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Physical Bitcoin maker shut down by Treasury Department

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Physical Bitcoin maker shut down by Treasury Department on Thursday. Mike Caldwell was minting the coins by hand out of his Sandy, Utah home. According to Wired on Dec. 12, all that work came to an end after the U.S. government contacted him.

Just before Thanksgiving, he says, he received a letter from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FINCEN, the arm of the Treasury Department that dictates how the nation’s anti-money-laundering and financial crime regulations are interpreted.

The physical Bitcoin maker was considered to be a money transmitter by FINCEN, which is subject to heavy regulations. Rather than try to comply with the complex requirements, Caldwell chose to shut down production and stop taking new orders.

Caldwell, was producing Casascius Bitcoins, which were so popular that he estimates that $82 million of them were sent to customers before shutting down. Customers would send their Bitcoin payment via the Internet and he would ship them their physical Bitcoins through the U.S. Postal Service.

From high-resolutions photos available online, the coins looked very beautiful. It's to bad that another American craftsman has been shut down. At the moment another maker of physical Bitcoins is still up and running. Lealana Physical Bitcoins and Litecoins of Hawaii is still taking orders on their website.

What do you think about the Physical Bitcoin maker shut down by Treasury Department story? Please drop in your comments below.

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