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Virtual Currencies Draw Fresh Regulator Scrutiny

Federal regulators are paying more attention to the growing use of bitcoin and other virtual online currencies.

The growing popularity of virtual currencies in online transactions is forcing the government to turn its attention to regulating a new breed of digital money. But the Government Accountability Office said agencies still need to pay more attention to consumer protection.

Virtual currencies, such as bitcoin, use digital wallets and peer-to-peer Internet connectivity, rather than bank accounts and traditional wire transfer networks, which puts them largely outside the view of law enforcement and beyond the scope of current regulation.

"While these virtual currency systems offer some benefits, they also pose risks," the GAO said in a recent report.

[Read the Rest on InformationWeek]

William Jackson is a technology writer based in Washington, D.C. He has been a journalist for more than 35 years, most recently covering the $80 billion federal government IT sector for Government Computer News. His coverage has ranged from architecture to international ... View Full Bio

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