US bureau offers Bitcoin advice

Comment on this story

New York - The US government has issued an advisory that warns about the risks that Bitcoins and other virtual currencies pose to consumers.

The six-page advisory published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tells consumers what they should consider before deciding to use a virtual currency.

For example, it advises consumers to investigate the seller of virtual currencies before buying and to understand what their rights would be if the seller fails to deliver a purchase.

A virtual currency exchange operating in the United States is required to register with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which is part of the US Treasury Department, as a money services business, the advisory says.

But registration does not assure that an exchange is trustworthy.

The agency warns about the danger of attacks by hackers, extreme fluctuations in values, fewer protections, scams and hidden costs.

Bitcoin has existed since 2009.

The currency is used primarily in Internet commerce, but is seen by proponents as having potential to create new services in markets that have been hamstrung by weak currencies. - Sapa-dpa

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines