North Carolina considers law regulating virtual currencies

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legislators in America’s second-largest banking center are considering regulations for Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

North Carolina’s banking commissioner wants legislative authority to require that companies circulating digital IOUs meet consumer protection, anti-money laundering and other standards. Legislation passed the state House this month and is pending in the Senate.

The online-only money allows users to swap cash for online funds using Internet exchanges, then store it in a wallet program on their computer. The program can transfer payments to a merchant or individual anywhere in the world without transaction fees or the need to provide bank or credit card information.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warns that the currencies are not backed by the government and are targeted by hackers and scammers, and that deposits are not federally insured like bank accounts.

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