By Jeffery Sparshott

The U.S. is applying money-laundering rules to “virtual currencies,” amid growing concern that new forms of cash bought on the Internet are being used to fund illicit activities.

The move means that firms that issue or exchange the increasingly popular online cash will now be regulated in a similar manner as traditional money-order providers such as Western Union Co. WU -0.10% They would have new
bookkeeping requirements and mandatory reporting for transactions of more than $10,000.

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