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U.S. seizes operator accounts of major Japanese Bitcoin exchange

Published: May 18, 2013
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Source: Reuters

U.S. authorities have seized two accounts linked to a major operator in the booming Bitcoin digital currency market, Tokyo-based exchange Mt. Gox. The move may prevent the firm from facilitating the purchase and sale of Bitcoins in U.S. dollars at a time when use of the currency and its value has mushroomed.

Bitcoin, which unlike conventional money is bought and sold on a peer-to-peer network independent of any central authority, has grown popular among users who lack faith in the established banking system.

The price of the volatile currency ballooned in March as a result of the Cyprus bank crisis. Authorities worry that a lack of regulation has left the currency vulnerable to money launderers and other criminals.

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