Feeds

Watchdog: Y'know what Bitcoin really needs? A REGULATOR!

US derivatives commission mulls rules for e-cash

High performance access to file storage

A US financial regulator has said it's figuring out if crypto-currency Bitcoin falls under its remit.

Top bods at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) are discussing whether the cyber-cash should actually be covered by its rules, as Bitcoin gains in popularity.

"[Bitcoin] is for sure something we need to explore," one of the five commissioners at the CFTC told the Financial Times.

"It’s not monopoly money we’re talking about here - real people can have real risk in these instruments, and we need to ensure that we protect markets and consumers, even in what at first blush appear to be ‘out there’ transactions," he said.

A person familiar with the commission's chats on the online currency said it was "seriously" looking into Bitcoins.

It's not the first time that governments and regulators have made noises about stepping into the Bitcoin market, which is starting to be seen as an attractive alternative to more traditional investments because the currency is not under the control of any central bank or government, as traditional currencies are.

Bitcoin transactions are also difficult for governments to levy taxes upon as the currency does not operate through traditional banking channels, relying instead upon a combination of algorithms and cryptography.

The US Treasury said in March that any firms that deal in the virtual money would be considered "money services businesses" just like any other, requiring them to provide information to the government and implement policies to stop money laundering.

The CFTC usually monitors derivatives contracts rather than cash markets, so it may not be the right body to oversee all Bitcoin transactions. Any leveraged deals that were not settled within two days would fall under the commission's jurisdiction, the source said.

"In essence, we’re talking about a type of shadow currency, and there is more than a colourable argument to be made that derivative products relating to Bitcoin fall squarely in our jurisdiction," Chilton said. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.