New York launches probe into Bitcoin


A New York regulator Monday announced a probe into virtual currencies such as Bitcoin on Monday, saying they could be used by drug traffickers and gun runners and threaten U.S. national security.

As part of the investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter, the New York Department of Financial Services has sent subpoenas seeking information from 22 companies investing or trading in Bitcoins, an online currency not tied to any one country or regulator that exploded in popularity earlier this year.

According to the source, subpoena recipients included Google Ventures; the Andreessen Horowitz venture capital fund; Founders Fund, launched by PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel; and Winklevoss Capital Management, led by the Winklevoss twins, famous for their feud with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.