An American financial regulator has its eyes on the virtual currency Bitcoin in a first of its kind case. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission settled a matter involving the Bitcoin trading company Coinflip Thursday. What’s more interesting than the case itself is that a key regulator is saying Bitcoin is a commodity and should be overseen as such.
Bitcoin is known for a passionate following and wild swings in price. Not surprisingly for a shadowy virtual currency unconnected to a government, its legal status is murky. Regulators around the world haven’t quite figured out how to handle it. Some observers think CFTC’s move could give Bitcoin new respectability.
“It addresses one of the most important problems the Bitcoin community has faced, which is security and lack of regulation,” said University of Virginia business professor Peter Rodriguez.
But what’s potentially appealing to big financial players and mainstream folks may not go over well with Bitcoin fans, many of whom were attracted to the currency because they were skeptical of government regulation.
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