Possibly closed to U.S. investors?

ddink7ddink7 Member Posts: 49
edited February 2014 in Ether Sale
In his latest interview (today) Vitalik said that: ""Depending on what legal advice we get, we may or may not decide to block U.S. investors." (See 31:20 below). Team: What is the likelihood of this? I would be devastated if I was not able to participate.



  • StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
    Likelyhood is unknown as Vitalik indicated, it depends on legal advice. Of course whatever happens we'll make sure to update everyone in due time.
  • ddink7ddink7 Member Posts: 49
    Any ideas on when we'll know more? I'm not trying to be nitpicky, but if I can't invest in ethereum then I'm going to want to reallocate my funds as soon as possible.
  • StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
    Don't make me quote Donald Rumsfeld and his known unknowns :)
    2-6 weeks before an announcement is made sounds reasonable, with absolutely no guaranty of any kind.
  • shawnlearyshawnleary Member Posts: 20
    This movement is going to start bumping hard into the establishment. Banks that normally handle IPOs are going to view this as lost revenue. If we are blocked to invest it will ultimately just be one more nail in the oligarchy's coffin.

    "It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is." –Bill Clinton
  • ETHETH Member Posts: 3
    This would be most disappointing. I hope it stays open for everyone who wishes to allocate something. I've been looking forward to it and was disheartened by the IPO's postponement as I had ring-fenced some BTC in preparation for it. Now I've come to learn I might be excluded from it altogether. I have a lot of respect for this project; it seems promising. I just hope the United States is not precluded from getting its foot in the door. No one should be.
  • bloc8888bloc8888 Member Posts: 5
    As someone who practices law in the area of securities litigation, I can tell you this is a very touchy/thorny area. Given how the initial investment has been billed (e.g. as an IPO and the selling of what is akin to securities), they run the very real risk of piquing the SEC's interest. Depending on how they play it, if ETH fits within various definitions of securities, it triggers a world of laws and regulations by which they would have to abide for the offering. And from what I can tell to date, nothing has been done up to snuff under those rules.
  • ddink7ddink7 Member Posts: 49
    edited February 2014
    This leaves me to wonder what other jurisdictions might have to be excluded. I'm not very familiar with international law, but I'm sure a number of other jurisdictions have their own equivalent of the SEC. Is there the possibility that you may have to block investment several different countries? And if so, doesn't that present a very serious issue in terms of the ultimate viability of the project? (If the U.S. and parts of Europe are left "out in the cold" during the investment phase, couldn't that seriously damage the ecosystem even before it launches?)

    I don't expect an "official" comment on this, since it's obviously all just speculation at this point, but I hope the team will consider such questions before making a final decision.
  • JakeThePandaJakeThePanda Member Posts: 15
    edited February 2014
    I don't understand. We will have to provide personal information when we send our BTC? Identity checks on everyone sending btc would be very costly and time consuming. How would that work exactly?
  • HammerHammer Member Posts: 20
    how would they identify where an investor came from if you're investing in BTC, unless there will be a process of Identity proofing.
  • unimerciounimercio Member Posts: 11
    All I ask is a little lead time so I can get the hell out of Dodge. Zurich sounds interesting. I'll start packing just in case.

    Seriously though, If that is the decision, to exclude US investors. It would be very disappointing but equally understandable.

    We sadly live under the illusion of democracy and free enterprise. Economic repression is a reality, I recall a time when stock trading was virtually a country club privilege (no, not before electricity). Here we are in 2014 and we're prohibited from engaging in legal trade without SEC permission.

    Maybe it's time for a little "Civil Disobedience" else vote with our feet and run.

  • ddink7ddink7 Member Posts: 49
    Charles posted on the bitcointalk Q&A thread that if it became necessary to block U.S. investors, it would be done through IP blacklisting, which would satisfy the legal requirements.
  • ETHETH Member Posts: 3
    No doubt blocking the U.S. is feasible; there are, I am sure, numerous ways by which this could be done. All the same, just because the team could place a moratorium on U.S. investment does not mean they should. I am hoping their allusions to this possibility do not instantiate their current intentions (i.e., they mentioned it because they are planning to). I'll be on tenterhooks until they sort this out.

    For what it's worth, I do ask on behalf of all U.S. investors that the Ethereum team endeavor as best they can to include us. Further, I ask anyone reading this from the United States to speak up and vocalize their opinion.
  • JakeThePandaJakeThePanda Member Posts: 15
    Would this be the first instance in BTC history where a specific country was intentionally blocked from a crypto offering? If this happens, I'm going to find it very hard to support Ethereum for anything in the future. I won't buy ETH in the secondary market, that's for sure. Don't you guys think it goes against the spirit of why BTC was created in the first place? My support will be given to projects like Bitshares, Counterparty, and Peershares.
  • StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
    JakeThePanda, please don't assume this is an outcome we are seeking. To the contrary, we're doing everything we can for the presale to be opened to the entire planet.
  • JakeThePandaJakeThePanda Member Posts: 15
    First thing I think should happen is all new offerings should drop the term IPO.
  • ETHETH Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the insight, Ursium; the team's efforts are appreciated.
  • Dagger75Dagger75 Member Posts: 3
    I hope Ethereum doesn't try too hard to be viewed favorably by the "Mainstream".

