In Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States, the Supreme Court was deciding on whether or not an individual’s stock could be taxed like money. The court came to a conclusion that “it’s clear enough that the term money unambiguously excludes stock.” However, Justice Stephen Breyer made a distinction in his dissenting opinion by stating that “money as used in this statute, must always mean a medium of exchange, [b]ut what qualifies as a medium of exchange may depend on the facts of the day.” To prove his point that what qualifies as money changes over time, he referenced how cowrie shells used to be commonly acceptable forms of money, but is not any longer. He also mentioned gold is going through a similar process.
Justice Stephen Breyer continued his distinction by saying “[p]erhaps one day employees will be paid in Bitcoin or some other type of cryptocurrency. Nothing in the statute suggests the meaning of this provision should be trapped in a monetary time warp, forever limited to those forms of money commonly used in the 1930s.” The case was not originally related to cryptocurrencies, but because of precedent setting for future cases, this opinion could have major future implications for the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Within the United States, cryptocurrencies still occupy a grey zone since the IRS classifies and taxes cryptocurrencies as property, the SEC only recently came out to call Bitcoin and Ethereum not a security, and FinCEN says many cryptocurrencies and tokens are money. The conflict leaves users confused about how to remain tax complaint and avoid unnecessary government punishments. Governmental agencies have refused to acknowledge the fact that many within the cryptocurrency ecosystem use cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange just like they do with any other form of money.
However, the Supreme Court comments offers a chance to change that status since even the smallest comments from Supreme Court justices are used years later in related court cases. Justice Stephen Breyer recognizes that money needs to be a medium of exchange, but what is used as money changes over time based on the the values of society. Currently, cryptocurrency users value their money to be digital, decentralized, and free from government and bank manipulation and exorbitant fees. These values are revealed in the rapid consumer and merchant adoption of cryptocurrencies around the world despite the legal uncertainty.
Dash thrives with everyday use and adoption
Dash leverages its low transaction fees, fast confirmation times and security to facilitate everyday use by consumers looking for a form of digital cash that is not manipulated by governments or large banks. In addition, Dash is able to leverage its treasury to professionally pay developers and outreach specialists to organize events and introduce new individuals and merchants to the Dash network that might not have otherwise been exposed. These features allow the Dash community to focus on making Dash usable for everyday purchases and increasing its network of consumers and merchants.
Venezuela is the top Dash accepting area in the world with New Hampshire, USA as the second most popular location. Individuals are already getting paid in Dash through funded proposals or working at one of the numerous merchant locations that accept Dash. These merchants can easily be found on DiscoverDash.com, which makes consumer Dash spending and merchant Dash adoption easier creating a virtuous circle that does not have to touch fiat currency. Since Dash is being exchanged for goods and services and the transaction count is steadily increasing, Dash is meeting the medium of exchange historical definition. Thus, going by Justice Breyer’s comments, Dash is well positioned to be classified as money rather than as an asset because of its focus on usability by consumers and merchants in everyday transactions.