LONDON (InsideBitcoins) – Bitcoin is, to put it somewhat melodramatically, something that stirs the soul. As anyone who has spent time pondering its potential will tell you, the disinterested shrugs of the uninitiated can do little to curb the almost nervous energy that connects early adopters, inquisitive followers and excitable newcomers.
Even so, one uncomfortable reflux rears its ugly head again and again, usually during the lulls in conversation that come part in parcel with exclusive understanding: bitcoin is something of a money laundering dream. Though not inevitably so; as with any financial transaction firm regulatory guidance is needed to prevent criminal activity and though no system is watertight, one thing cannot be disputed, bitcoin operates in the darker recesses of public consciousness, it lacks clarity and it lacks legal homogeneity.
And whilst the Western world and BRIC countries have sluggishly begun to react to the potential pitfalls of cryptocurrencies, certain parts of the world are at present still, way behind the curve.
Arrested with no law on the books broken
Last week three men in Vietnam were released without charge after the police had arrested them for trading Bitcoin. Vietnam, like Thailand, Russia, France, Norway, China and Malaysia, has refused to recognise Bitcoin as a valid currency, although in Vietnam’s case, the decision has been less than proactive. The currency, it would seem, has no legal status whatsoever.

This post was published at Inside Bitcoins on Oct 22, 2014.

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