A day after the first of what is expected to be dozens of Bitcoin cash (BCH) trades on the exchanges, the virtual currency is being used to purchase items on Amazon.com, including items for people in need, as the online retailer prepares to launch its own bitcoin futures exchange.
Bitcoin Cash has gained steam in recent days as a result of speculation about its future use as a payment method and as an alternative to traditional financial institutions.
The New Yorker first reported that Amazon’s new futures exchange would allow users to trade the virtual coins for goods and services on its website, though the company has not said exactly what it will be offering.
Amazon.in is an affiliate of the online retail giant and is currently one of the first exchanges to accept Bitcoin Cash as payment for goods, said Kevin J. Tucker, a spokesman for Amazon.
In addition to its own Bitcoin Cash futures market, Amazon is also expected to start trading Bitcoin cash futures in the coming days.
The virtual currency has gained traction as a way to circumvent government regulation and as a means to move money around the world, and in some cases, to evade sanctions imposed by some countries.
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, for example, The Economist reported that people could now use the virtual currencies to pay for goods without going through traditional financial channels, and also to bypass bank accounts, which can take up to five years to clear.
At least one other major exchange, Coinbase, is offering customers the option of trading the virtual crypto-currency for dollars on its platform.
But some critics have said that this has created a new form of money laundering, where people are trading the currencies for illegal goods, including drugs and weapons, with little or no transparency or oversight.
And they have raised concerns that the exchange could be used as a clearinghouse for illicit transactions.
“The potential for Bitcoin Cash trading to become a tool of criminal activity has emerged,” David Wessels, chief technology officer for the Digital Currency Group, a trade association for Bitcoin companies, told the Financial Times in an interview this month.
“This is a serious issue and we should all be concerned about this.”
The New Yorkers, who reported the trading to the Times on Sunday, said they made the trades after realizing they were using the virtual-currency to pay a woman they did not know for the first time.
“We made the trade to pay her for a job she didn’t want to do, to get her back on her feet,” Jessica Stegman, one of two New Yorkers interviewed, said in an email.
She did not identify the woman.
The woman, who was not identified, said she was going through a rough time and needed money to pay rent and medical bills.
She said she paid $600 in Bitcoin cash to buy some items at a local store, including a new dress, a necklace and earrings.
The store, she said, didn’t take the payment, and she left after a few hours.
The next day, she found out about the transaction on the Amazon.net exchange, and reported it to the New York State Department of Financial Services, which sent a letter to the exchange informing it that the trade was illegal.
In the letter, the department cited the Silk Road website, which was shut down by the feds in January.
The department noted that many Bitcoin exchanges allow users who do not have bank accounts to make transactions in Bitcoin and in the virtual cryptocurrency, but not in traditional currencies like dollars.
“As a result, these individuals can use the Bitcoin Cash to buy goods and pay for services without using a traditional financial institution,” the department wrote.
“There is no way to verify transactions made with Bitcoin Cash, and therefore, it is illegal to use Bitcoin Cash for illegal transactions.”
Stegmen and her husband, who are also New Yorkers and are not registered on the exchange, said that they made a number of similar trades to the same woman this week.
But the pair said they had no reason to believe that the exchanges were not working properly.
“I think we should just go ahead and do it,” Stegmans said.
“It doesn’t matter what the regulators say.
She didn’t have a bank account.
She’s not doing anything wrong.”
The couple told the New Yorker that they were not aware of any other New Yorkers who had used the virtual trading platform, and they have not been able to verify the accounts of any of the other people who had traded with them.
Stegmann, who said she has a degree in business administration and a master’s in public policy, said her husband has not used the platform since he moved to the United States from Russia in 2013.
The couple said that although they did make a payment for the items they bought on the site, they did so in cash and that they did the transactions on their own time.
When asked if they have ever used Bitcoin Cash on other websites, Stegmania said,