Plz give me your opinion of a situation I’ve stumbled upon.
An 80 yr old main, living in the United States somehow got connected with the company Quarterly Connections out of Colorado. He somehow purchased 2 bitcoins at that time for $1200 each. One bitcoin was purchased in 2 payments and a second bitcoin was purchased with 1 pymt. He used the same credit card to make all 3 payments.
Question #1: How can it be verified that he actually owns 2 bitcoins?
Question #2: In a situation like this, whose name should the ownership of the bitcoins be in a) the individual that paid for it or b) the company that he purchased it through?
Here we are today, February 2017 and he needs to sell one bitcoin. Unfortunately Quarterly Connections is not helping.
Question #3: How does one go about selling a bit coin?
Since I’m new to the whole bitcoin topic and, I’m trying to help him in his time of need, any advice, insight and/or guidance would be most appreciated.
OK I checked out Quarterly Connection. Seems to be some kind of sales / marketing company, couldn’t quite figure out what they were all about but didn’t see any mentions of Bitcoin there. The good news is that they say they’re registered and provide contact details and contact people:
So provided the man has some kind of record of purchasing these bitcoins via that service, you should be able to put together a legal case if all else fails.
To answer your specific questions:
1) Unless the bitcoins are in his position (in a Bitcoin wallet under his direct and personal control) there is no way to prove within the Bitcoin system itself that he is the owner. You would have to rely on invoices and so on acknowledging the transfer of ownership from Quarterly to the man in order to prove that he is or was the owner… The problem here is that unless the invoice states to which Bitcoin address the bitcoins were paid, and unless those bitcoins still reside in that particular address and haven’t been moved, then it’s not possible to prove that the man is still the owner of them. For example, he could have received the coins at a certain stated address, then moved them to another address – either his own or someone else’s. There’s no kind of public record of who owns which address, is the core problem here. There’s just a record of addresses (known as the blockchain), with no identities associated.
2) Well, the assets should be in the name of the owner, is my understanding of how these things should usually work. So the bitcoins should be in the man’s name, at least within Quarterly’s own records. Note again that there’s no record of which identity owns which bitcoins within the Bitcoin system itself. The way ownership of Bitcoin works is that the controller of the private key associated with each Bitcoin address is the only one who has the ability to move bitcoins from that address, to another address of their choosing. It sounds to me like Quarterly owns the private keys, so at least as far as the Bitcoin network sees things, they own the Bitcoin. This is why you may need that purchase record / invoice – so as to prove to the authorities that as per the trade agreement, the man in fact owns the bitcoins, meaning Quarterly needs to cough them up or face legal penalties.
3) Selling bitcoins is fairly easy – I would suggest registering with a Bitcoin exchange such as Coinbase.com. Once the bitcoins are back under the man’s control, within his wallet, he could then send however much coin he wants to sell to Coinbase, exchange it for USD, and withdraw the USD to his bank account.
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