Speaking before a Congressional panel yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the assembled that bitcoin, and other virtual currencies like it, represent new risks when it comes to money laundering and other criminal pastimes.
“More than ever before, the department’s law-enforcement work today must contend with new and emerging technology, including virtual currencies such as bitcoin,” the attorney general said at a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, reports The Wall Street Journal. “Virtual currencies can pose challenges for law enforcement given the appeal they have among those seeking to conceal illegal activity.”
Holder went on to note that the Justice Department and financial regulators are working together to ensure that virtual currency complies with know-your-customer and anti-money laundering laws.
He also issued a warning to those who hope to use such currencies to mask illegal activity that the Justice Department remains committed to staying ahead of the technology and that they will face repercussions.
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