|By Shelly Palmer||
|August 7, 2013 08:01 PM EDT||
In the case of a Texas man accused of massive Bitcoin-based fraud, a federal judge has ruled that bitcoins are “a currency or form of money,” and are therefore subject to relevant US laws. The case revolves around Bitcoin Savings and Trust (BTCST), a virtual Bitcoin-based hedge fund that many suspected of being a scam. BTCST shut down in August 2012, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month formally charged founder Trendon Shavers with running a Ponzi scheme. As we previously reported, the SEC has said Shavers “raised at least 700,000 bitcoins in BTCST investments, which amounted to more than $4.5 million based on the average price of bitcoins in 2011 and 2012 when the investments were offered and sold.” Shavers did not immediately respond to our request for comment.