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Bitcoin (BTC) is money, according to appeals court in Florida


www.chepicap.com 31 January 2019 08:50, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

An appeals court in Florida has reversed a decision which ruled that Bitcoin (BTC) shouldn't be classified as money. Judge Teresa May Pooler decided that a man charged with illegally providing money services involving BTC should now stand trial.

The State of Florida appealed against a decision taken back in 2014 to dismiss a case against Michael Espinoza, who had been caught selling BTC for cash by an undercover police officer. Espinoza had claimed that selling Bitcoin "does not qualify as “money transmitting” under section 560.125, because Bitcoin is not “money”
under the statute."

The appeals court has now decided that the "trial court erred in dismissing Count 1 because Espinoza acted as both a money transmitter and a payment instrument seller and, as such, was required to register with the State of Florida as a money services business."

Although it doesn't meet all the legal requirements for a currency, "Bitcoin does fall under the definition of a “payment instrument.” Included in the definition of a payment instrument is “monetary value,” which is defined as “a medium of exchange, whether or not redeemable in currency." ... (BTC is) redeemable for currency...Similarly, Bitcoin and bitcoins function as a “medium of exchange.”" This new classification is what led the court to overturn the initial ruling.

Read more: Will Bitcoin replace fiat money?

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