Bitcoin's been in the news a fair bit lately due to the uncertainties surrounding the Mt. Gox exchange, where one can trade in the digital money for the official currencies of countries around the world. However, for many, Bitcoin remains an ephemeral idea, neither received nor recognized as a valid way to, you know, pay for stuff. Today, however, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas has officially recognized Bitcoin as a currency and declared that Bitcoin investment funds and transactions fall under the jurisdiction of US securities law, and therefore, the federal justice system as well. The ruling was handed down in a case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against a man who created a Bitcoin hedge fund and is alleged to have defrauded the investors in that fund. So, while most of us don't have to worry about Bitcoin fraud, it's good to know that the federal government is looking out for us should we decide to invest in the digital currency.

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Texas federal judge declares Bitcoin a currency, says Bitcoin investments fall under US securities law