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Wells Fargo holds Bitcoin security summit

US bank urges establishment of playbook for virtual currency

Wells Fargo holds Bitcoin security summit
Wells Fargo favours the setting up of rules on how to deal with the Bitcoin 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".

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