If you didn’t know already, ‘Bitcoin is money.’ So says a US judge, but isn’t she a little behind the times?
The last few days it was announced banks could offer crypto custodial services, and payments giants VISA and PayPal announced their intetnion to utilize Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Not to mention the Bitcoin community, who have understood all along the inevitability of Bitcoin.
US Judge Says ‘Bitcoin Is Money’
A Federal court in Washington D.C. stated yesterday that ‘Bitcoin is money’, and concluded that BTC is covered under the Washington D.C, Money Transmitters Act.
The ruling was brought up in the case of Larry Dean Harmon, who is being tried for fraud and money laundering, with prosecution claiming the defendant was running an underground Bitcoin trading platform.
Harmon is charged with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business under D.C. law and for money laundering under federal law.
It’s alleged that Harmon was using his platform to cloak drug and weapon sales.
The platform, which runs on the darknet, allegedly moved $311 million between 2014 and 2017, and the defendant has had 160 bitcoins seized after the bust.
The court denied a motion to return the seized Bitcoin, with Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell saying that the Bitcoin was likely involved in or to aid criminal transactions.
According to the indictment, Harmon was making hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions using Bitcoin.
Harmon’s defence tried to claim BTC wasn’t money, so his platform couldn’t possibly be a money transmitting business, and that the case should, therefore, be dismissed.
This was overruled by the judge, who then agreed with prosecution that Bitcoin was money, and refused to dismiss the case.
Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell then wrote on behalf of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that Bitcoin does meet the criteria of the Money Transmitters Act.
Howell said the idea of money ‘commonly refers to a medium of exchange, method of payment, or store of value.’ And according to Howell and the courts, ‘Bitcoin is these things.’
First They Ignore You, Then They Laugh at You, Then They Fight You, Then You Win
It was Gandhi who said, ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win,’ and this latest statement by one of the US’ leading courts is more evidence that governments are beginning to accept the inevitability of Bitcoin.
The news comes just a day after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said that nationally chartered U.S. banks could provide fiduciary and non-fiduciary custody services for cryptocurrencies.
The OCC public letter stated that both consumers and investment advisors would be able to use banks as regulated custodians to ensure they don’t lose their private keys.
Huge news indeed, and it led to proud Bitcoin Maximalist Jimmy Song claim, ‘You know there are a bunch of high net worth individuals interested in Bitcoin when a regulator out of nowhere says that banks can custody crypto.’
Interesting point, and it’s without question that the bigger money is becoming ever more interested in Bitcoin.
All of this comes off the back of both VISA and PayPal announcing their crypto intentions.
According to the VISA press release, the money payments giant had been ‘working closely with licensed and regulated digital currency platforms to provide a bridge between digital currencies and our existing global network of 61 million merchants.’
Added with PayPal’s intentions to introduce crypto payments, it’s been a very bullish week for news in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space.
Bitcoin Is Money and Everyone Is Slowly Finding Out
Bitcoin was first degraded as drug dealer money, and then magic Internet money, but the inevitability of Bitcoin needs only one thing: time.
The narrative is changing and the sentiment from legacy industries is beginning to turn positive.
Bitcoin is money. Anyone who has done a deep dive into Bitcoin knew this already, but now the law-makers, banks and financial industry at large are coming clean.
They understand the capabilities of Bitcoin more than we might believe, and they also know the future is digital, but they’re all having a hard time knowing their centralized control is at risk.
Author: Pablo Clarke
What is the point of Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a decentralized money. A money that nobody can control or manipulate, and a money that nobody can print and devalue. It’s also not necessary for any third party to verify transactions, so it makes it much faster and cheaper to send value. It’s also money built on the Internet: a society of almost 5 billion people.
How much should I invest in Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a new technology, and an asset that is finding its value. It has great potential, but the price is volatile, so investing in it should only be for those who understand it and have faith in it. And only invest as much as you can afford to lose.
Can you buy less than 1 Bitcoin?
Yes. Every Bitcoin can broken down into 100 million bits. They are known as satoshis, after the pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto. And some companies will let you buy as little as $1 worth of Bitcoin, which at time of writing is worth about 11,000 satoshis.
Where is the best place to buy Bitcoin?
There are many great places to buy Bitcoin, and it all depends on your preference. You can buy on typical cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Binance and CEX.IO. Or you can buy from peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplaces, such as Paxful and LocalBitcoins. You can also buy Bitcoin from Bitcoin ATMs. It all depends on your location and preference.
A Bitcoiner since 2017 and a Bitcoin Maximalist since 2018, Tommy is our main writer and editor at Bitcoin Maximalist. Other than researching and writing about Bitcoin, Tommy loves spending time with his family and supporting his beloved Leeds United.