Licence to Print Money, Cryptically Speaking

Bitcoin, the crypto-currency, is not yet real money. 

Times of India reports that according to a Florida Judge, Bitcoin is not real money. Ironically, that could provide a boost to use of the crypto-currency which has remained in the shadows of the financial system. The July 22 ruling by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Teresa Pooler means that no specific license is needed to buy and sell bitcoins. The judge dismissed a case against Michel Espinoza, who had faced money laundering and other criminal charges for attempting to sell $1,500 worth of bitcoins to an undercover agent who told the defendant he was going to use the virtual money to buy stolen credit card numbers.

Espinoza's lawyer Rene Palomino said the judge acknowledged that it was not illegal to sell one's property and ruled that this did not constitute running an unauthorized financial service. "He was selling his own personal bitcoins," Palomino said. "This decision clears the way for you to do that in the state of the Florida without a money transmitting license." 

In her ruling, Judge Pooler said, "this court is unwilling to punish a man for selling his property to another, when his actions fall under a statute that is so vaguely written that even legal professionals have difficulty finding a singular meaning." She added that "this court is not an expert in economics," but that bitcoin "has a long way to go before it is the equivalent of money."

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