“We are evaluating the developing market for Bitcoin and other forms of virtual currency,”s Securities Division Director Alan Wilson said. “We are studying how virtual currency is used to pay for products or services and how consumers are invited to invest in virtual currency as a commodity. Both uses have certain attractions, and both have definite risks.”
Virtual currency, including digital and crypto-currencies, such as Bitcoin, are gaining in popularity and controversy and the Securities Division and Financial Institutions Division are charged with protecting consumers and the marketplace from fraud and other financial crimes.
Virtual currency can be purchased or sold online through currency exchanges, and are used to purchase goods or services where accepted. A growing number of merchants are accepting Bitcoin in addition to traditional currency. Virtual currency is stored in an electronic wallet, known as an e-Wallet, which facilitates payments online via a computer or mobile device, such as a smartphone.