Why The Federal Government Is Going After Bitcoin, But Amazon Coins Are Safe

May 16, 2013 in Bitcoin, Currency, Investing, Virtual currency

By Alyssa Rosenberg on May 15, 2013 (

Amazon Coins

Amazon Coins



As Washington Post tech blogger Tim Lee reported this morning, the federal government has moved to shut down—or at least restrict—the online currency Bitcoin. The Department of Homeland Security and US District Court for the District ordered a seizure of the funds in Dwolla account owned by the currency exchange Mt. Gox, and Dwolla has stopped processing payments into and out of the account, making it impossible to buy and sell Bitcoins.

As Lee explained:

For years, Bitcoin supporters have touted the currency’s potential to resist government surveillance and censorship. They point to the example of Wikileaks, the whistleblower Web site whose access to funds dried up after the federal government applied informal pressure to intermediaries such as PayPal to cut off payments. The Bitcoin network is fully decentralized, so there is no one with the ability to monitor the network and block illicit transactions. If Wikileaks had funded itself through the Bitcoin network, the government wouldn’t have had such an easy time freezing its funds.

That’s a feature for people concerned with press freedom, but it looks more like a bug for government officials charged with enforcing the nation’s drug, gambling, counter-terrorism, and money laundering laws. The government relies heavily on financial institutions to help them monitor their customers’ financial activities and flag or block potentially illegal transactions. The lack of intermediaries makes Bitcoin an attractive technology for those who want to evade government scrutiny. It was only a matter of time before authorities started to give the technology some unwelcome attention.

Full article at source>

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