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Bitcoin

Federal Judge Rules Bitcoin Is Money In Case Tied To JPMorgan Hack (reuters.com) 87

Roughly two months ago, a Miami-Dade judge ruled that bitcoin does not actually qualify as money. Now, it appears that bitcoin does indeed qualify as money, according to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan. "Bitcoins are funds within the plain meaning of that term," Nathan wrote. "Bitcoins can be accepted as a payment for goods and services or bought directly from an exchange with a bank account. They therefore function as pecuniary resources and are used as a medium of exchange and a means of payment." Reuters provides some backstory in its report: Bitcoin qualifies as money, a federal judge ruled on Monday, in a decision linked to a criminal case over hacking attacks against JPMorgan Chase and Co and other companies. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan rejected a bid by Anthony Murgio to dismiss two charges related to his alleged operation of Coin.mx, which prosecutors have called an unlicensed bitcoin exchange. Murgio had argued that bitcoin did not qualify as "funds" under the federal law prohibiting the operation of unlicensed money transmitting businesses. But the judge, like her colleague Jed Rakoff in an unrelated 2014 case, said the virtual currency met that definition. Authorities have said Coin.mx was owned by Gery Shalon, an Israeli man who, along with two others, was charged with running a sprawling computer hacking and fraud scheme targeting a dozen companies, including JPMorgan, and exposing personal data of more than 100 million people. That alleged scheme generated hundreds of millions of dollars of profit through pumping up stock prices, online casinos, money laundering and other illegal activity, prosecutors have said.
Communications

Top DNC Staffers Leave Following WikiLeaks Email Scandal (usatoday.com) 424

An anonymous reader writes from a report via USA Today: Following the leak of nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails and the resignation of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, several more staffers are leaving their positions. USA Today reports Amy Dacey, the chief executive officer of the DNC, Luis Miranda, the party's communications director, and Brad Marshall, chief financial officer, are all leaving the DNC. The statement announcing the staff changes praises the outgoing aides and makes no mention of the email issue. "Thanks in part to the hard work of Amy, Luis, and Brad, the Democratic Party has adopted the most progressive platform in history, has put itself in financial position to win in November, and has begun the important work of investing in state party partnerships. I'm so grateful for their commitment to this cause, and I wish them continued success in the next chapter of their career," said Donna Brazile, the party's interim chairwoman. Some of the leaked emails from party staffers depicted officials favoring now-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during their primary campaign.

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