Miami Judge Rules that Bitcoin is not Money in Money Laundering Case

By Daniel Zo Bitcoin, USA, Money laundering

According to recent reports, a Miami-based judge just ruled that Bitcoin is not actually money, a decision not taken lightly by digital currency fans from all around the world.

The case in question refers to a web designer known by the name of Michell Espinoza, who reportedly laundered and illegally transmitted around $1,500 worth of Bitcoin. Reports indicate that the funds were then sold to undercover detectives who told the web designer that they were to be used to purchase stolen credit card numbers from the internet.

Bitcoin money

Judge Teresa Mary Pooler ruled that as Bitcoin is not currently backed by governments or banks, and due to the fact that it cannot be stored as a tangible good, that Bitcoin isn’t money. In an eight page order written after the ruling, Pooler explained that: “The court is not an expert in economics; however, it is very clear, even to someone with limited knowledge in the area, the Bitcoin has a long way to go before it the equivalent of money”.

Additionally, it was also stated that according to Florida law, if an individual is charged with money laundering once they get involved in financial transactions that promote illegal activity, they are eligible for punishment. Yet, the terms are currently too vague to apply to the digital currency. Pooler continued by saying that “This court is unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another, when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning”.

This is understandable to an extent. However, it does show that there is a bit of a need for regulation, as simply ignoring the fact that digital currency has value, will help promote criminal activity carried out with it.

However, the ruling is quite laudable, as bitcoin experts from all around the world believe that the judge’s ruling will encourage further use of the digital currency, while also offering state governments in the country the possibility to further understand bitcoin, and find positive ways of regulating it for the better good.

Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about the recent ruling? Is Bitcoin not advanced enough to be officially considered a currency? Is this a good thing? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.