Zach Copley On Monday afternoon, the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will hear testimony from various government officials, academics, and Bitcoin proponents to discuss “virtual currencies.” As the committee meets, the current exchange rate of bitcoins to dollars is skyrocketing, breaking $600 per bitcoin. (In February 2013, it was around $30 per bitcoin.) In their written testimonies released prior to the hearing, various government officials detailed their attitude and policies toward Bitcoin in particular.

They noted that while such virtual currencies may be “legitimate,” they pose potential issues for law enforcement. Peter Kadzik, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, wrote in his letter to the committee that the FBI has “founded and chairs the Virtual Currency Emerging Threats Working Group.” Notably, outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke wrote, “[T]here are also areas in which [such currencies] may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure, and more efficient payment system.”     

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