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    Bitcoin exchange operators are charged with money laundering

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    euronews (in English)

    by euronews (in English)

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    The virtual currency Bitcoin has come under close scrutiny from US regulaters after the charging of two exchange operators with money laundering.

    Robert Faiella and Charlie Shrem are accused of attempting to sell more than $1m (0.7m euros) in the digital currency to users of an online drug marketplace website.

    Silk Road was shut down by the authorities last year after its suspected owner was arrested. The site is said to have offered drugs, false documents and other illegal services.

    It is alleged Shrem funneled money to the site with Faiella’s knowledge.

    Bitcoin was created four years ago in the wake of the global financial crisis and has slowly been approaching the mainstream.

    Unlike other currencies, Bitcoin does not have the backing of a central bank or government but due to the anonymity of users making transactions, many feel it is a more secure method of online payment.