Tag Archives: money

Germany Ministry of Finance Declares Bitcoin is Private Money

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Germany Declares Bitcoin is Private Money

It seems that every government is starting to weigh in on Bitcoin. First, the Bank of Thailand advised local companies that Bitcoin is illegal. Then, a federal judge in Texas wrote that Bitcoin is money in a ruling about a Bitcoin ponzi scheme.

Now, Germany has ruled that Bitcoins are private money.

“The German Ministry of Finance does not classify bitcoins as e-money or as a functional currency; they cannot be regarded as a foreign currency. Nevertheless they have to be subsumed under the German term of ‘Rechnungseinheit’ as a financial instrument,” Martin Chaudhuri from the Ministry of Finance told CoinDesk. Rechnungseinheit translates to unit of account in English.

Via MarketWatch.

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Federal Judge Rules Bitcoin is Money in Ponzi Scheme Case

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Bitcoin is Money SEC Ponzi Scheme Ruling

Bitcoin is Money, Say Federal Judge

A few weeks ago, we covered the story of Trendon T. Shavers, a Texas man charged by the SEC with running a Bitcoin ponzi scheme. Now labeled the “Bernie Madoff of Bitcoin,” Mr. Shavers founded and operated Bitcoin Savings and Trust (BTCST), and over 700,000 BTC through this investment vehicle, an amount equivalent to nearly $5 million USD at the time of raising, and roughly $70 million today.

One component of Shavers’ attempted defense was to call into question whether Bitcoin is truly a form of money and therefore can be regulated by the SEC. The federal judge ruled with no uncertainty that Bitcoin is money.

It is clear that Bitcoin can be used as money. It can be used to purchase goods or services, and as Shavers stated, used to pay for individual living expenses. The only limitation of Bitcoin is that it is limited to those places that accept it as currency. However, it can also be exchanged for conventional currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, Euro, Yen, and Yuan. Therefore, Bitcoin is a currency or form of money, and investors wishing to invest in BTCST provided an investment of money.

So much for that, Mr. Shavers.

Patrick Murck, general counsel for the Bitcoin Foundation, commented to Wired on the case. “This isn’t that shocking. If anyone wants to run a Ponzi scheme in Bitcoin, they can expect to get busted. If you run a Ponzi scheme anywhere, you’re gonna get busted — and you should. Bitcoin isn’t some sort of silver bullet that somehow ameliorates all the legal concern around your otherwise illegal activity.”

The full ruling by the court is embedded below.


CC image by Joe Gratz

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