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FAQs about Bitcoin and potential impact on white collar crime

Sep 6, 2016 | White Collar Offenses |

Inventions have changed how we view things. Imaging devices like the x-ray and CT scan have changed how we view the practice of medicine. The Internet has changed how we communicate. Now, a new form of technology may lead to a shift in how we view money: the Bitcoin.

What exactly is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is, essentially, a form of digital currency. It was created in 2009, based on the ideas set out in a white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto called Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.

Bitcoin is designed to allow consumers to transfer electronic cash without the need to go through a financial institution. It is supposed to be an easier option with lower transaction fees.

Are consumers safe? Unfortunately, there are not many laws protecting consumers that decide to give Bitcoin a try. Cases have tested court protections, and generally fail.

A Florida state senator is attempting to change this. Senator Dorothy Hukill is reportedly putting together a piece of legislation that would provide consumers and startups with legal protection if they choose to use Bitcoin as currency.

What other impacts could Bitcoin have? Any change to how we handle currency can have wide reaching consequences. One potential impact involves white collar crimes. These crimes often involve the alleged illegal transfers of money. If Bitcoin becomes an accepted piece of currency and transfers result in legal ramifications, certain transfers could be classified as white collar crimes.

What if a transfer results in allegations of criminal activity? Although transfers of Bitcoin will not likely lead to charges of white collar crimes anytime soon, it is important to be aware of the potential.

These charges are serious. They can come with hefty monetary fines and prison time.

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