Virtual Currencies: Additional Information Could Improve Federal Agency Efforts to Counter Human and Drug Trafficking, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the GAO (Government Accountability Office) Highlights: "Virtual currencies are an emerging payment method for transactions, such as retail purchases. Virtual currency's anonymizing features can attract criminals' use to avoid detection when paying for illicit activities, such as human and drug trafficking. Thus, policy makers, regulators, and law enforcement have identified virtual currency, human trafficking, and drug trafficking as priority areas of concern. GAO was asked to review the use of virtual currency to facilitate sex and drug trafficking. This report examines (1) the use of virtual currency for human and drug trafficking and the extent to which U.S. agencies collect data on these topics; and (2) the extent to which U.S. agencies have taken steps to counter human and drug trafficking facilitated by virtual currency and challenges these agencies face. GAO analyzed data, reviewed documentation, and interviewed relevant officials at selected federal agencies. [...] GAO made 2 recommendations in this public report, including that FinCEN [Financial Crimes Enforcement Network] and IRS [Internal Revenue Service] review virtual currency kiosk registration requirements. FinCEN and IRS concurred."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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