In what could turn out to be a landmark ruling, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network decided not to enforce several key regulations on virtual currencies like Bitcoin. This includes registration requirements and money-laundering restrictions.
It's important to note that these regulations will still apply to currency exchanges. If you want to swap Bitcoin for legal tender currency or vice versa, you'll still be subject to federal law.
However for users and companies who want to mine virtual money for personal use or as an investment, the U.S. Treasury will not enforce the rules.
This is an important step for a free and open marketplace. Anonymity and a lack of restrictions are what attract many people to Bitcoin. However, it could also help protect online criminals from prosecution.
Bitcoin has already been associated with a massive online black market. Click here to learn more about the seedier side of Bitcoin.