US to tighten virtual currency controls

News on 23 Mar 2013

The US government is applying money laundering regulations to virtual currencies amid growing concern that new forms of cash bought on the Internet are being used to fund illicit activities, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Last Monday the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network released its first “guidance” on the subject.

The Journal says that firms that issue or exchange virtual cash are to be subjected to the same requirements as those applied to more traditional money vendors, with more stringent bookkeeping requirements and mandatory reporting on transactions that exceed $10,000.

Observers speculate that the virtual currency Bitcoin will almost certainly be in government’s sights due to its growing popularity in the online gambling space, and in the online drug and download markets.

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