Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that started out as a doubtful idea, is finally penetrating mainstream interest. The gradual acceptance of this digital money made businesses boom especially in the gambling industry. Today, there are numerous gambling sites that support the use of bitcoins. However, despite the efforts to bring bitcoins to where it is today, there are still forces taking advantage of Bitcoin’s ripening stage.
Legal authorities involved in Bitcoin theft
Two federal agents assigned to shut down illegal online black market Silk Road allegedly committed misconduct while on assignment and are charged with money laundering and theft.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Carl Mark Force IV did a side-trip while on duty. Using “fake online personas,” the DEA agent solicited and received digital currency that he got from scamming the government and the suspects while investigating Silk Road.
Meanwhile, Shaun Bridges, a US Secret Service (USSS) special agent, transferred more than $800,000 worth of Bitcoin into his personal accounts without permission, as reported by the Department of Justice. The alleged transfer took place while Bridges is working on his investigation.
Famous Bitcoin Poker website closed due to “informal crime charges”
On another note, SealsWithClubs, the leader in the Bitcoin poker business, was shut down after chairman Bryan Micon was raided in his family apartment last Feb. 11.
With no formal warning, police stormed Micon’s apartment and even started to point guns. According to the website’s founder, the experience was very traumatic for him and his family who at that time was with his wife and two-year old daughter, stating:
“My daughter was extremely scared, she didn’t cry, she simply hugged my wife and me and stayed with us.”
He further explained that he was left agitated and confused because of the charges authorities charged onto him:
“I was not formally charged with any crime, agents served me a warrant from the Nevada Gambling Commission, but I am not a lawyer and I don’t understand a lot of what’s in it.”
Accusations against him include the violation of the Nevada Revised Statues NRS 463.750(10b), and the operation of an interactive gaming site without the licenses required by the state. (State law NRS 463.160 (1a).
Before the raid, SealsWithClubs was already experiencing internal problems. The site was down due to a series of technical errors that resulted to game room unavailability and system difficulties that made members uneasy about the situation.
Micon has since then moved to Antigua to operate SwCPoker.eu.
What lies ahead for Bitcoin players and operators?
It is inevitable to collide with the government on the Bitcoin casino market. The involvement of external influences would probably be the greatest threat to Bitcoin users. Regardless of the latest issues concerning this digital currency, though, the blockchain technology itself shows no sign of fracture and is very stable.
If problems occur within the system, it would most probably just be delays in transaction. Other than that, Bitcoin users and operators’ funds and information are completely intact, unless external factors like the infamous agents will wear a different hat.