The bitcoin market has officially crossed the billion dollar mark. It was a mere two years ago that bitcoins were introduced as an alternative currency to those controlled by States. Bitcoins are decentralized and digital using peer to peer technology – a truly free market.
Hang around in the tech industry long enough and you or someone you know will be heard saying, “that’s so crazy it just might work.” Two years ago, if you’d have told me that an open-source, P2P currency would soon be a thriving, billion-dollar market, I would’ve told you that you were on a lonely bus headed to CrazyTown, U.S.A. But today, Bitcoin officially became a crazy idea that’s actually working.
Today, all the Bitcoin in circulation — some 10.9 million of them — have collectively crossed the billion-dollar mark. As it is wont to do, the value of Bitcoin (and its exchange rate) has fluctuated wildly today. At one point, it hit a dollar value around $78, then pushed into the mid-nineties. As of this minute, it’s hovering around $90.
Cue imperial march as the American Empire refuses to allow a currency outside its control and influence to flourish. And yes, of course, the government that just let HSBC walk with meager fines is going to invoke money laundering in its clumsy thuggish attempt to shutdown yet another avenue of freedom.
The U.S. is applying money-laundering rules to “virtual currencies,” amid growing concern that new forms of cash bought on the Internet are being used to fund illicit activities.
The move means that firms that issue or exchange the increasingly popular online cash will now be regulated in a similar manner as traditional money-order providers such as Western Union Co. They would have new bookkeeping requirements and mandatory reporting for transactions of more than $10,000…
“This framework would wildly expand the reach of FinCen and the [Bank Secrecy Act],’ said Patrick Murck, legal counsel for the Bitcoin Foundation, a trade group that promotes Bitcoin software and security standards. He said the government’s rules “would be infeasible for many, if not most, members of the Bitcoin community to comply with.”
FinCen, why does that sound familiar? Oh, that’s right the Obama Administration just moved to allow all the intelligence agencies access to it. But hey it’s time to get serious about potential money laundering. Especially when, as the HSBC case demonstrates, you are completely unwilling to get serious about actual money laundering.