The world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox will no longer accept anonymous accounts – the company is determined not to end up the next target of US secret service action.
The Japanese exchange, which claims 80 per cent of all Bitcoin trades, said it would continue to allow Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals but any currency transaction will need ID checks. It has taken on more staff to verify accounts and hopes to clear new accounts within 48 hours.
The news follows the arrest of five people connected to Liberty Reserve in recent days.
The Feds said Liberty Reserve’s 200,000 US customers made 55m transactions, almost all of them illegal.
The Bitcoin market continues to evolve, as do regulations and conditions of compliance for Mt. Gox to continue bringing secure services to our customers. It is our responsibility to provide a trusted and legal exchange, and that includes making sure that we are operating within strict anti-money laundering rules and preventing other malicious activity.
As a result, beginning May 30th, 2013 all Mt. Gox user accounts are required to be verified in order to perform any currency deposits and withdrawals. Bitcoin deposits do not need verification, and at this time we are not requiring verification for Bitcoin withdrawals.
In the past two months Mt. Gox has invested in more than doubling our verification support staff, and we are currently able to process most verifications within 24~48 hours.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please visit the Security Center in your Mt. Gox account if you are not already verified, and keep in mind that being careful to submit the proper documents will result in a much faster processing time.
You can read this on the Mt.Gox website.
The decision will send shockwaves through the bitcoin community which has so far prided itself on protecting anonymity and not co-operating with any government agencies.
We predicted major fall-out from the Liberty Reserve raids, just not as fast as this.