May 17, 2013
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.