It seems that a Texas judge has deemed Bitcoin a currency giving the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the green light to pursue a lawsuit against Ponzi scheme operator Trendon Shavers.
US Magistrate Judge Amos L. Mazzant presided over the SEC’s case against Shavers, founder and operator of Bitcoin Savings and Trust (BTCST).
Shavers convinced investors to get involved in BTCST by guaranteeing 1% interest per day but instead investors lost approximately $25m.
The SEC says that the BTCST investments are classed as securities therefore resulting in Shavers defrauding investors. Shavers says this was not a misrepresentations because Bitcoin is not considered currency and is not subject to US regulation.
Judge Mazzant ruled: “Bitcoin is a currency or form of money, and investors wishing to invest in BTCST provided an investment of money. … For these reasons, the Court finds that it has subject matter jurisdiction over this matter.”
“In this case, one judicial authority in Texas appears to have preliminarily classified it as currency or form of money. By labelling it as a ‘currency’, this Texas court is in direct contradiction of the FinCEN guidance, which expressly stated that virtual currencies like bitcoin are not ‘currency’, such as legal tender or fiat currencies,” said Constance Choi, general counsel at Payward Inc.