Trial of Bitcoin Trader Highlights Unsettled Legal Aspects of Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin trader Morgan Rockoons will stand trial in San Diego after being indicted for failure to comply with federal anti-money laundering rules. His case highlights questions that authorities have wrestled with since the emergence of cryptocurrencies, namely whether they are subject to the same banking rules as government-recognized currency.

Rockoons was the subject of an undercover sting that allegedly involved him exchanging bitcoin for a manufacturer of butane hash oil without following anti-money laundering laws. As part of a string of closely watched prosecutions involving cryptocurrency regulation, Rockoons’ indictment is seen as another test case to determine whether criminal actions based on virtual currency in this context can hold up in court. Rockoons’ case will also be the first of its kind to proceed within the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

More Resources

Bitcoin on trial as prolific trader faces money laundering charges, Los Angeles Times, March 19, 2018

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