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Jacob Maslow
Jacob Maslow
Articles (187)  | Author's Website |

Proposed Florida Law Targets Bitcoin Criminals

A proposed law would add bitcoins and other virtual currencies to the state's money-laundering statute

April 24, 2017

Bitcoin criminals may soon be arrested in Florida for money laundering. A proposed law would add bitcoins and other virtual currencies to the state's money-laundering statute, Legal Scoops reports.

Lawmakers proposed the bill after a judge threw out a case against a Miami Beach man who allegedly sold $1,500 worth of bitcoins believed to have been used to purchase stolen credit card numbers.

Cyber-crime prosecutors from Miami helped craft the bill, which was introduced during the legislative session in Tallahassee.

"The high-tech criminals of the 21st century use virtual currencies like bitcoin to accumulate and hide the profits of their illegal activities," said Miami State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. "This legislation makes sure that traffickers and fraudsters can no longer try to use internet-based currencies to hide and move their ill-gotten gains."

Those opposed to the bill say the legislation will hurt bitcoin's value, which has boosted commerce between Florida and Venezuela, where the banking system is suffering.

Rep. Jose Felix Diaz sponsored the House version of the bill, which passed unanimously last week. A Senate version has already passed two subcommittees and is awaiting approval from an appropriations committee.

U.S. lawmakers are still trying to figure out how laws apply to virtual currencies, like Bitcoin, which allow you to make anonymous purchases and can also be purchased and traded on exchanges with real currencies.

Virtual currencies are growing in popularity, with merchants selling everything from goods to services in exchange for bitcoins. Restaurants and hotels in Miami are also starting to accept virtual currencies as payment.

But virtual currencies also have a dark side, which was infamously highlighted in the Silk Road scandal. Bitcoins were used to traffic drugs through the former online network.

Under Florida's current law, money laundering can apply to a wide range of financial transactions, including wire transfers, investments and bank deposits. If the proposed bill is signed into law, virtual currencies will be added to the list.

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About the author:

Jacob Maslow

Jacob Maslow is a writer who began his career as a payroll manager. The same affinity for numbers that originally led him to an early career in accounting now comes in handy when it comes to understanding and working with marketing analytics.

A native of New York, Maslow is now based in the Middle East, where he lives with his wife and five children and provides high-quality services to clients in a variety of industries, including the legal, medical and financial sectors.

In addition to his marketing and consulting work, Maslow has founded a variety of news websites, including Legal Scoops. He is a frequent contributor to a variety of publications.

Visit Jacob Maslow's Website

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