Comment: Update: 12/18/2012

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Update: 12/18/2012

Bitcoin looks primed for money laundering

FORTUNE -- HSBC and Standard Chartered may have gotten out of the money laundering and sanction-skirting game just in time. Bitcoin, a virtual online "currency," seems to be gaining traction and legitimacy among those who need to transfer or launder their cash outside of the prying eyes of regulators.

Spend some time in the sketchy online marketplace for this currency and you'll find that Bitcoin users range from the common Iranian on the street, who is worried about inflation, to hit men and drug dealers, who prefer to be paid in an untraceable currency. If Bitcoin is able to stabilize its value on the international markets, it could eventually creep into the legitimate world of finance, threatening major profit centers for both the banks and payment operators like Visa and MasterCard..........

“I’m fully diversified. I’ve got some under the mattress, some under the floor boards, some in the backyard.”