Today marks an important chapter for Bitcoin history in Washington D.C.: BTC is considered a form of cash.
According to a Bloomberg Law publication report, Friday July 24, 2020, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia defined money as a form of money. According to the Judge, money referred to any “medium of exchange, payment method, or store of value.” The Judge opined that Bitcoin was all those things. The court said:
“The virtual currency known as Bitcoin is a form of “money” covered under the Washington, D.C.; Money Transmitters Act […] The D.C. law adopts that meaning even though it doesn’t strictly define “money,” the court said.”
The D.C. Court refused to dismiss criminal charges against Larry Dean Harmon. The man operated on an illicit Bitcoin trading platform and ran unlicensed money transmitting business. He was charged under D.C. law and for laundering money under federal law. According to the charge sheet, Harmon ran a Darknet operation. The prosecutors said laundered more than $300 million worth of cryptocurrency often used for illegal transactions in underground marketplaces.
Federal prosecutors say Harmon, 36, ran a service that allowed customers to send bitcoin and obscure its origin. Such services are known as “mixing” or “tumbling.” Federal authorities shut it down in 2017 and said drugs bought on what was then the largest Darknet marketplace were tied to overdose deaths. Helix exchanged at least 354,468 bitcoins, the equivalent of about $311 million at the time of the transactions, the indictment states.
Global Leader in Cryptocurrency
The debate is still raging in the USA and other parts of the world on whether Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are deemed money. In March this year, a U.S. congressman from Arizona has introduced the Cryptocurrency Act of 2020 while under coronavirus quarantine. Rep. Paul Gosar revealed introduced “the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020.” The bill clarifies which federal agencies regulate which type of crypto assets. He said, “It’s crucial that America remains the global leader in cryptocurrency,” the lawmaker stated:
“By providing much-needed regulatory clarity about cryptocurrency, we will make it easier for businesses, institutions, and everyday Americans to participate in this growing industry. No more murkiness, uncertainty, or confusion.”
Adoption Is Taking Shape
The Judge’s pronouncement comes a month after Canadian authorities clarified that cryptocurrency exchanges and payment processors were legally recognized as Money Service Businesses (MSB) within Canada. The June 1, 2020 enactment saw the enactment of amendments to Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act that were passed in June 2019 to address holes in the then-existing framework.
Bitcoin adoption continues as individuals and institutions have started seeing BTC as a safe haven akin to gold or silver. Countries like the USA’s response to the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are poking holes at the power of the fiat currency system. There are various narratives surrounding Bitcoin, but the biggest one is that adoption is taking shape, with lawyers in D.C. now accepting it as a form of payment.