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SS Legal Advisor
SS Legal Advisor, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  Senior Caseworker at DL Solicitors
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I’d like to understand the legal implications of running

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Hello I’d like to understand the legal implications of running cryptocurrency servers, also known as cryptocurrency mining, in the Uk.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: I’ve not spoken to a lawyer yet...this is what I’d like to do. I’m based in the UK.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: In terms of getting advice? None. This is my first step.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thank you.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I’d like to run a ‘node’ - a server on a blockchain network confirming transactions.
This is a modern, cutting edge type of cryptocurrency network which will provide private messaging as well as payments in its native digital currency. It would essentially act like a watsapp with payments incorporated...As it develops it will also enable Decentralised Applications that exchange information between users: that information might be value (in the form of the digital currency itself), messages or even smart contracts.
Nodes work with other nodes to anonymously confirm the exchange of information from a sender to a recipient t...the information is cryptographically locked and scrambled resulting in no metadata about the users, who they transacted with or what they transacted.
Nodes earn monthly fees in the form of the digital currency each month, in return for being online and providing their service in maintaining the network.
I would like to know if running such a node could have any adverse legal implications?
What if the network were used by criminals in some way...could ‘node runners’ be individually or even collectively held responsible for having unwittingly transferred a criminal’s information or funds?
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Are there currently any legal guidelines in the UK?
Hello,
I am an experienced legal advisor and I am happy to answer your question.It is currently perfectly legal to mine crypto currency and there is minimal regulation in relation to mining.The only thing you need to remember is that crypto mining is classed as miscellaneous income by HMRC. The first 1k is tax free by way of an automatic allowance but there after you'll pay income tax.Kind regards
S
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Hello. Thanks very much for your response. Can you give an opinion of what liability could be assumed by a node runner in the case where the network was unwittingly used for criminal activity? Let’s say for example:
a) the transfer of proceeds from illegal trade
b) transfer of data that might constitute illicit / indecent imagery
c) messages that might incite violence or terrorismCould node runners be held responsible if a third party used the network to transfer that data?Thanks again for your help
John
Thanks for your follow up question.The best way to look at it is that criminal offences have two elements. A wrongful act and intent.You are simply confirming transactions, you don't know their content or purpose, you didn't send them or were the intend recipient.Therefore you have neither element of a criminal offence.You would there have no liability. I envisage in the future as crypto becomes more the norm, regulations will come in place for crypto mining and crypto trading to ensure nothing illicit is occurring and identities are not hidden, but for now you are fine to continue mining.Kind regards
S
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Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Wow. Amazing answer to my question. Thank you so much