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Main Bitcoin Trade Group Meets with Major U.S. Regulators and Law Enforcement Agencies

Last week, the main Bitcoin trade group met with multiple U.S. regulatory and law enforcement agencies to address questions and concerns they have over the role of the virtual currency in financial markets. Bitcoin has been under increased scrutiny as of late for being the most popular of virtual currencies, currencies that are not backed by any government central bank. This has allowed many criminal organizations to use the currency to funnel funds illicitly without being traced. It has also proven to be difficult to tax due to its anonymous nature.

Representatives from the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, FDIC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, IRS, FBI and the Secret Service were all present to both listen and to ask questions. Patrick Murck, the general counsel for the Bitcoin Foundation was ready with presentation on hand to address as many of the concerns as he could foresee that the group might have. Murck was optimistic that they will eventually be able to work out all outstanding concerns.

The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FINCEN, expressed that Bitcoin companies "must follow the same rules as established financial institutions." They must register as money service businesses and to comply with all federal laws. This isn't very different from what Murck has been telling Bitcoin companies for months.

Many of these companies are ready and willing to comply with federal laws because it would grant the currency more legitimacy and thereby increase use of it. While not all issues have been fully addressed, Murck is confident that they will be resolved over time, especially if companies comply with state and federal laws.

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