Feeds

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

US derivatives commission mulls rules for e-cash

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.