Earlier this week, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal ruled for Bitcoin to qualify as money in a case that turned on whether the digital currency is the driver for financial crime. According to ZyCrypto:
“The appellate court’s opinion reverses Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Teresa Pooler’s 2016 finding that digital or cryptocurrency could not be considered money under Florida law. The case in question concerned Miami Beach resident Michell Espinoza, charged with two counts of money laundering and acting as an unauthorized money transmitter operating a digital currency-trading website, LocalBitcoins.com.’’
Although Judge Pooler’s ruling had dismissed the charges against Espinoza, the district court claims that Bitcoin “does not expressly fall under the definition of currency” found in the Florida Statute but crypto coins do constitute payment instruments. This means that the ‘payment instrument’ is also known as ‘monetary value’ is a medium of exchange whether it’s redeemable in currency or not. According to the court, Bitcoin functions as a medium of exchange.
Following this, the Third District Court of Appeal has remanded Espinoza’s case for more proceedings. According to Daily Business Review, “Its ruling in the case of the first impression might pave the way for regulation of cryptocurrency transfers in Florida, as federal agencies and state banking regulators weigh whether Bitcoin trading constitutes money transmission.”
The Age Old Argument
This raises the age-old argument of whether Bitcoin is actually money. There is a lot of evidence which indicates that it is as the cryptocurrency can be used to buy several things in the modern world. Gifts, good, services, hotels, and so much more can be purchased by other online transactions using Bitcoin.
How you spend Bitcoin isn’t that different from how you would spend fiat currency, it just has a different name and unfortunately a bad name associated with it. Bitcoin is a unit of account since different amounts of Bitcoin will get you different qualities and quantities of goods and services. In addition to this, Bitcoin is a store of value because you can store it and use it later with it having similar value. This is a trait that all other fiat currencies have.
The court's decision could be a gateway for cracking down on unregulated Bitcoin trading. An unregulated trading space makes it quite hard to get your crypto back in case you are scammed in a Bitcoin transaction(s).
What are your thoughts? Let us know what you think down below in the comments!