Wells Fargo holds Bitcoin security summit
US bank urges establishment of playbook for virtual currency
US banking giant Wells Fargo yesterday held a meeting with virtual currency experts and government representatives to discuss the growing concern of Bitcoin as a means of money laundering, the Financial Times reported.
While conventional state-controlled currencies are controlled by central banks, supply of Bitcoin is unregulated and ownership hinges upon the ability to decrypt data. Nonetheless it has been used in the past as a hedge currency.
The Wells Fargo summit sought to establish a best-practice rulebook on dealing with customers who use the Bitcoin currency. Suspicion of Bitcoin means holders of the currency find it difficult to find a bank that will offer them an account.
Jim Richards, Wells Fargo's head of anti-money laundering, is leading a team to determine how the bank might offer Bitcoin-related services to virtual currency entrepreneurs.
Last year Mark Karpeles, founder of Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox, had his Wells Fargo bank account seized because of failure to disclose a "money transmitting business".