Is Bitcoin in Trouble with US Homeland Security?

Late on May 14 CNN reported that the virtual currency Bitcoin is under siege by US Homeland Security and Department of Justice authorities which have apparently obtained seizure warrants on key mobile payments accounts associated with the largest Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox.

Intermediary Dwolla also confirmed that it has received a seizure warrant from a federal court in the District of Maryland, which required Dwolla to hand over the Mutum Sigillum (aka Mt. Gox) account balance, a requirement with which Dwolla confirmed it had complied. However, no explanation has been given for such a move.

When approached to comment, Mt. Gox claimed they have no knowledge on what was happening: "Thank you for the e-mail. We can see that the Dwolla transactions are not getting processed right now. We will contact Dwolla and post an announcement regarding this. Your patience is appreciated...." they said.

Again, no concrete info could be obtained from the Department of Homeland Security, while US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson Nicole Navas confirmed that legal action to halt Dwolla processing Bitcoin transactions had been triggered, and that the investigation was being handled by the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Baltimore.

However, she said that she could not comment further “in order not to compromise this ongoing investigation.”

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