July 31, 2020

The Federal Court in Washington DC ruled that Bitcoin is a form of money.

The Federal Court declared Friday that Bitcoin is a form of “money” covered by theWashington DC Remittance Act.

In the case of United States v. Larry Harmon, Chief Justice Beryl A. Howell, wrote thatmoney “generally means a means of exchange, a method of payment or a store ofvalue”. “Bitcoin is these things,” added Justice Howell. The definition of Bitcoin ascurrency is part of the Court’s decision not to drop criminal charges against LarryHarmon, former Dropbit CEO, who is accused of money laundering activities underfederal law.

The court’s comments imply that the District of Columbia’s coin transfer license isrequired. Bitcoin “is treated as currency and nothing else,” said Neeraj Agrawal, directorof communications for the Coin Center, a group of experts on cryptomoney policy.

Russia also legalizes it, but does not declare it as a monetary unit or method ofpayment.

Members of Russia’s lower house passed a bill in the third discussion on Wednesdaythat grants Bitcoin legal status but prohibits its use for payment of goods and services.The Digital Financial Assets Act (DFA) treats crypto-currencies as “digital rights,including monetary claims.

According to the Russian Central Bank’s comments, the draft introduced the definitionof digital currency, which cannot be used as a means of payment. In addition, they areconsidered to be electronic databases that can be adapted to investments. The legislationclearly states that they are not considered to be monetary units of the Russian Federationor of foreign countries, nor to pay for goods or services.

The Russian news agency TASS emphasized: “The central bank has the right todetermine the characteristics of digital assets that only qualified investors can use toissue, buy, sell and register digital assets within the framework of special informationsystems.

According to Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the Russian Banking Association and thelower house finance committee, legislators have taken advantage of their positions tolegally influence crypto-currency. The legislator defined it as a complex of digital data,digital code or a reference stored in an information system.

Something that has attracted attention in the new law is that users or investors can onlyown Bitcoin when it is declared as active. In May of this year, it was announced thatpeople who might violate the law will be fined or jailed. Purchases and transactionsmade with crypto currencies will face up to seven years in prison. The fine for issuingdigital assets without approval can reach $28,000.

The bill, which was delayed, had already provoked public opinion in March of this year,when there was already talk of stable currencies and tokens of value. Even AlexeyGuznov, head of the Central Bank of Russia’s legal department, said the institution doesnot believe that Bitcoin’s transactions and use should be legal in the country.

The bank’s position to ban payment for goods and services by 2019 is well known. Atthe time, the bank stated that if they decide to “legislate to prohibit the use ofcryptomoney as a method of payment,” we would support that position.