Federal Court in California Accepts Bitcoin


Back in August, an interesting ruling came down from a Federal judge in San Francisco. The defendant, Martin Marisch, was charged with hacking the video gaming giant, Electronic Arts (EA). As Marisch was able to procure the information of 25,000 EA customers, potentially allowing Marisch to make off with a significant amount of stolen funds, the judge set the bail high; to the tune of $750,000 USD. However, as Marisch was ‘crypto-rich’, the judge, Jacqueline Corley, made the decision to order Marisch to pay the $750k equivalent in Bitcoin.

A United States assistant D.A., Abraham Simmons, explained that judges may allow a defendant to post bail using any credible format, or that ordered specifically by the judge. While this action does show a bigger picture of legitimizing Bitcoin, the acceptance for instances like bail helps to familiarize officials and agents with how Bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies, operate. U.S. DEA agent, Lilia Infante, states that cryptocurrencies, which operate on immutable blockchain ledgers, may actually serve a purpose in making an agents job easier. Because every transaction is stored and publically viewable on the blockchain, following the money becomes easier. Infante hopes that people will continue to use cryptocurrencies for just such reasons.

This story is not the first of its kind, involving government entities accepting cryptocurrencies. Democratic presidential hopeful, Andrew Yang, is accepting Bitcoin for campaign contributions, and in Seminole County, Florida, residents can pay property tax, driver’s license and ID card fees, titles and registration using Bitcoin. There is no reason to believe that the transparent nature of Bitcoin transactions will not encourage more governing bodies to also begin seeing it advantageous in accepting Bitcoin as a valid form of payment continuing forward.

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