Reuters reports that an unnamed Australian law enforcement agency is investigating the use of bitcoin in organised crime. It's unknown whether the LEA conducting the investigation, named Project Longstrike, is one at the state or federal level. Given the project's scope for local and international crime, it's likely to be the later of the two.
Speaking to Reuters, Australian Crime Commission Executive Director Judy Lind said:
"We know that virtual currencies including bitcoin are used as payment methods to facilitate illicit trade on the darknet. Organised crime groups continue to make use of darknets to harbour trading in illicit commodities, including child exploitation material, illicit drugs and firearms, stolen credit card and identity data, and hacking techniques."
The launch of Project Longstrike comes off the back of the extradition of Australian citizen Peter Nash to the United States to face charges of conspiracy to engage in narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering in relation to the first iteration of the Silk Road.
Nash, who is alleged to have gone by the aliases Batman73 and Anonymousasshit and allegedly a moderator for the Silk Road discussion forums, waived his extradition rights in March of this year. A spokesperson for the Attorney General's Department did not specify when Nash had been surrendered to US authorities.