Tone is the creator of the blog LibertyLifeTrail.com which focuses
on financial independence, privacy and self responsibility. A
former risk analyst at Bear Sterns and JP Morgan Chase, he is
currently involved in creating risk analysis software for
investment funds. He got involved with bitcoin in early 2013 and
immediately began promoting its sound Economic principles. Today
he is a regular at the NYC Bitcoin Center running the
physical bitcoin exchange and a contributor to the news website
CoinTelegraph. His most recent public appearance was at the Inside
Bitcoin Conference in Hong Kong where he spoke on the panel titled
"Bitcoin vs Altcoins". He will also be a speaker at the Bitcoin
Conference in Las Vegas on October 6th and New Zealand on Nov 29th. Tone holds a Masters
Degree in Financial Engineering from Florida State University
along with Bachelor Degrees in Mathematics and Geology.
Recent Posts on CoinTelegraph:
08/09/14 - CoinTelegraph: Bitcoin Analysis: Week of Aug 10 (Intro to Volume)
08/09/14 - CoinTelegraph: Women's Annex Foundation
Latest Blog Post about BitLicenses
On Thursday morning July 17, the NYSDFS issued the first draft of their proposal for the BitLicense that companies must obtain in order to do business with New York Residents.
I decided to wait an entire week to absorb all the information in an
attempt to clear up some of the confusion in the wording; for both
myself and those interested in Bitcoin who are relying on people with
experience to guide them. What we are all learning is that no matter how
complicated something might be, there is always a way to make it more
complicated by adding a layer of laws and regulation no two lawyers will
ever agree on. Here are some good links that helped me break things
Bitcoin at a Crossroads ? Tackling the BitLicense by two-bit-idiot (TBI)
Reflections on the NYDFS Bitcoin Proposal and the Right of Privacy by Erick Voorhees
Reddit Comments on the proposed regulations, posted by Ben Lawsky (more funny than informative)
It looks like everyone will have their opinions as to which are the
most egregious parts of the proposal, but here are my top 5 along with a
comment as to why. (It will have a close resemblance to what is
described on the post by TBI because he did hit the nail on the head
with his excellent breakdown):
5. Requiring that a company must obtain a NY BitLicense and report
the identities of ANY user deemed to be participating in suspicious
activities even when neither the user nor the company have any
connection to NY or USA in general.
This seems like a complete over-reach, not practical and in reality not
enforceable. Why can't an exchange in Asia simply add a disclosure that
NY residents are not allowed (maybe add a fancy "are you from NY" check
box) & put in protocols to block NY IP's. In reality of course this
should not hurt their business much because the majority of people
using Bitcoin today should have no problem making their IP's appear from
other places and the use of these services is on the rise.
4. Requiring that companies that simply facilitate transactions
completely within the Bitcoin ecosystem and never interface with
Government Fiat Currencies, are seen identical to those holding customer
funds and/or provide gateways to Government Currency.
Comment: This again seems like a complete over-reach and non-enforceable unless you deem implementations like CoinJoin and companies like ChangeTip illegal. It appears one of the most popular wallet services Blockchain.info
would fall under this regulation as well, but it's unclear what it
means for personal wallets like MultiBit or apps like Mycelium.
3. The requirement that whichever Bitcoin companies are left standing
within the services/transactions space MUST collect ALL identifiable
information on their users.
This completely goes against the fundamentals of Bitcoin. By now it's
pretty accepted that in its current form using bitcoins makes you at
best pseudo-anonymous as in with enough resources and surveillance
tools, it's possible to link identities to users. But that is a far cry
from centralizing all personal information and linking them to Bitcoin
addresses internally. People are still having a hard time understanding
that the reason many Bitcoin thefts happen is by criminals pretending
they are you with companies that have your personal information on file.
See examples here and here. Or the experienced hackers/scammers go after large accounts at companies holding their bitcoins in one place, examples here and here. There is one common element here: "Centralization".
2. Creating a "One Size Fits All" BitLicense that every company no
matter its size, transaction market cap or significance in the ecosystem
is treated as equals.
This is another one of those everyone is equal socialist views that
governments love to implement in every aspect of our lives except for
some reason Tax Collection. It implies that a bright computer savvy NY
High School student who decides to do his family a favor by maintaining
some of their savings in a Bitcoin wallet, would need to comply with the
same laws and regulations as a global exchange.
1. Requiring a BitLicence to innovate within the space.
This takes the prize because as of the day the law goes into affect any
new Alt-coin release or any Bitcoin 2.0 project building on top of the
Blockchain would now need permission from the NYSDFS if there is a
possibility that a New Yorker might participate. This in tern means that
the creator of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto would be a criminal since he
did this without a BitLicense assuming this law is to go on the books retroactively like the IRS rules did. And people still wonder why he has not yet reviled himself !!!
Bonus for the "you can't make this up" category of the law proposed: BitLicense
holders can only invest their earnings and profits in 'safe' and
'high-quality' investments like the CD's, Money Market Funds, and US
I can put myself in the shoes of the Government bureaucrats and see why
they would consider investing in an asset that earned this profit
dangerous, but what if a company wants to invest its profits in the
company itself? Would they need an additional special License for that
As was mentioned around the web and most notably by Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg
, The proposal can easily be summarized by a single tweet. We'll let Bruce Fenton do the honors:
A person no one elected is creating laws no one asked for to prevent problems which don't exist. #Bitcoin #Bitlicense
Tone's previous interviews on the Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock Radio Show: