Bitcoin Confuses, Intrigues in Senate Discussion

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Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg White House correspondent Phil Mattingly recaps Bitcoin’s day on Capitol Hill as Washington discusses the merits of the virtual currency. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.”

It is interesting.

So little was known on where washington was onbitcoin.

We recognize that virtual currency systems can be a legal means of exchange, all we also recognize that criminals will always seek to take advantage of new technologies to commit further or hide their crime.

It was the first part of that statement, bitcoin, virtual currency, legal means of exchange.

They said they are legal and did not asked for new legal tools.

There were no big hurdles, and that alone was a big deal.

What will the hearings today be about?

What you see both yesterday and today, lawmakers are trying to get their head around this.

One senate aide said they want to know what this is all about.

There are a couple of issues senators are pointing out.

Tom carper said this confuses us . it is very complex.

Some lawmakers want to make sure it cannot be used for criminal or illicit activities going forward, and there are others that are intrigued about what the implications could be.

This is the future, virtual currency.

Can you latch onto it and make it work?

That is what you will see out of regulators and lawmakers in the months ahead.

Thank you, phil mattingly.

I want to bring in someone who serves on the set of officials who held that hearing yesterday and who is weighing legislation for the virtual currency.

Ron johnson, who also sits on the senate jude committee, joins us now from washington.

On bitcoin, do you expect that congress is going to take legislative action on regulating bitcoin?

I hope, certainly not right away, but at this point in time, the hearings to mature a certain extent, legitimized these virtual transactions, and we need to be monitoring these things, trying to understand exactly where this is going to take us.

Quite honestly, nobody really knows.

There are many positive aspects of these online currencies, these virtual currencies, but there are also some dangers.

It is appropriate to hold these hearings.

I do not think the federal

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