    I agree that the term IPO needs to go and if people in the US cannot use their Bitcoins to help the Ethereum Project then just maybe Team Ethereum is trying too hard. Possibly their project will never catch on due to excluding the type of people Crypto-Currency is supposed to be helping.
    Much of this is just Silly Government Red Tape that is in place because of those that feel Entitled and has always excluded the 99%.

    If this Project is starting to get complicated then maybe the "Team" needs to take a look at themselves, and their Project, and reassess their reasons for creating Ethereum. Just my thoughts is all...I may be way off on this.
  • CryptStormCryptStorm Member Posts: 4
    edited February 2014
    Here, here! Drop "IPO", add "co-op". Or just call them coins, and keep it crypto. :-)
  • optictopicoptictopic Member Posts: 10
    There is always a loophole, whether it be semantics or backdoors.
  • cc13cc13cc13cc13 Member Posts: 3
    So basically just have a bitcoin wallet on a droplet hosted out of Amsterdam.
  • bluesawbluesaw DublinMember Posts: 16 ✭✭

    Here is an example of how the U.S. government laws are driving innovation out of the U.S. Its not the companys or organisations involved that cause the issue of Americans not being able to participate,its the Government.If you have an issue not being able to invest in ether you should really be taking that up with your politicians and not Ethereum.org.The Ethereum project should have the full ability to hit the ground running with as little restrictions as possible from bureaucrats and if that means leaving the U.S then that should be the case!
  • FanofAynFanofAyn Member Posts: 2
    This is why it's important to mingle with students from outside the US when you're at college. I'm certainly glad I did.
  • frodopwnsfrodopwns Member Posts: 3
    I think ethereum would lose some traction in the US if excluded.
  • Roryn3kidsRoryn3kids Member Posts: 3
    Two thoughts - 1) if they are going to block by ip address - get yourself a VPN and you can be from any country you want.
    2) if they are going to be this ass-kissing to the government, I don't think ethereium will get much attention. Bitcoin was born of rebellion. What happened to anonymity?
  • ddink7ddink7 Member Posts: 49
    99.9% of people are law-abiding citizens. I doubt Ethereum needs the 0.1% of rebels to be successful.
  • mikemike Member Posts: 13
    "99.9% of people are law-abiding citizens."

    What country has this statistic?
  • giannidalertagiannidalerta Miami, FLMember Posts: 76 ✭✭✭
    @Roryn3kids? Bitcoin was born an experiment, the idea of decentralization is by its very nature a by product of rebelion. I dont here bit torrent being dubbed in the rebels cause, even though it shares the vary same criteria...

    Is a business entity ass kissing a government if it wants to exist in its walls? I believe the Ethereum team is traveling the world trying to find the right place to "house" the legal entity that would allow the most amount of impact in the world as a whole. Be it from America or anywhere for that matter. I do not believe Ethereum exists to be an activist entity, or that its mission is to fight the tyrany of centralization.

    Does ethereum need to get a lot of attention for it to succeed and thrive? Yes and no. Just the amount of conversation in this forum, the fact that meetups are forming worldwide, etc. etc. is enough to get this "swarm" moving. The brand of ethereum has a lot to catching up to do for it to get recognition like bitcoin.. but does it really need to? Do normal computer users need to know about Linux... even though the majority of that they do online, on their phones, etc. is some flavor of linux or another....

    Ethereum is like a basic element or the fuel that will allow everything to be built on it. If you are looking at Ethtereum as only a currency and an investment. I'd say invest in the ideas, not in the value it may trade at in the future. That is truely where the value lies, there is where peoples hearts will align with. Exactly the same ideals that drove bitcoin early on.

    The only thing in crypto that is anonymous is Mr. Nakamoto, and only to protect himself. The guys of Ethereum are not hiding and as such, we as a group not only should credit their bravery in taking this project on, we must hope they find the best legal setup they can, so that this project gets going on the footing they had in mind and that they do not bring on any wrath of legality upon them.

    Sorry for my rant... just tired of the crypto world, more concerned about investment and the false idea that we will defeat government's scrutiny.

    Lets create the tools that allow those who want to act... then none of us will have to worry about ass kissing again. Without those tools... you'll be ass kissing all day long.
  • ddink7ddink7 Member Posts: 49
    Semantics Mike.

    Well-said Gianni.
  • CryptoSCryptoS Member Posts: 2
    I've been lurking here, off and on, for a while, but I had to create an account to respond to this. It is ridiculous to get upset with the Ethereum team for wanting to avoid breaking the law. Cryptocurrency in general is a huge threat to the status quo, especially in terms of the power wielded by the government and banks. Ethereum's goal is working toward amplifying that threat, and spreading it beyond the financial industry.

    The Ethereum team MUST follow the rules. In order for decentralized networks to not only become successful as quickly as possible, but also with the least pain for both sides, the companies leading the charge must be professional.

    However, as has already been stated, at the very most, they likely would only be required to block orders from specific IPs. If you still want to be part of the IPO, then just buy in through a foreign IP. It isn't hard to do. I am sure there will even be guides that will explain HOW to do that, for individuals that would like to invest, but do not know how. In fact, I'll guarantee it, because I will write a guide (maybe on another forum, that includes the words talk, bit, and coin in it's address...so it is not within Ethereum's domain) if this ends up being required.

    Calm down with your over the top thirst for rebellion. Silent revolutions can be much more effective.
  • ranfordranford Member Posts: 25 ✭✭
    understand the caution, but will be a shame to have to exclude anyone, hoping its not necessary
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