British bitcoin exchange Coinfloor opened its virtual doors to customers this week with a stated commitment to meeting government regulations and keeping money launderers out.
The London-based exchange will officially open to trading Tuesday, but it is allowing customers to sign up and register for accounts beforehand.
Coinfloor is launching at a time when bitcoin is facing increased scrutiny after the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, a 29-year-old from San Francisco who allegedly masterminded the online drug emporium Silk Road.
Bitcoin has yet to be recognized as a currency by the British Financial Conduct Authority. But that's not stopping Coinfloor from trumpeting on its site that the company "raises the standard" of anti-money-laundering compliance, electronic verification and the industry standard flagging system.
"We believe users and traders deserve a trustworthy exchange on which to conduct their business," Chief Executive Mark Lamb told Wired UK. "From the start, we've been committed to building and operating Coinfloor as a fully compliant and professional financial services company and we look forward to helping to establish bitcoin as a mass market asset."
For now, only customers in Europe can trade on the exchange. American customers are barred, at least for now, because of differences in bitcoin regulation, the Financial Times reported.
Bitcoin is a fast-growing virtual currency that has been championed most prominently by the Winklevoss twins, who are famous for their years-long battle with Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook. Fans say it is a form of money that is not connected to any nation or government, while critics say it is used often for buying illegal substances online.
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