Potentially setting the standard for future cases, a New York federal judge ruled that Bitcoin is a form of legal currency.
On September 19, Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District Court of New York likely ended the year-long Coin.mx case. Anthony Murgio, one of the Coin.mx operators, was indicted in July 2016 for working without a money transmission license. He was similarly charged with money laundering and willful failure to file suspicious activity report. Murgio’s council has been fighting to have the money laundering charges dismissed, arguing that Bitcoin is not legal currency.
Judge Nathan rejected Murgio’s bid to dismiss the money laundering charges, claiming that Bitcoin very explicitly qualifies as currency.
According to Reuters, she wrote a brief explanation regarding her decision:
Bitcoins are funds within the plain meaning of that term. Bitcoins can be accepted as a payment for goods and services or bought directly from an exchange with a bank account. They therefore function as pecuniary resources and are used as a medium of exchange and a means of payment.
She adds that her decision did not address six other criminal counts that Murgio faces.
Murgio, along with several other conspirators