Dear Mr Lawsky, submitted by
When I write these words I can only think of the Charles Dickens book that our current mayor talked about, “A tale of Two Cities.”
Your sight as a Columbia student was surely looking toward the south and referring to the other side of the northern valley that separated us where Alexander Hamilton had his grange as the place where to buy drugs
; but this is where I lived for 40 years.
I (as Law Professor Roomate, a defendant, a plaintiff and a Juror)
learned over time that you, lawyers, are great actors full of incertitude and are in constant need of validation.
We recognize that not everyone in the virtual currency community will be pleased about the prospect of a new regulatory framework. I must say Bravo to a great performance on redit ! All I can tell my fellow in the Crypto-/whatever you call it/ community is “do not fear”, we will defeat Mr. Lawsky overreach
I don’t know if it is faith but last month I found a copy of the “Civil Practice Law and Rules of the State of New York”
in my apartment building dumpster.
That book is full of valuable information and there is a whole passage called Article 78 – Proceeding against body or officer
. Taking a page from my Dominicanos, the Bodegeros, bunch of people against NYCDOH - index 653584/2012
, I will use my new learned knowledge to stop your proposal. I am a quick learner and I have nothing to lose.
When I was 19, after writing several NSF checks, I learned that ignoring the law cost a lot of money; and briefly a millionaire (on paper) I could only get a used car loan at 22% under rule 78. I just recently took American Airlines - index 104867-2011
to court to keep my Credit History clean; one of their employee stole a credit card number and colluded with a travel agent to give me a ticket that I paid cash. So I do know something about fraud and being the recipient of it.
I do resent the industry you are obligated to protect.
I learned throughout my various endeavor to read the regulation; as a pilot
who landed at JFK on a Cessna 172 in the year after 2001 to prove the point
that I knew my FARs, as a Travel Agent Specialist
the Montreal Convention; as a NYC cab driver
, the TLC rules
, as a candidate for Mayor of New York City
, the public disclosure rules; as a Rent Regulated tenant leaving at 640 Riverside Drive
, my rights.
Lawyers, Lawmakers and Computer Programmers work the same way. A reference section in the Law, is a Subroutine in Computer Language.
The State Legislature clearly defined your job as Superintendent in FIS §102 :
(a) To encourage, promote and assist banking, insurance and other financial services institutions to effectively and productively locate, operate, employ, grow, remain, and expand in New York state; (b) To establish a modern system of regulation, rule making and adjudication that is responsive to the needs of the banking and insurance industries and to the needs of the state's consumers and residents; (d) To expand the attractiveness and competitiveness of the state charter for banking institutions and to promote the conversion of banks to such status; There is no doubt where your allegiance is.
I agree with you that the other paragraphs might lead you to believe that the Virtual Currency is also under your purview. I will argue it is not. Where does the NYS law allow you to define what Virtual Currency for your draft Section 202.2 ? I do not see it, and I will ask the various Crypto-/Watherever you want to call it/, verify that it isn't there.
I can only think that the rules you are applying are the same colloquial expression used by Justice Potter Stewart in Jacobellis v. Ohio 378 U.S. 184 (1964)
but even that got replaced by the Miller test. What test are you applying here ?
Many economic scholar, to the dismay of many in the Crypto-/whatever you call it/
community, seems to be in agreement that whatever this is, it is not currency
because it fails some of its tests;
The Webster defines “Virtual” as:
: Very close to being something without actually being it : Existing or occurring on computers or on the Internet. We are confronted with two opposing ideas
Do we need to have a judge try to figure this it out or should we draft something together? Something that we can present to the legislator or the electorate to vote on? Something that could be enshrined in law? Something that could be the showcase of how the democratic process of the 21st century should be? Mr. Lawsky
, the crypto-/whatever you want to call it/
community might be small in New York State, but it has the backing of the global village. And as a political activist, I will galvanize that community and I will bring this issue to the people of New York during the election cycle.
Please do forgive me if I do not trust you;
I still vividly remember Mike Bloomberg sitting on his throne listening for three days his fellow New Yorkers knowing perfectly that he was going to sign the Term Limit extension. In 90 days you will be in the same position and it will be more difficult then to reverse course.
I cannot blame you if you are fulfilling your job as defined in FIS §102 (a). At least it does gives me great hope because you are recognizing that our community could be a treat to the community you are legally bound to protect. You are doing your duty.
I did write many fighting words and I really do not want to go to court
; but I hope that my tirade above give you the unequivocally impression that I will file the paperwork and those below the experience to draft a somewhat decent document.
I do believe we could work together but you will first need to remove it from New York State Register and make a true effort to start fresh again. Something this important cannot be done hastefully.
After 9/11, I do remember participating in a Online Consultation with many other fellow New Yorker about the future of the World Trade Center. You should look at that interesting experiment as a something to repeat.
On a philosophical level, your draft is simply a repeat of A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F.3d 1004 (2001)
Fourteen years later, we're still at it. An old coworker of mine, Zoe Keating
wrote about the whole royalty scheme on her blog Keep at it fellow weirdos
& What I want from Internet Radio "Please do not model internet royalties after the broken terrestrial performance rights system"
The same way she ask her industry not to model Internet royalties after a known broken system, we ask you not to model the Internet Crypto-/Whatever You call it/ after the broken Banking system.
If you feel the urge to smile at the naïveté purposely displayed
in this letter, please do so
; but I do know enough of the process to cause damage. I hope to have proved it in the various attachments to this reddit document My name is Theo Chino (If you live in Chicago, looking for me, I am not him.)
and the list goes on; In short, I am a certifiable pain in the ass and I know that there are quite a few more in the New York State Bitcoin community; each with their own experience
I beg you not to force me to follow Michael A. Newdow Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, 542 U.S. 1 (2004.)
suit. Why not try something novel in politics and in regulation crafting. Something that can renew the people's faith in their government.
You took the first step by asking reddit; why not continue ?
I ask you to solemnly shred this regulation draft and start fresh. I am willing to tutor you on what Bitcoin is.
With my extensive computer knowledge, I am still amazed about how much I have still have to learn; and I am not the only one.
Instead of clamping down on our community, you could join it, understand it, and then, after extensive understanding, soul searching, lead the group in drafting a real framework that will really protect the NYS consumer.
My heart goes to my next door neighbor who recently sank $15'000 in the Telexfree Scam
. What about the interest he still has to pay to the banks for the money he borowed to give it to Telexfree ? or what about the non profits that are bankrolled by the same banks to exert shame on those wanting to declare bankruptcy ? Day in and day out, I listen to those stories
... and each time, it break my heart; and each time, its the same story about their lack of education financial matters; and those are the people you are supposed to protect !
And you clearly don't !
Look at the work of fellow Bitcoiner https://github.com/onenameio/proposed-bitlicense-regulations
... Why not work with us ?
Create an hybrid special round table mimicking what then Borough President Scott Stringer did with the Immigration panel in Manhattan. Include folks from New York State as well as the online forums. I do not want to be in the placed in the position to run an illegal business in the city
I love and where I grew part of my life. I beg you to reconsider. How many times does the chance to redo the world for the best come in a lifetime ?
With the utmost regards, Theo Chino
Political Activist, founder of an Ad Hoc mounvement Article78AgainstNYFSD.com
Founder of Chino, Ltd, a Delaware corporation Isn't Empire State of Mind an exhilarating song, invigorating both us to go and fight with the mutual belief that will both win. The reality is that only one; it could be you, it could me .... but in the words of my grand father; you leave me no choice than to go for broke.
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