This year seems to be the biggest year ever for news surrounding digital forms of currency, with Bitcoin gaining more traction each day, not to mention several other cryptocurrencies that have been climbing the ranks recently. Yet there is one underlying issues that these currencies need to shake off, illegal activities. When you’re talking about an unmonitored and decentralised currency you immediately have a system that can be used for untraced transactions, something that criminals have taken to like a bear to honey.
Digital currency service Liberty Reserve is one of those places, but US and Costa Rican authorities have acted and shut the service down, arrested the currency's founder Arthur Budovsky Belanchuk and stopped all account activity.
The site is said to have been a popular choice for illegal porn sites, drug trafficking and other nasty deeds that wanted to stay under the radar, yet for all its crime affiliation the service was also used be upstanding citizens, legitimate businesses and day to day users too, who have also been effected by the sudden shut down of the service, effectively losing any money which was held in their accounts.
Venture Beat have reported that many of the dark corners of the web have been filled with the frustrations of these illegitimate site holders venting about their loss of funds and more, because even criminals get upset when someone steals their illegally obtained loot.
As I said though, this site was not only used by criminals, but also by legitimate day to day users and it only goes to highlight the dangers of using an unregulated currency for anything other than micro transactions, something you should keep in mind.