A DC Federal court ruled that Bitcoin falls under the District of Columbia’s Money Transmitter Act and that it can be considered as a form of money so, in our latest Bitcoin news, we take a closer look at the court’s decision.
The United States DC Federal Court ruled that bitcoin is a form of money, regulated under the District of Columbia’s Money Transmitter Act and the conclusion is a part of the criminal activity that involves the US versus Larry Dean Harmon who operated a BTC mixing platform. The US financial regulators used to debate over the Bitcoin status as a commodity or security while the federal court set a precedent when it called bitcoin “money and said it was covered under the MTA regulatory framework.”
This enabled it to decline the dismissal of the criminal charges against Larry Dean Harmon who ran a BTC mixing service which helped clients launder money that was obtained illegally. Harmon was charged with operating unlicensed money transferring business as he was targeting potential clients over the Darknet. He promoted services named Helix as a platform that mixed the cryptocurrency by leaving no traces of where it comes from. This platform was used by gun traffickers, hackers, and drug dealers.
He was later indicted by a federal grand jury in 2019 but rejected all accusations related to illegal money-transmissions claiming that Bitcoin is not money so the platform wasn’t laundering it through his business. Chief Judge Beryl A Howel wrote for the US District court that money “usually means a medium of exchange, method of payment or store of value” and that Bitcoin represents all of these things.
The indictment said that the service managed to exchange about $311 million in the past four years to 2017 which represented about 354,486 bitcoin moved on behalf of the clients while this amount reached more than $3.3 billion. Harmon advertised the platform as a method to hide guns, drugs, and other illegal things but he told the clients that there was no way for the US law enforcement to distinguish the Helix Addresses as the platform used new ones for each transaction. Harmon also wanted to recoup the 160 bitcoin that was seized by the government but the court denied his motion.
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