West Virginia Includes Bitcoin in Money Laundering Bill

A new bill aimed at criminalizing money laundering offences has been introduced in the West Virginia House. The focus of the new piece of legislation is on laundering criminal proceeds through financial transactions, and it explicitly includes cryptocurrency in the scope of the monetary instruments covered by the proposal.

According to the measure, cryptocurrency is “digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, and which operates independently of a central bank.”

Digital currency features in the new bill next to other forms of payment such as US national currency, travelers’ checks, personal checks, bank checks, gift cards, prepaid credit cards, money orders and investment securities. That means that if the proposal is passed, money laundering transactions using bitcoin will be considered a felony.

According to CoinDesk, there is growing support for the bill which has currently been signed by 11 sponsors and co-sponsors. The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee is to provide further deliberation.

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