Bitcoin isn't money, so money laundering laws shouldn't apply

Spooked by prosecutions of Bitcoin sellers and pending money laundering rules, The Bitcoin Foundation on Tuesday said the cryptocurrency isn't really money and asked lawmakers to investigate the Department of Justice's pursuit of merchants selling it.

In a letter [PDF] to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Llew Claasen, the foundation's executive director, expressed opposition to Section 13 of the "Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act of 2017" (S 1241).

That portion of the proposed law – introduced in May by Senators Chuck Grassley (R‑IA), Dianne Feinstein (D‑CA), John Cornyn (R‑TX) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D‑RI) – would extend record keeping requirements, used to track money laundering, to "digital currencies."

"Bitcoin lacks the characteristic of monetary instruments or financial products which S 1241's Section 13 attempts to regulate," he wrote.

Claasen also takes issue with the lawmakers' claim that terrorists are using cryptocurrencies.

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