Bank of Italy warns on Bitcoin and its illegal usage

by DLA Piper
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Bitcoin and its potential usage as part of money laundering crimes as well as of crimes associated with terrorism has been the subject of concerns raised by the UIF, the harm of the Bank of Italy dedicated, among others, to receive anti-money laundering reports of suspicious transactions.  But the reaction from other Governments and e-commerce operators are different.

In its annual report, the Chairman of UIF stressed the number of reports received with reference of suspicious transactions performed by means of Bitcoin at the international level.  And this occured just before the head of the criminal court of Rome warned about the threats deriving from the usage of Bitcoin because of its lack of traceability.

We have already covered some of the legal issues connected to the usage of Bitcoin in previous posts both looking at the broader picture in the post available here and specifically with reference to the gaming sector in the post available here.

There is no doubt that a higher level of clarity at the regulatory level would help.  However, the reaction from Governments to such unclarity is different since for instance we have California where a law adding Bitcoin among the alternative currencies has been just adopted.  But at the same time we have the French police that has just shut down a platform involved in the illicit exchange of bitcoins uncovering 2,750 illicit transactions worth more than EUR 1 million.

And interestingly e-commerce platforms are welcoming more and more the usage of bitcoins for transactions on their platforms with some of the largest e-commerce marketplaces that just introduced Bitcoin as an alternative method of payment.  Likewise, banks and investors are looking at Bitcoin as a potential type of investment to be included in their portfolio.

There is no doubt that Bitcoin as currently at the center of the attention a number of parties and I am curious to see the developments of the matter.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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