Bitcoin (BTC) is now “a currency” for Washington Federal Court – Cryptocurrencies

The information is from Friday: The Money Transmitters Act, a text that defines and frames what a currency is in the American financial and fiscal environment, mentions Bitcoin as falling within this framework, in the same way as a fiat currency. A historic decision – even if it applies in a specific legal context – which closes a week rich in twists of the same nature for the creation of Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin (BTC), officially designated as a currency

It is a July 24 decision that will be a landmark in court history, but even more so in the young history of Bitcoin. By this, the Federal Court of Washington formally establishes that Bitcoin is “a form of money”, a fully fledged currency covered and concerned by the body of law applying to financial flows.

Specifically, the Chief Justice Beryl A. Howell in charge of the District Court of Columbia believes that “Money generally refers to a medium of exchange, a method of payment or a store of value. Bitcoins fall within this definition ”. Of which act.

Good news for a bad reason

Ironically, if the court thus finds itself granting a monetary status to Bitcoin, it is because of legal quibbles deployed in the context of the defense of a litigant. accused of money laundering, including through the use of bitcoins.

Larry Dean Harmon, since it is him who it is, thus faces serious charges for having animated a platform for the sale of illegal substances and services on the Dark Web, on funds of dubious financial transfers. However, part of his defense was to argue that his small business being in bitcoins, and Bitcoin not being money, it was impossible for him to launder it, CQFD. Although tried, but the judges respond in substance: in this particular context, Bitcoin is a perfect vector of value transmission, Bitcoin is therefore money, counter-CQFD and dismissal of defense lawyers on the ropes.


It should be noted in passing that Larry, who seems to have no doubts about the operation, took the opportunity to demand the return of 160 BTC seized by the authorities at the time of his arrest. You will not be surprised to learn that this request, too, was rejected.

Peter Van Valkenburgh, research director at the NGO Coin Center underlines the limited nature of this event when it comes to the perception of Bitcoin by the American authorities: “The district court ruling means that Bitcoin is treated as money only in the context of the law on financial flows in the area of ​​jurisdiction of the court”.

In other words, if this type of decision is likely to add water to the mill of Bitcoin normalization, there is little risk of seeing a double dollar / Bitcoin quote when the US markets open on Monday morning.


Even if we have to put it in perspective, this decision still comes to end an extraordinary week for Bitcoin in the United States. Indeed, it will be recalled that it comes a few hours after a historic announcement by the OCC, giving permission to American banks to hold and handle Bitcoin on behalf of their customers as part of their commercial offers.


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