DC Court Rules That Bitcoin is a Form of Money

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BTC a form of money according to a Washington DC courtA Washington DC court recently ruled Bitcoin a form of “money” which was instrumental in the United States vs. Harmon case. The ruling played a key role in the court not dropping charges against Larry Harmon suspected for money laundering. Harmon used his illegal Bitcoin trading platform to launder money and if it wasn’t for the court’s ruling, he would have walked away with ease.

This is great news for all American crypto fans. Although the ruling was made in a criminal case, experts say that it’s a big point for the future of Bitcoin.

Does Bitcoin Fit the Definition of Money?

In late 2019, Larry Dean Harmon was indicted by the District of Columbia Federal Grand Jury on money laundering charges. He supposedly used his Bitcoin trading platform to launder money, yet all the transactions were made with Bitcoin. Harmon knew the laws very well and moved to dismiss citing a “failure to state an offense”.

This put the court in a tough position. Since Bitcoin is not officially recognized by the US government, the Washington court had a short time to determine if Bitcoin fits the definition of money. For the purposes of the case, it eventually did. Of course, this is not a state-wide recognition of Bitcoin. It simply means that it is treated as money in the context of money transmission licensing in DC. Of course, it still is a big win for Bitcoin and cryptos.

If this happened a few years back, Harmon could have walked a free man. Luckily, the law is starting to recognize the emergence of Bitcoin and treating it as a form of money in some cases. At some point, the federal law will have to make an official decision on Bitcoin, and these kinds of rulings will certainly play a part in it.

After the ruling, Harmon’s motion to dismiss all charges was denied. His operation, Helix, worked on the darknet allowing customers to send Bitcoins to designated users in a concealed and obfuscated way. The operation was shut down in 2017, but Harmon was arrested in February 2020. Helix documents obtained during the investigation showed that Harmon meant to make Helix a “Bitcoin tumbler”. In layman’s terms, it allowed customers to clean Bitcoins by giving them completely new ones that haven’t been on the darknet.

Over $300 Million Exchanged

According to the court, Harmon managed to move a total of 354,468 Bitcoins. That would be the equivalent of $311 million. That’s a lot of money, to be honest, so it’s no wonder why Harmon was apprehended.

For those wondering what this means for Bitcoin’s future, at the moment, we’re sure it’s not enough to move mountains. However, it’s a step in the right direction. If the law considers Bitcoin a form of money for criminal cases, it could eventually officially recognize it. With industries such as Bitcoin gambling targeting US players in recent years, the pressure on the government grows. It’ll eventually crack, but it’ll take some more time.

July 29, 2020: • No Comments

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