Bernanke Says Bitcoins Hold Promise

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke makes a small positive step toward bitcoin, saying digital currencies show some promise.

Quartz reports Bernanke sent a letter saying the Fed doesn’t have the authority to regulate the digital currency, but they may foster some innovation.

Over time, these types of innovations have received attention from Congress as well as U.S. regulators. For example, in 1995, the U.S. House of Representatives held hearings on “the future of money” at which early versions of virtual currencies and other innovations were discussed. Vice Chairman Alan Blinder’s testimony at that time made the key point that while these types of innovations may pose risks related to law enforcement and supervisory matters, there are also areas in which they may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.