The lawyer defending Ross Ulbricht, the reputed owner of the underground Silk Road website, and who has been charged* with drug offenses and money laundering, has argued that his client cannot be charged with money laundering offenses. He has also sought to dismiss the other counts against his client; those turn on computer and internet law, but may be of relevant interest to some readers.
The thrust of his argument is that:
(1)A Bitcoin transaction is not a "monetary transaction" under the statute.
(2) Therefore, all Bitcoin transactions are not, by definition "financial transactions," because they do not employ monetary instruments, or currency.
Readers who are interested in this case can access the complete text of the "Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendant Ross Ulbricht's Pre-Trial Motions challenging the Face of the Indictment" here.
*United States vs. Ross Ulbricht, Case No.: 14-cr-00068-KBF (SD NY).