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Bitcoin Update: Virtual Currency Gaining Ground With Federal Authorities

Bitcoin Update: Virtual Currency Gaining Ground With Federal Authorities

11/19/2013

Bitcoin, the virtual currency that’s yet to gain mainstream usage, has made headway with federal authorities, encouraging investors in the tech enterprise.

Bitcoin Gaining Approval From Federal Authorities

Over the last few years, there has been doubt as to whether bitcoin could ever get federal approval, and be deemed a legitimate currency. Yet, at a Senate hearing on Monday, officials voiced their belief that there might be enough upside in virtual monies to counteract fears regarding illegal activity, including money laundering and the purchase of illicit goods.

“The decision to bring virtual currency within the scope of our regulatory framework should be viewed by those who respect and obey the basic rule of law as a positive development for this sector,” said Jennifer Shasky Calvery, the director of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. “It recognizes the innovation virtual currencies provide, and the benefits they might offer.”

“There are plenty of opportunities for digital currencies to operate within existing laws and regulations,” conceded Edward Lowery, a special agent with the Secret Service.

Bitcoin Value Skyrockets

Following the positive remarks from federal officials concerning bitcoin's potential, the currency saw the value of its unit rise past $700 in a handful of exchanges, according to The New York Times. Currently, the entire pool of bitcoin is worth over $7 million.

While the future looks promising for bitcoin, the battle for virtual currencies is not yet over. There are still questions regarding regulation and security, as well as whether bitcoins would be more properly defined as commodities or securities – determining which federal agency would be responsible for its oversight.

The hearing on Monday proved to be encouraging for Bitcoin Foundation. “We have recently perceived a marked improvement in the tone and tenor taken by both state officials and bank executives,” Patrick Murck, the general counsel for Bitcoin Foundation said.

– Chelsea Regan

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Read more: Bitcoin, Virtual Currency, Tech

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