Non-Event But Still Increased Exposure: Bitcoin Defined as ‘Money’ Under DC Federal Court


Bitcoin is a form of “money” under Washington D.C. Money Transmitters Act, a federal court said on Friday.

The ruling was made in a criminal case against Larry Dean Harmon, who operated an underground bitcoin trading platform for running an unlicensed money transmitting business under D.C. law and for laundering money under federal law, reported Bloomberg.

Money “commonly means a medium of exchange, method of payment, or store of value,” said Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. “Bitcoin is these things.”

It may seem like big news, but in actuality, it is a “non event,” which would have a minimal impact, if any, on how bitcoin is treated by the market.

“This just means that if you’re a bitcoin intermediary for someone living in DC, you need a money transmitter license,” clarified Neeraj K. Aggarwal of Coin Center. Also, it would not affect taxes, he said.

Stil, “Increased exposure nonetheless. Dates I like are Aug/7, Aug/28, and Sept/25 (FOMC meeting). Because vol is cheap, range is tight, macro correlations meaningful, and there are two major events in that horizon,” said economist and trader Alex Kruger.

Harmon was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2019, and his service, located on the Darknet, was used to exchange about $311 million between 2014 and 2017.

The court also denied Harmon’s motion to release his 160 Bitcoin seized by the government.

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