Andrew “Drew” Hinkes is counsel at Berger Singerman LLP, a business law firm in Florida. Hinkes represents companies and entrepreneurs in state and federal commercial litigation matters, representation of court-appointed fiduciaries and electronic discovery issues.
In this opinion piece, Hinkes looks at the potential impact of the recent court decision in Florida that centered in part on the definitions of both bitcoin and money transmission.
Michell Espinoza had a good Monday.
On that day last week, the South Florida bitcoin exchanger saw money transmission and money laundering charges against him dismissed. Espinoza was arrested in 2014 for selling bitcoins to an undercover law enforcement agent, and he has again been thrust into the spotlight due to the potential impact of the case.
The court’s eight-page opinion, discussing the application of Florida money transmission and money laundering statutes to sales of bitcoin, was the first of its kind, and it suggested that certain notions of how the law views transactions made in bitcoin may be revisited.
All told, the Espinoza opinion may have only triggered a policy fight that will redefine Florida’s position on cryptocurrencies, as it reached a somewhat controversial conclusion when interpreting Florida’s money transmission statute.