NY Federal Judge: Bitcoin Is Money

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Sep 20, 2016

A New York Federal Judge has ruled that, at least for the purposes of criminal prosecution, the digital currency known as bitcoin, despite not being connected to any sovereign nation, is considered money, according to Reuters. The case concerns Anthony Murgio, who managed a bitcoin exchange called Coin.mx, which prosecutors said was an unlicensed exchange. Murgio claimed that bitcoins do not count as "funds," and therefore his exchange should not be considered in violation of licensing rules regarding money transmitting businesses. The judge, however, said that they meet the plain meaning of that term, as in they can be accepted as a payment for goods and services or bought directly from an exchange with a bank account. 

The case adds to the current debate as to how exactly one should classify digital currencies like bitcoin. The IRS, for example, says that virtual currencies are, for tax purposes at least, property, not currency that could generate foreign currency gain or loss for U.S. federal tax purposes. 
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, meanwhile, says that virtual currencies are actually a commodity like soy beans and barrels of oil. 

Click here to see more of the latest news from the NYSSCPA.