A Federal Court in the United States has received Bitcoin as payment for a defendant’s bail. According to media sources, this is the first time something like is happening. The defendant, Martin Marsich, was facing charges of hacking into a gaming company. The California court allowed him to settle his bail amounting to $750,000 using Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.
Court’s Main Objective
Explaining the incident, Abraham Simmons, who is the Assistant District Attorney, said that technically, defendants can settle their bail payments in any credible format or in whatever way ordered by the judge, and this includes a third party’s real estate. He added that the main objective was to ensure that the defendant complies with court orders to appear for proceedings at a later date.
Simmons argued that the use of cryptos to pay bail is not likely to face challenges associated with fluctuating prices and exchange rates. He said that the court doesn’t really care about issues of price appreciation or depreciation since its main goal is to ensure that the defendant is compelled to appear in court and not to maintain the value of the cryptocurrency.
Lawmakers Don’t Want It, Agents Want It
The acceptance of crypto bails by the California court is bound to surprise some people, although it wasn’t entirely unexpected. However, lawmakers continue to view cryptocurrencies suspiciously as they’re linked to illegal activities mainly because of the anonymous nature of most crypto transactions. This is despite the fact that California is one of the US states with the most accommodative laws governing the use of cryptocurrencies.
However, opinions within the US DEA indicate that as law enforcement agencies understand the use of cryptos better, the general acceptance of the digital assets increases. According to agent Lilia Infante, the blockchain technology gives law enforcement agencies many ways to track people’s identities and that actually serves to make the agencies’ jobs easier. In fact, agent Lilia would like people to keep using cryptocurrencies. The agent was speaking to Bloomberg.
This kind of development hasn’t started today. It is likely as a result of continued build up of positive efforts to improve both general public and legal perception of cryptocurrencies. Just last year, a project was started in New York to gather crypto funds aimed at helping pay bail for defendants who can’t manage to meet their bail terms.