Wikipedia calls Bitcoin a cryptocurrency (a currency that relies on cryptography), but now it’s official. A federal judge in Texas has declared that Bitcoin is a currency and should therefore be regulated just like U.S. dollars or gold. The ruling represents yet another attempt to regulate Bitcoin transactions, threatening the original purpose of the currency.
While it looks like a recognition that Bitcoins are worth something, the decision threatens once again Bitcoin’s utopian concept. As a reminder, the Department of Homeland Security recently issued a seizure warrant on Bitcoin exchange service Mt. Gox because it didn’t comply to money transfer regulations.
Today’s decision goes in the same direction. BTCST, a Bitcoin-based hedge fund, claimed that “the BTCST investments are not securities because Bitcoin is not money, and is not part of anything regulated by the United States,” wrote Judge Amos Mazzant. She then stated the exact opposite of BTCST’s defense:
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