The currency, which has soared more than 1,000 per cent in value in 2017, has been increasingly targeted by criminals and criminals’ sympathisers.
In Australia, a handful of Australian criminals have been caught using the currency to buy goods and services.
But the Australian Federal Police and police agencies across the country have come under increased scrutiny as they began investigating new coins that were not yet accepted into their exchanges.
It is understood the AFP’s investigation of the coins began in February, with a request to the Department of Justice from a member of the public.
It’s understood the member of public told police the coins were being sold for $US10,000 ($12,000) each.
“The AFP have made contact with a number of Australians concerned about their personal safety and the safety of others,” a police spokesperson said in a statement.
The AFP said it was aware of at least two individuals selling counterfeit coins at Sydney’s Circular Quay.
“There is no suggestion that the coins are counterfeit, but the AFP would urge anyone who is concerned to contact their local police force or the NSW Police Crime Squad,” the spokesperson said.
Australia’s largest bitcoin exchange, Coinfloor, has confirmed it has received a tip-off that a man was selling counterfeit Bitcoin.
“We have received information that a person has been selling a few Bitcoin coins in the last week or so,” Coinfloor said in an emailed statement.
“As a precaution, we have temporarily shut down our platform for the purpose of this investigation.
We are working to verify this information and will provide more information as we receive it.”
It was not clear how many of the Bitcoins in circulation were allegedly being sold.
Australian banks have been particularly active in combating the spread of the crypto-currency, issuing alerts to customers about buying coins, and issuing warnings to investors that the currency is illegal.
The banks have also made a concerted effort to make sure they’re always able to process transactions.
But there are still plenty of coins floating around the Bitcoin ecosystem, particularly those in the form of bitcoin-denominated digital tokens, which can be traded for a variety of other goods and financial instruments.
A number of these tokens are being bought and sold on exchanges in China, the Middle East, the United States and Europe.