27 May '16, 11pm

Miami money-laundering case may define whether Bitcoin is really money

In a Miami money-laundering case that is being closely watched around the world, an economics professor took to the witness stand Friday to offer a tutorial on the widely known, if poorly understood, virtual currency known as Bitcoin. The takeaway: Bitcoin isn’t really money, professor Charles Evans said. No central government or bank backs Bitcoin, like the United States does the dollar. Government regulation of Bitcoin remains a messy hodgepodge from state to state, country to country. The IRS considers Bitcoin deals no more than bartering, he said. “Basically, it’s poker chips that people are willing to buy from you,” said Evans, a Barry University economics professor who, yes, was paid $3,000 worth of Bitcoins for his appearance as a defense witness. Attorney Frank Andrew Prieto held up a 1966 U.S. quarter. “Is Bitcoin an actual coin?” “In a sense of a physical piece o...

Full article: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article804210...

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