Several startup companies are now vying to crack open the U.S. market for bitcoin in compliance with the law, said Jeff Garzik, a core developer of the Bitcoin software. Even at the best of times, buying bitcoins through Mt. Gox in Japan has been awkward, he said.
Those startups that succeed in jumping through the regulatory hoops "will be the big winners in the race for U.S. bitcoin customers," Garzik said.
Earlier this month, a partnership that promised to make it easier for Americans and Canadians to buy bitcoins disintegrated.
CoinLab of Seattle sued Mt. Gox, alleging in a federal court complaint that Mt. Gox breached an agreement that would connect the companies' IT systems for North American bitcoin purchases.
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