Using Bitcoin to launder all the cash from your illegal dealings just got a little harder. The United States Treasury Department just enacted new rules to regulate Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, making it subject to the same level of scrutiny as other forms of currency. That's bad news for anyone looking to launder money using Bitcoin, but it could be good news for proponents of virtual currency for legitimate purposes.
I despise virtual currencies. I don't mean Bitcoin, though it certainly skirts the line. It's virtual currencies like Microsoft Points that particularly frustrate me. Perhaps it's just the years of being forced to purchase more points than needed in order to grab games, but the whole system comes across as scummy. Unfortunately, it looks like this kind of thing's here to stay since Amazon's announced that they'll be offering a new virtual currency called Amazon Coins for the Kindle Fire starting this May. Joy of joys.
A new Internet policy in web-using juggernaut China could affect the online gaming experience of many Chinese minors, defined as anyone under age 18. The two new policies call for an end to virtual currency availability to minors, except in games themselves, and for online games to be moral and limit the hours people can play them to an acceptable amount. And they demand all this in extremely vague terms.