Bitcoin Mentioned in a US Supreme Court Opinion

This is something you see only once in a lifetime: a viewpoint coming from the U.S. Supreme Court that refers to cryptocurrencies.

On the 21st of June, the Supreme Court released a judgment on Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States, a court case concerning an argument over whether worker stock options could be taxed as a sort of “payment” in the same way that money is.

subsidiaries of the Canadian National Railway Company lost their original court battles, with both a district court and, afterward, an appellate court, ruling that the stock options are taxable under the U.S. Tax Act, according to Ballotpedia.

According to majority opinion given Thursday, the judgment passed on Wednesday by the Supreme Court has, nevertheless, affirmed stocks are not counted as “money remuneration” and the case ought to be “remanded for more proceedings dependable on this opinion.”

The opinion, drawn up by the 79-year-old associate Judge Stephen Breyer and supported by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan, states that the characteristics of what makes up “money” are less rigorous than the majority’s interpretation, outlining that “what was considered as money has changed with time.”

That’s a significant debate originating from the more conservatively oriented Supreme Court, making way for what is the very first reference to bitcoin in a U.S. Supreme Court judgment.
Breyer wrote:
“Furthermore, our perspective of money has changed over time. Cowrie shells used to be a medium but no longer are … our currency initially included gold coins and bullion, but, soon after 1934, gold could hardly be used as a medium of exchange… Maybe one day employees will be paid in bitcoin or some other type of cryptocurrency.”
Even though the viewpoint, in this instance, has almost nothing to do with cryptocurrencies directly, the passing comment about it, however, indicates that at least some of those that constitute the top U.S. court are welcoming to the idea that a cryptocurrency is a kind of money, in contrast to a form of property.


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