Over the weekend, we reported that as Bitcoin's unprecedented, Caracas-like surge continues, legislators are finally starting to pay attention to the digital currency, a process that will culminate with a hearing on November 18 titled "Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies," in which witness would be invited to testify about "the challenges facing law enforcement and regulatory agencies, and include views from "non-governmental entities who can discuss the promises of virtual currency for the American and global economies." Which as everyone knows is code word for creeping, smothering regulation, especially since as was reported earlier, the FEC is debating allowing the use of Bitcoin for political donations (trust America's corrupt politicians to always pay attention to anything that appreciates a few thousand percent in one year).
However, one person is not waiting that long: Ben Lawsky, the New York financial services superintendent, is looking to regulate Bitcoin now by issuing BitLicenses for business that conduct transactions in Bitcoin, and to that end he will conduct a public hearing to discuss the "burgeoning world of digital money." Participants will discuss the feasibility of a license that would make the virtual currency market more like those for other forms of money. In other words: it will make BitCoin just like the fiat currency it is trying to replace, at least in the eyes of the government. At which point the primary utility of Bitcoin - as an unregulated medium of exchange- itself disappears.