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Currency Events, Financial Fundamentals

Terrorists, Dealers, and Traffickers using Bitcoin

Following up from a previous post on Bitcoin, a virtual currency, the article `N.Y. State subpoenas Bitcoin firms in probe` sheds some light on how it has been used most recently. Excerpts from this article written by Greg Farrell and published in The Kitchener Record on August 13th, are featured in the following post.

New York State’s top banking regulator sent subpoenas to 22 digital currency companies last week, including BitInstant and Dwolla Corp., to determine whether new regulations should be adopted to govern the emerging industry, according to a person familiar with the matter.


Bitcoin is a virtual currency created four years ago that can be used to buy and sell a broad array of items, from electronics to illegal narcotics, according to the agency.
“If virtual currencies remain a virtual Wild West for narco-traffickers and other criminals, that would not only threaten our country’s national security, but also the very existence of the virtual currency industry as a legitimate business enterprise,” said Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the state’s Department of Financial Services, in a statement.

“Serving as a money changer of choice for terrorists, drug smugglers, illegal weapons dealers, money launderers and human traffickers could expose the virtual currency industry to extraordinarily serious criminal penalties,” Lawsky said.

“U.S. – based Bitcoin companies are taking regulation very seriously, and each company is closely working with legal advisers to form and follow plans that adhere to it” said chief executive Officer Jaron Lukasiewicz.

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Tyler Brown
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August 2013
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