Feeds

US Senator lobbies feds to BAN BITCOIN

West Virginia lawmaker says cryptocurrency mixed up in illegal activity

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A United States Senator is demanding that US regulators ban the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin said that the currency helps facilitate criminal activity and could harm the US economy if it is allowed to continue to circulate without regulation.

Inthe letter addressed to, among others, the heads of the US Treasury, Federal Reserve and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Sen. Manchin argues that the anonymous nature of the currency allows criminal activity to thrive while also making those who trade in Bitcoin susceptible to crime and fraud.

"The very features that make Bitcoin attractive to some also attract criminals who are able to disguise their actions from law enforcement. Due to Bitcoin’s anonymity, the virtual market has been extremely susceptible to hackers and scam artists stealing millions from Bitcoins users," Manchin said in his letter.

"Anonymity combined with Bitcoin’s ability to finalize transactions quickly, makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse fraudulent transactions."

Additionally, Manchin claims that the Bitcoin currency is "a haven" for criminal activity as it allows users to anonymously pay for drugs and other illegal items. Manchin cites the rise in underground online markets, many of which use Bitcoin as the preferred method of payment.

As such, he is demanding that the federal government act now to prohibit the use of Bitcoin as a means of payment. He cites similar bans in China and Thailand as furthering the pressure on the US.

"While it is disappointing that the world leader and epicenter of the banking industry will only follow suit instead of making policy, it is high time that the United States heed our allies’ warnings," Manchin wrote.

"I am most concerned that as Bitcoin is inevitably banned in other countries, Americans will be left holding the bag on a valueless currency."

Perhaps not coincidentally, Manchin's ploy for public attention comes as the Bitcoin community continues to deal with the fallout from the collapse of MtGox. The exchange, once the largest Bitcoin marketplace on the internet, has shut down and is currently experiencing a crisis that some have suggested may be an all-out insolvency.

Earlier today MtGox CEO Mark Karpales used what's left of the company's site to assure users that he had not in fact fled Japan and was still working to save the company. No further word was given on what, If anything MtGox can do at this point to salvage the hundreds of millions of dollars it lost to theft. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.