State of Michigan Sees Federal District Court Rule Bitcoin as Money
A very positive step for Bitcoin’s road to legitimacy as “real money” was made recently. A lawyer based in Washington DC named Stephen D. Palley has recently told the world that a Federal Court in the state of Michigan has made quite an important step: the court has ruled that Bitcoin can, indeed, be considered money.
While someone could argue that Bitcoin does not need the legitimacy of the law, any more traditional investor knows that this is a huge step in the right direction, as it may lead to more adoption and to people understanding the potential of this virtual asset.
The ruling of the Southern Division of the Eastern District of Michigan was not very positive for everybody, though, as the case in which it was recognized that Bitcoin was money was a money laundering one. The defendant of the case was charged with a money laundering scheme which involved using Bitcoin to launder thousands of dollars.
According to the court filings, the case happened as the defendant was not acting legally, as the facilitated large Bitcoin transactions without being registered as a money transmitter. The defendant then affirmed that Bitcoin wasn’t money in order to escape a conviction, but it turned out that the Michigan court was more progressive than he anticipated and deemed that Bitcoin could be considered money.
The court used the following definition of money for the case: money is anything that can be considered and used as a medium of exchange, a measure of value or means of payment. This definition was already used in some cases before like US v Murgio and US v Feialla, so it was adopted here.
Also, the court has relied on a previous guide issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in order to decide for this stance. Therefore, the actions of the defendant were considered a money transmission and he was charged, despite using virtual assets. The sentence was defined by Judge Victoria Roberts.
An Important Step, But the Industry Lacks Regulation Still
Despite this being an important step to regulate cryptos as money, the U. S. has a lot of state laws and they can be an obstacle in order to determine in a countrywide fashion how to actually regulate Bitcoin properly.
Some states do not recognize Bitcoin as money while others do and the laws might have considerable differences, despite the efforts of some states to define cryptos.