In a landmark decision a Florida judge has ruled that the anonymous digital currency bitcoin is not money.
Circuit Court Judge Teresa Pooler has dismissed a money laundering case brought against a website developer, ruling that “nothing in our frame of references allows us to accurately define or describe Bitcoin.”
That case involved one Michell Espinoza, who was charged with money laundering after selling bitcoin to undercover cops via his website, Local Bitcoins.
“Bitcoin may have some attributes in common with what we commonly refer to as money, but differ in many important aspects,” Judge Teresa Pooler wrote. “While bitcoin can be exchanged for items of value, they are not a commonly used means of exchange. They are accepted by some but not all merchants or service providers. The value of Bitcoin fluctuates wildly and has been estimated to be eighteen times greater than the U.S. dollar. Their high volatility is explained by scholars as due to their insufficient liquidity, the uncertainty of future value, and the lack of a stabilization mechanism. With such volatility they have a limited ability to act as a store of value, another important attribute of money.”
Over the past year-and-a-half, bitcoin has become a wildly popular form of sending and receiving money to and from online gambling websites.
- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com