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For example, prior to 2010, California regulated money transmitters under the "Transmission of Money Abroad Law".
One of e-gold's competitors, the e-Bullion company, applied for a money transmitter license from the State of California in 2002, but was informed by the State of California that their business which dealt in gold accounts did not fall under the state's definition of a money transmitter.
By 2001, several dozen companies and individuals from around the world were offering third party exchange services between national currencies and e-gold, further extending e-gold's international user base.
e-gold, which allowed transactions as small as one ten-thousandth of a gram of gold, was also the world's only successful micropayment system.
However, account and transaction records—even failed log-in attempts—were permanently recorded, enabling linkage of seemingly unrelated accounts secretly under unified control.
The data mining this enabled, combined with inputs from independent exchange services, enabled law enforcement to identify numerous criminal users of the service.
Failing to prospectively verify the identity of account holders, e-gold began to suffer from an increasing rate of criminal activity mainly perpetrated by Russian hackers against its users.
This transparency enabled many observations to be made about how e-gold was being used.
Jackson's theory was that e-gold is a book entry system with account histories, making it simple to conduct an investigation to track down and identify users who had engaged in illicit activity after the fact.
allowing the creator of the account to use any name or label he wished to use.
As an online transactions system with exchange agents worldwide, e-gold enabled criminals and hackers in Romania to move money quickly and easily from victims in America back to the country from which the attacks were originating.
Several of the cyber crime gangs that plagued and used e-gold were based in Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania.
The USA Patriot Act, passed in the wake of the September 11 attacks more than five years after e-gold had been launched, made it a federal crime to operate a money transmitter business without a state money transmitter license in any state that required such a license.