Heads up, Bitcoin users. The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions is warning consumers and businesses about the risks of using such virtual currency. The agency says a growing number of merchants, businesses and other organizations currently accept Bitcoin, one example of a crypto-currency, in lieu of traditional currency. Bitcoins can be bought or sold through virtual exchanges and used to buy goods or services where accepted. One of the largest Bitcoin exchanges recently shut down after claiming to be the victim of hackers and losing more than $350 million of virtual currency.
“The value of virtual currencies is highly volatile and the concept behind the currency is difficult to understand even for sophisticated financial experts. Investors should be aware that investments that incorporate virtual currency present very real risks,” said DFI Secretary Peter Bildsten.