Quick Take on Florida Ruling ‘Bitcoin is Not Money’

Judge Teresa Mary Pooler in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida dismissed the charges brought by the State against Espinoza, which accused the defendant of being an unlicensed money transmitter. Inter alia Pooler found that Bitcoin is not a payment instrument; instead virtual currencies are considered ‘property’ under Florida law, and Florida’s money transmission and money laundering statutes do not apply.

“Based on the ruling, the Judge arrived at a conclusion that the way the Florida money laundering and money transmitter statutes are written, do not accommodate for digital currencies, plainly or even for an inference to pull them within the statute,” said Brian Stoeckert, Managing Partner at Stratis Advisory. “Essentially, the Judge described that the statute on its face was inadequate and if such activity was going to fall under such a statute it would either need to be amended or a new law would have to be enacted.”