A new federal lawsuit has just been filed by the Justice Department, claiming that bitcoin is a currency and not an asset.
The DOJ is claiming that, like gold, bitcoin is not an “asset” and therefore, cannot be prosecuted for securities fraud, because bitcoin is an “investment” and not a currency.
“The Defendants, including [Federal Reserve Board Chairman] Ben Bernanke, and their predecessors, have been in a position to issue bitcoins that are ‘mined’ into existence.
They have not done so,” states the complaint.
“This means that, as long as the bitcoin is held as an investment and not as an asset, it is subject to the jurisdiction of the U,S.
Department of Justice.”
The complaint also claims that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is not allowed to “regulate” the value of bitcoin as an “economic asset.”
In other words, the SEC has no authority to determine the “price” of bitcoin or what percentage of bitcoin is “mined” into existence, the complaint states.
In a statement, the Justice Departments Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said it is “disappointed” by the filing and believes that it will ultimately be “taken up by the U;S.
The OIG said the DOJ’s claim that bitcoin “is not an ‘asset’ or ‘currency’ and therefore cannot be ‘regulated’ as an ‘investment’ or an ‘exchange’ is false and misleading.”
The DOJ is not the only agency seeking to regulate the bitcoin.
Earlier this month, the Securities & Exchange Commission issued an “Order of Inquiry” regarding bitcoin, which stated that “bitcoin is not a commodity, commodity for purposes of the Securities Exchange Act.”