Greg Gonzales, the Tennessee top banker, has been included in a joint task force that is studying virtual currencies such as bitcoin. The Emerging Payments Task Force, which is composed of 9 state bank regulators, will research the effect of the currencies on financial marketplace and consumer protection.
The core aim of the task force is to bring payment users, experts and state regulators together in order to explore the opportunities and risks posed by the digital currencies.
“It’s important for us to look at what’s happening, to see how that impacts all these institutions we regulate,” said Gonzales. “One of the practical things we want to accomplish is being able to provide advice to the public with respect to virtual currencies.”
The taskforce has previously held two sittings and is preparing for a public hearing in May in Chicago. It will also focus on emerging technologies linked to the movement of traditional currencies, reported The Tennessean .
The move to regulate bitcoin has been greeted positively by some quarters, who say the move will make the currency legitimate, while others are opposed to it as they prefer the currency as it isn’t controlled by any government.
“My main fear is if they do regulate bitcoin in the U.S., whether on a local level or a national level, that will continue to push innovation to other countries,” quipped John Meese, a Nashville, Tennessee-based bitcoin user. “This is a new technology that is moving at an incredibly fast pace, and it’s going to do that whether or not the U.S. is part of that.”
Since Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox collapsed in February, legislators have advocated for regulation of the virtual currency. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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