg854918#msg854918
- exposing the Patrick Harnett set of scams :
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=121915.0
(unfortunately the Australian equivalent of the US SEC has been uniquely
unhelpful in this matter so far).
- exposing the Labcoin set of scams :
http://trilema.com/2013/the-anatomy-of-a-scam/
- general informative bulletins as warranted by market conditions :
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=106391.0 ;
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=435263.0
and we’ll stop at that for the sake of brevity.

Subject: Message for Mircea Popescu from U.S. SEC
From: “Waxman, Daphna A.” waxman
Date: Mon, March 3, 2014 11:22 am
To: officeoffice

Dear Mr. Popescu,

I have attachedii a formal letter requesting that MPEx voluntarily provide certain information and documentation to the SEC staff. I hope that the information contained in the letter satisfies your below concerns.

I appreciate your willingness to discuss these important issues and am available to discuss any additional questions you may have.

Thank you,

Daphna Waxman

Subject: Message for Mircea Popescu from U.S. SEC
From: “‘officeoffice
Date: Tue, March 4, 2014 7:43 am
To: “Waxman, Daphna A.” waxman

While I appreciate your efforts to qualify for an information exchange agreement with MPEx, as well as your narrow satisfaction of the response timeline I publicly outlinediii, and while these constitute in my estimation significant progress towards building a solid platform upon which to further our shared goals, nevertheless substantial hurdles still remain to be overcome in this process.

As a key step, the commissioners of the SEC are to at their earliest convenience adopt a resolution, to be jointly drafted at expert level, which is to include a) a plain statement of the SEC’s lack of jurisdiction with regards to Bitcoin, thus alligning itself with the position of the US FED and the US GAO ; b) a statement recognising MPEx’ regulatory authority over Bitcoin finance as a SRO ; c) an appointment of any one of the commissioners as authorised Bitcoin liaison, which would include the creation of a dedicated PGP key and a Web of Trust membership, which would be recognised as such by MPEx, and on the basis of which all further communication is to be conducted, as well as minimal technical provisions for the operation of this system ; as well as further points as the parties may deem expedient.

This will both provide a solid basis for future, continued cooperation as well as conveniently insulate either party from unwelcome legal and technical complexities. Kindly let me know as soon as you are ready to proceed.

All the best,
Mircea Popescu

In short : Bitcoin is a sovereign. Accepting this matter of fact is a sine qua non prerequisite for playing. No exceptions.

Update, March 19th : the pdf in question, since people seem to really want it for some undiscernible reason. Note that I’ve not checked it in any way, and so if as a result of opening it you end up unwilling participant in whatever RETARDED ALLCAPS USG-sponsored dataclub I disclaim any responsibility.

———
  1. I have no idea where that domain came from either. It doesn’t resolve, perhaps it’s just a typo (?!). []
  2. This email did in fact come with a .pdf attached. In stark contravenience to Section 508 mandated accessibility compliance, it consisted of a single image, testimony to the sad fact that even trained of counsel for the SEC has trouble following in integrum the morass of USG regulation. []
  3. The reference is here. []
Rubrica: Activism
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22 Responses

  1. monolithik`s avatar
    1
    monolithik 
    Miercuri, 19 Martie 2014

    Would you mind posting the attached PDF as well?

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    2
    Mircea Popescu 
    Miercuri, 19 Martie 2014

    It’s just pretty much a restatement of the foregoing but in pdf format. Do you actually want to see it ?!

  3. Excellent.

  4. MP, if you don’t mind, I’d like to see it.

    Thanks

  5. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    5
    Mircea Popescu 
    Miercuri, 19 Martie 2014

    Updated.

  6. BTW, nice to see someone without an authority-ass-licking attitude (not that anyone would expect different from you).

  7. postimg link with an image of the pdf for those that are interested: http://postimg.org/image/4r3na3bc3/

    (my previous comment can be deleted because this one has better quality, for some reason imgur compressed it too much)

  8. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    8
    Mircea Popescu 
    Miercuri, 19 Martie 2014

    That’s a good idea.

