Bitcoin Back Over $1,000, Undeterred by Some Regulatory Snubs

Bitcoin Back Over $1,000, Undeterred by Some Regulatory SnubsDespite warnings from regulatory officials in China and other foreign governments against dealing in the top cryptocurrency, traders worldwide seem undeterred as the value of bitcoin has bounced back over $1,000 after crashing to $500 last month.
On Monday morning, bitcoin hovered just above $1,000 on the Mt. Gox exchange, reaching a high of $1,093 over the previous 24 hours. On other exchanges, bitcoin held in the $900-$950 range.
Bitcoin first hit the $1,000 mark in late November, but that was followed by an announcement out of China that amounted to a crackdown on the virtual currency. China’s central bank said financial institutions were not allowed to work with bitcoin exchanges or other bitcoin-related businesses such as third-party payment providers.
But since then there have been many positive developments related to the acceptance of bitcoin, many of them tied to U.S. businesses.
Online discount retailer said it is making plans to accept the virtual currency as another form of payment in the second half of 2014.
Most recently, social gaming pioneer Zynga said it is starting to accept bitcoin as a payment option for gamers buying tokens for virtual goods. The “bitcoin test” will be available on the web versions of FarmVille 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows and CityVille.
Meanwhile, U.S. regulators are simply reminding businesses dealing in some way with bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies that they may need to register with the U.S. government under current anti-money laundering rules.
The U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has sent “industry outreach” letters to several bitcoin business, regarding potential anti-money laundering compliance obligations.
Administrators or exchangers of virtual currencies must register with FinCEN, and institute certain recordkeeping, reporting and anti-money laundering control measures, unless an exception to these requirements applies.
The biggest challenge for bitcoin U.S. businesses so far is this: If you deal with virtual currency, your business now may qualify as a “money transmitter” under FinCEN regulation revised in March. That is a hurdle that well-funded U.S. bitcoin startups should have no problem overcoming.

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