Reporter Writes to US Politicians Concerning Illegality of Bitcoin


Reporter Writes to US Politicians Concerning Illegality of Bitcoin – ZDNET Reporter Ken Hess recently wrote letters to the key politician lobby – Congressmen and Senators – concerning the illegality of Bitcoin in the United States.

“What makes it illegal is Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5 of the Constitution of the United States. Only the US Treasury can coin currency,” he said while resting his argument before his readers, which now include a huge chunk of Bitcoin followers as well.

The aforementioned decree gives special rights to the US Treasury to coin currency, while any other currency issued outside their knowledge is considered illegal throughout the US. “To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures,” it says.

Hess hopes to collect similar opinions from the leading politicians in the US, only to use it against Bitcoin at the time of judgment. And he seems to have got one in Dr. Tom Coburn, a member of the Republican Party and junior Senator from Oklahoma. The politician’s response to Hess’s letter is give below, in its totality.

Dear Mr. Hess,


Thank you for writing to me to express your concerns about cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. I appreciate the opportunity to hear from you on this matter and share many of your concerns.


The IRS recently announced its ruling that cryptocurrencies will be taxed at capital gains rates rather than ordinary tax rates, so there is no longer ambiguity surrounding its tax treatment. I understand your concerns with the potential use of cryptocurrencies in money-laundering activities. This risk is certainly a potential threat, particularly since transactions exceeding ten thousand dollars do not require disclosure to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.


In terms of the Department of Treasury’s sole authority to produce currency, the definition of currency must be analyzed. Currency is legal tender recognized by the federal government. In other words, if the federal government does not disperse or remit cryptocurrencies, they are simply not legal currency. If the IRS were to accept bitcoin as tax payment or if Congress were to appropriate bitcoins, then a constitutional conflict would exist under Article I Section 8 Clause 5. I will continue to carefully monitor the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.


Again, thank you for writing to me. Best wishes.



November 20, 2014
Tom A. Coburn, M.D.
United States Senator

TC: mpk

Hess stressed on the Senator’s letter as a counter-argument to dozens of hate-tweets he received from the Bitcoin community. He further cited his dedication towards continuing his battle against the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

To contact the reporter of the story: Yashu Gola at