The recent ruling by a Florida judge where the cryptocurrency Bitcoin was controversially disqualified as a form of currency (as defined by Florida’s legal system) may be facing an overruling by an appeal from the state of Florida.
In the case of Florida v Michell Espinoza, the Florida-based bitcoin seller was charged with one count of unlawfully engaging in the business of money services business, and two counts of money laundering.
Espinoza was arrested in 2014 after selling Bitcoin on three separate occasions to an undercover officer. On the fourth meeting, a sting operation was initiated by the Miami Beach Police Department and the United States Secret Service’s Miami Electronic Crimes Task Force. The man was immediately arrested upon completion of the fourth transaction.
In July of 2016, Espinoza was cleared of all charges by Judge Teresa Mary Pooler of the 11th Judicial Circuit for Miami-Dade County. The case took almost two years to complete on account of the lack of decisive information, that is whether or not the cryptocurrency Bitcoin can be categorized as actual money.
Judge Pooler determined that Bitcoin is not a “payment instrument,” which is defined under the