ABA Journal


Business of Law

My clients can pay me in bitcoins, criminal defense lawyer says

May 1, 2013, 08:52 pm CDT


Never heard of them.

By B. McLeod on 2013 05 01, 11:03 pm CDT

Wait a minute--you can also buy Bitcoins online. If a client comes in with a $5,000 retainer in Bitcoins, can a criminal defense attorney realistically expect his State Bar to believe the the client "won" them playing some WOW derivative interactive game online?

On the other hand, the conversion rate may be cheaper than accepting credit cards.... Which some jurisdictions won't permit for retainers

By BMF on 2013 05 01, 11:28 pm CDT

Oh, this clearly will go so well.

BMcLoed, try this:

By JimB on 2013 05 02, 2:33 pm CDT

There was a story in the press around 2008-2009 about stores in NYC that were taking payment in Euros (because the U.S. Dollar wasn't in vogue back then). Hope they didn't keep the deposits in a Cypriot bank.

By KG on 2013 05 02, 5:57 pm CDT

BTC would be safer to accept than a check or a credit card because, like cash, it is immediate and it can not bounce/have a chard-back. Also as an alternative to accepting BTC straight a provider may use a service like BitPay to process the transaction for a 1% fee and pay in $USD (The client pays in BTC/BitPay takes the BTC/BitPay pays the provider in $USD minus 1% fee).

By HJP on 2013 05 02, 8:14 pm CDT

Yay Texas.

This is really hardly surprising, though. Bitcoins have a trade value. They're essentially a form of security. It really is just a "cash substitute."

By Edmund Wilfong on 2013 05 03, 9:34 am CDT

McLeod, time to dust off those old cobwebs. Get rid of the Rotary Phone, 8-Track tapes, and Floppy Disks you still have around!

By O. Rosales on 2013 05 03, 4:45 pm CDT

Heck yeah, I'll accept payment in bits. A "bit" is one eighth of a Spanish doubloon (hence calling a twenty-five cent piece "two bits.'). But I would vastly prefer U.S. Double Eagles

By Faulhaber on 2013 05 04, 1:06 am CDT

Or one eighth of a US dollar (hence, "two bits" in a quarter, or the old saw, "two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar, all for [real money] stand up and holler").

By B. McLeod on 2013 05 04, 2:29 pm CDT


You can also "mine" bitcoins by being the first one with the computer to complete the math thingy (I'm not a computer programmer, so "math thingy" was as far as I understood for what has to be done to mine bitcoins) during the period in which any given distribution of bitcoins occur.

By OKBankLaw on 2013 05 09, 5:51 pm CDT

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