In the last year, bitcoin's grabbed headlines as much for its soaring price as for its link to the online underworld and crimes including fraud, Ponzi schemes and outright theft.
"I think anytime you have a new technology there's going to be criminals out there, or people out there, who are going to try to deceive the system," said attorney Keith Miller, who specializes in the emerging world of digital currencies.
Bitcoin is created and stored online. It provides users with a great deal of anonymity. While bitcoin transactions are posted, stored and identified by a unique set of digits and numbers on an open-sourced ledger called a block chain, the transactions and the digital wallets they originate from or are sent to have no link to an owner's name or address.
"The dark web is full of vendors who accept only, exclusively bitcoin," said former assistant U.S. attorney Danya Perry.