Leawood, Kan. • The Federal Trade Commission alleges in a lawsuit that a Kansas bitcoin company bilked more than 20,000 customers out of up to $50 million.

The FTC alleges that the Leawood-based company, Butterfly Labs, told consumers that computers could generate bitcoins but didn't deliver the computers or sent worthless equipment.

The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/1B6tyvB ) that the FTC said Tuesday the federal court in Kansas City issued a temporary restraining order that shutdown the business.

The company said in a statement that it would fight the federal action and accused the government of wanting to shut down the company.

Bitcoins are a way to buy and sell some goods and services instead of using dollars or other government money.