New York Department of Financial Services issues subpoenas to firms associated with Bitcoin

A draft memo reported by the Wall Street Journal on Monday notes that the New York Department of Financial Services, led Benjamin Lawsky, issued a number of subpoenas to about two dozen companies that have been affiliated with Bitcoin.

The purpose of the subpoenas will look to garner information on a wide range of matters, such as consumer protection measures, investment strategies and antimonery-laundering initiatives, according to sources close to the situation. Some of the private firms who have received subpoenas include Coinbase, BitInstant and Coinsetter.

New York’s agency also issued subpoenas to companies that have been supported by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss as well as investor Marc Andreessen.

“We believe that—for a number of reasons—putting in place appropriate regulatory safeguards for virtual currencies will be beneficial to the long-term strength of the virtual-currency industry,” Lewsky stated in the memo. “If virtual currencies remain a virtual Wild West for narcotraffickers and other criminals, that would not only threaten our country’s national security, but also the very existence of the virtual currency industry as a legitimate business enterprise.”

Bitcoin, meanwhile, also made headlines over the weekend after it was reported that digital wallets on bitcoin’s mobile platforms are vulnerable to theft due to a bug in Android’s software. Bitcoin developers issued the warning in a blog post and urged users to generate a new address with a fixed digital random number generator and then send the balance back to itself.

“If you use an Android wallet then we strongly recommended you upgrade to the latest version available in the Play Store as soon as one becomes available,” developers wrote. “Once your wallet is rotated, you will need to contact anyone who has stored addresses generated by your phone and give them a new one.”

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