West Virginia moves forward with bitcoin money laundering bill

BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange
BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange

West Virginia is moving forward in its efforts to criminalize using bitcoin and other digital currencies for money laundering purposes.

First introduced in February this year, West Virginia House Bill 2585 aims “to create criminal offenses relating to money laundering. It specifies two new felonies relating to

“(i) Laundering criminal proceeds through financial transaction; and (ii) transportation, transmission, or transfer of criminal proceeds. The bill also provides for the forfeiture of proceeds involved or traceable to the laundering.”

The bill includes “cryptocurrency” in its definition of “monetary instruments”. It defines cryptocurrency as “digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, and which operate independently of a central bank.”

Public records show that the state’s lower chamber initially passed the bill by a 78–21 vote, while the senate unanimously approved it in a 34–0 vote.

According to CoinDesk, the bill now seeks approval from the state’s governor, Democrat Jim Justice. If approved, the measure will become state law.

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