Bitcoin Criminals Can Face Charges in Florida

Bitcoin Criminals Can Face Charges in Florida

Yesterday, the Miami Herald reported that the Florida legislature passed a bill that would strengthen the ability of law enforcement to convict criminals who use Bitcoin for money laundering.

The article outlines in clear detail the advantages of Bitcoin for the criminal element. Bitcoin users can use the cryptocurrency anonymously, and to buy goods or services without the involvement or oversight of third parties like banks and credit cards. Because Bitcoin can be bought and sold directly between private users, it has become a favorite of the criminal underworld, and has caused headaches for law enforcement.

While often used for legitimate transactions, the Miami Herald described in the article that Bitcoin is also used to traffic drugs through the Silk Road “dark web” online network of criminals. The paper cites the high-profile case of a South Florida man who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for buying synthetic heroin with Bitcoin.

 

Criminals’ use of Bitcoin extends beyond drugs to include human trafficking and prostitution.

Bit Coin

What is lacking in Bitcoin is transparency and Know Your Customer protocols, which is why criminals love it. If the new Florida “Bitcoin Law” is signed by the Florida Governor, “virtual currency” will be added to the definition of “monetary instruments” covered under Florida’s Money Laundering Act.

The new bill was written after a Miami-Dade judge dismissed a case against a man who had been charged with illegally transmitting and laundering $1,500 worth of Bitcoins.

The new law would make such laundering efforts illegal.

While this is , it is good news for other cryptocurrencies that employ transparency and Know Your Customer protocols.

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