The U.S. Govt has the power to regulate the internet and cryptocurrency

I agree with Exapno_Mapcase (why do I keep thinking his name is mapocolypse?). Congress doesn’t have power to outright ban private currencies, only their usage in interstate commerce.

A small invite-only private summer camp that only takes kids from in-state would be completely immune to federal regulation on the use of private currency (like ‘camp bucks’). They could probably get away with discriminating on the basis of race, for the same reason.

Private bank currency is different because it can be argued even small private banks have an effect on interstate commerce. So that accounts for UltraVires objection, post #8.

And of course states are independently prohibited from issuing public currencies.


I agree that based on original public understanding, you are right. If we take current case law interpreting the commerce clause you would be incorrect. The Raich case dealing with marijuana is a perfect example. Even intrastate transactions affect the interstate market and are subject to regulation by Congress.

But you’re saying Congress has this authority due to the commerce clause. I still say the money clause is more relevant and that doesn’t require any interstate standard to be met. Congress can regulate money because it’s money not because it travels across state lines.

Two different parts…first is the Congressional power:

“To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;”

Further, no state has the power to “make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”

So, (putting aside the commerce clause) I don’t see how this helps your argument. Congress can coin money and regulate the value of the money it coined. States may not make money except gold and silver coins.

How would that allow Congress to prohibit a private citizen from making a private currency?

I disagree, I do not think you can extend Raich so as to cover all private, intra-state transactions. Only those where it can reasonably be shown that the transactions have an effect on interstate commerce. That is why my summer camp example involves a small, invite-only, private summer camp that only has in-state kids. That is why I agreed with you when it comes to bank-issued scrip.


I agree with UltraVires on this. Looking at the text, in my opinion the power to “regulate the Value thereof” applies only to money coined by Congress.


It isn’t an extension of Raich but a narrowing of it. Raich involved no transaction at all, and the activity (growing marijuana) was completely intrastate.

Yes, your hypothetical in-state only camp using “Camp Bucks” would not affect interstate commerce very much, but neither did Angel Raich by growing five marijuana plants. But the government argued, and won, on the theory that by permitting thousands to do what Ms. Raich did it would have a substantial effect on interstate commerce.

Likewise, if small private camps using Camp Bucks got on the Congressional radar for some reason, the argument that a single private in-state camp did not have any effect on interstate commerce would be met with the same fate.

I acknowledged that this interpretation existed in an earlier post. But as I said, I disagree with it. I feel the correct interpretation is that the text gives Congress both the power to issue money and the power to regulate money; not just the power to regulate the money it issues.

That’s a plausible reading, but even under your interpretation, the text doesn’t say it can “regulate” money in general, but that it can regulate the value of money.

That works when it is pegged to a certain quantity of gold or some other commodity, and when the group regulating it controls it (like Congress with the USD) but it is all but impossible with private fiat currency. If I started issuing UltraVires Bucks and Congress declared them to be worthless, what would stop someone from giving me $1 USD for my one UltraVires Buck? Things are always worth what a willing buyer and seller come to the meeting of the minds about.

It doesn’t carry over, marijuana is a market good across all jurisdictions. Local scrip is not necessarily so - play money between children of a single neighborhood is beyond Congress’s authority to regulate.


Generally, saying the government has the power to regulate something doesn’t mean they have the power to stop it from happening. They’re mortal men not gods.

So when the government regulates the speed of traffic, for example, it does so by setting a speed limit into law. This doesn’t make it impossible for people to drive faster than the speed limit. But the enforcement of the law and the associated penalties incentivizes people to drive below the speed limit.

The same would be true if the government decided to say that private currency had a value of zero. It would enact this into law. After that, people could choose to treat UltraVires Bucks as items with a value equivalent of a dollar - but they would be breaking the law by doing so and would face the associated risks.