Chief Justice of the District Court for the District of Columbia, Beryl Howell, stated that bitcoin is a form of money and is subject to money laundering laws.
The ruling allowed the court not to drop charges against Coin Ninja CEO Larry Dean Harmon, who was arrested in February. He is charged on three counts:
- laundering about $ 311 million through his Helix coin mixing service;
- running an unlicensed money transfer business;
- involvement in illegal activities for the transfer of funds.
The judge noted that money “commonly means a medium of exchange, method of payment, or store of value”
“Bitcoin is these things,” she said.
Recall that back in 2018, the head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Jay Clayton stressed that bitcoin can replace the dollar, yen, or euro, so it cannot be classified as securities.