  9. SpiryGolden`s avatar
    9
    SpiryGolden 
    Joi, 20 Martie 2014

    Super tare ! Sincer bravo . Superbe raspunsuri .

    ” as you’re soliciting private information you will have to sufficiently establish your authority to do so” EPIC !

  10. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    10
    Mircea Popescu 
    Joi, 20 Martie 2014

    Noi sa fim sanatosi.

  11. Concern, P`s avatar
    11
    Concern, P 
    Joi, 27 Martie 2014

    The fear of the unbridled power of the US government may be the beginning of wisdom.
    I give you some scenarios;
    1. Some broke guy (”highly valuable informant) is given hundreds of btc for info on MP.
    After not being able to get anything incriminating. He is subtly adviced that that some btc traced to a suspected terrorist may have come from MP. The informant confirms this story and he gets another bunch of btc. (Remember -Weapons of Mass Destruction-Iraq)
    We now have confirmed intelligence that MP is sponsor of terrorism. The source of information is highly classified but has a so called Ph.D in Advanced Mathematics with special focus on Bitcoin Block Chain path analysis, or whatever.
    2. The United States Patriot Act is invoked and the full resources of the US governament is deployed. Satellites are tracking MP’s movement, Gmail account are opened with secret court orders, movements are monitired. (Remember Snowden)
    3. At any opportunity, MP can be picked up by contract “Rendition” team, that will whisk MP to Guatanamo Bay from anywhere in the world. At Guatanamo Bay, MP is offered a plea after 1000days of detention without trial. Rat on everybody or continue with the indefinite detention, which is empowered by the US law as MP is now classified as an enemy combatant against the US and a suspected financier of terrorism.

    4. If the rendition team dont succeed, why, then just send some drones to finish the job. They can cross borders and fire at will
    (See-http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/515806/the-world-as-free-fire-zone/ )

  12. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    12
    Mircea Popescu 
    Joi, 27 Martie 2014

    Dude, what info ? Everyone knows, it’s public record. My safety is not born from hiding from anyone and everyone. My safety is born from anyone and everyone hiding from me.

    Full resources of what ? The US Govt is broke. That means quite specifically that it has no resources, and the fullness thereof barely amounts to a hill of beans in this crazy world. That aside, I never had a gmail account and you can follow my every movement for the cost of a bus ticket. Just join the horde of gushing fans already doing it, what do I care. Hardly requires “the full resources of the government”.

    Really, watching [Hollywood] movies is a poor substitute for living your life.

  13. Regarding the EU data protection regulations in the EU, my understanding is they apply to all persons whose data is held within EU member states regardless of their nationality. In which case the PDF letter is factually incorrect.

    Of course the data subject may authorise you to pass the information to third parties but the choice as to if you do this is yours - you may feel the authorisition was issued under duress.

    Andy

  14. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    14
    Mircea Popescu 
    Sambata, 29 Martie 2014

    Your -assets version was better, I thought.

  15. Anon`s avatar
    15
    Anoninsigna de prim sositinsigna de tehnolog 
    Joi, 15 Mai 2014

    http://www.popehat.com/2014/05/13/department-of-health-and-human-services-threatens-blogger-over-satirical-posts/

    This demand raises a series of questions.

    1. Who is “we?” Does HHS Office of General Counsel purport to represent these doctors for purposes of defamation threats? Is that allowed? Or does HHS purport to have a right to forbid defamation of doctors associated with it? From whence does that right spring?

    2. Did Dr. Berkley know the relevant law when he sent this letter? That is, did he, a government attorney, knowingly make an utterly specious legal threat in order to chill protected speech? Or did he send the threat on government letterhead from a government agency without even minimally acquainting himself with the relevant law governing First Amendment protections of satire? Which would be more appalling?

  16. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    16
    Mircea Popescu 
    Joi, 15 Mai 2014

    I do not know there is anyone more incompetent alive today than people posing as lawyers for the us federal bureaucracy. Should one - for whatever reason - find themselves inclined to compile a list and file it as supporting evidence in a legal case, the hapless courtroom in question would be well swamped for a while, processing that deluge.

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