U.S. regulators discuss digital currency with Bitcoin Group
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) director Jennifer Shasky-Calvery hosted a discussion with members of the Bitcoin Foundation. The foundation is an advocacy group of Bitcoin-related businesses. Bitcoin has been under fire recently due to its supposed role in the facilitation of anonymous money transfers.
Bitcoins are a form of electronic currency that can be exchanged without using traditional money transfer systems or banking institutions. They have been in use since 2008. Bitcoins first came under fire when it was linked in mid-2011 to the Silk Road online marketplace where marijuana and other illicit drugs are sold.
In a statement, Shasky-Calvery said, "This is part of our ongoing dialogue aimed at enhancing communication with our regulated financial industries." She also noted that virtual currency exchanges must be regulated as regular currency and should face similar requirements imposed on other financial firms. More regulatory action is expected from the U.S. government as it has taken steps in recent months to rein in the currency.
FinCEN is the Treasury Department's anti-money laundering unit.