In the USA, bitcoin is recognized as money

New decision of the District Court of the District of Columbia on Bitcoin

There is no single approach to determining the legal status of bitcoin in the world. Many countries do not regulate this issue in any way, and in other countries there is no consensus on how to treat cryptocurrencies in general, and bitcoin in particular. Countries such as the United States are a beacon for other jurisdictions in matters of legal regulation of cryptocurrencies, so any news from this country is of great interest to the crypto community.

On July 24, 2020, the chief United States District Judge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Beryl A. Howell, in her opinion (Memorial Opinion), ruled that bitcoin is a form of money and is subject to anti-money laundering (AML) legislation.

This conclusion was adopted as part of the trial in the US federal case against Larry Dean Harmon, CEO of Coin Ninja, who was arrested in February and charged with three counts: money laundering, running an unlicensed business and illegal money transfer activities.

We are talking about a service called Helix. In the court record, federal prosecutors stated that Helix is a bitcoin money laundering service that, for a fee, allows customers to send anonymous bitcoins:

"Harmon [Larry Dean Harmon, the defendant] advertised Helix to customers on Darknet as a way to hide transactions from law enforcement."

And it looks like it was a profitable venture. The federal prosecutor's office claims that Helix laundered at least 354,468 bitcoins, which is equivalent to about 311 million US dollars.

In addition to determining the legal status of bitcoin as money, the opinion of Chief Judge Beryl Howell contains another important definition – the legal concept of Darknet.

"Darknet is a collection of hidden websites "accessible only through anonymization software that hides users' IP addresses" by "filtering their traffic" through a relay network called the Tor network"

What are the consequences of this decision by a US federal judge? With a high degree of probability, this is an important precedent on which further practice in regulating cryptocurrencies in the United States will be based. Moreover, judicial and law enforcement agencies around the world will be able to use these definitions and concepts in their work with cryptocurrency cases.

If you plan to engage in cryptocurrency business, be sure to contact qualified international lawyers for advice. Legal services at Antwort Law will not only avoid possible problems with the law, but also significantly facilitate the daily operations of your foreign company.

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