If A Bitcoin Isn't Really Money, Can You Commit Fraud With It?

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The answer to that philosophical conundrum will remain academic, after a federal magistrate judge found fault with its first premise.

Magistrate Judge Amoz Mazzant was ruling earlier this week on questions related to Securites and Exchange Commission allegations against Trendon Shavers of Texas, who is accused by the regulator of using his Bitcoin Savings & Trust to run a Ponzi scheme….

“Shavers argues that the BTCST investments are not securities because Bitcoin is not money, and is not part of anything regulated by the United States,” the judge wrote.

“Shavers also contends that his transactions were all Bitcoin transactions and that no money ever exchanged hands. The SEC argues that the BTCST investments are both investment contracts and notes, and, thus, are securities.”

Here’s a key line from the ruling: “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 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.”

A real judge finds that Bitcoin is real money [Globe And Mail]

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