In the wake of two men being arrested on the charges of money laundering using Bitcoin, the digital currency, followed by its counterparts Litecoin, Dogecoin and others, saw a worrying slump in their prices.
While Bitcoin has fell by 12% within a mere span of 24 hours, its alt-currency Litecoin has faced a further decline of 12%. The other renowned currency who got hit by this event was Dogecoin that fell 14% than. It was only Vertcoin – a lesser known digital currency – which saw growth of $0.36 during this event.
Due to suspicions of money laundering, the U.S. authorities had arrested two men Sunday night at New York’s JFK airport for violating money transmission rules. They are said to have been accused of having helped drug dealers to exchange one million dollars in virtual currency, said the New York State Attorney General. Involved are users of the Internet drug trafficking website “Silk Road”, which was closed in September by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
One of those arrested is playing a bigger role in Bitcoin business probably. It is 24-year-old Charlie Shrem, head of the exchange BitInstant.com. He is also vice president of the trade group Bitcoin Foundation, as their website shows.
A spokeswoman for the organization declined to comment on Shrem’s arrest. His lawyer could not immediately be reached. The accused is placed under the charges of money laundering for operating currency exchange transactions without permission of the financial regulatory bodies.
Given rapid gains of Internet currencies, banks and regulators warned consumers to be careful with Bitcoin, Litecoin and other digital currencies. In the case of losses, the users were left to fend for themselves, they warned.
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