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Lawmakers And Regulators Take A Closer Look At Bitcoin

• Diane Rehm Show
 
This April 3, 2013 photo shows bitcoin tokens at 35-year-old software engineer Mike Caldwell's shop in Sandy, Utah. Caldwell mints physical versions of bitcoins, cranking out homemade tokens with codes protected by tamper-proof holographic seals, a retro-futuristic kind of prepaid cash. With up to 70,000 transactions each day over the past month, bitcoins have been propelled from the world of Internet oddities to the cusp of mainstream use, a remarkable breakthrough for a currency which made its online debut only four years ago.
 
 
LISTEN TO DIANE REHM SHOW FROM NOV 19TH, 2013: Lawmakers And Regulators Take A Closer Look At Bitcoin

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing on the potential risks, threats and promises of virtual currencies. Later today, a Senate Banking Committee will hold a similar hearing. The focus is on Bitcoin, a virtual currency that operates completely outside of U.S. financial regulations and protections. Critics argue the current lack of oversight offers anonymity to those hoping to skirt U.S. laws, but others say it’s a frontier in electronic commerce with important consumer benefits. Diane and her guests talk about Bitcoin and the future of virtual currencies.

Guests
Jennifer Shasky Calvery-

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing on the potential risks, threats and promises of virtual currencies. Later today, a Senate Banking Committee will hold a similar hearing. The focus is on Bitcoin, a virtual currency that operates completely outside of U.S. financial regulations and protections. Critics argue the current lack of oversight offers anonymity to those hoping to skirt U.S. laws, but others say it’s a frontier in electronic commerce with important consumer benefits. Diane and her guests talk about Bitcoin and the future of virtual currencies.

Guests
Jennifer Shasky Calvery - director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, U.S. Treasury Department
James Freis - attorney, Cleary, Gottleib, Steen and Hamilton specializing in financial regulatory and enforcement issues.
Jamila Trindle - senior reporter, Foreign Policy Magazine
Jon Matonis - executive director, Bitcoin Foundation
Francois Velde - senior economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
 
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