Bitcoin, a virtual currency, has been recognized by the German Finance Ministry as a "unit of account," which means it can be used for tax and trading purposes, CNBC reported.

 

Frank Schaeffler, a member of the German Parliament's Finance Committee, told CNBC that bitcoins are a first step toward denationalizing money.

 

Bitcoin is a digital currency that uses peer-to-peer technology with no central authority.

 

Kathleen Brooks, a research director at FOREX.com, told CNBC that the German classification gave bitcoin legitimacy to be used in the world's largest economies.

 

Another article in Bloomberg describes the bitcoin craze in China, where a growing group of investors are putting the country in contention with the United States as the biggest downloader of the virtual money.

 

This is happening at the same time that U.S. regulators have intensified their scrutiny of the currency, as both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have targeted bitcoin and some of its providers for inquiry.

 

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