Bitcoin records a new high, soars past USD600

November 18
11:35 AM 2013

Today, the value of the Bitcoin went passed USD600. This was a new record so far, according to virtual currency exchange Mt Gox. Mt Gox primarily caters to Bitcoin trades. CNBC charged the growth spurt of Bitcoin value to a trading surge in Asia. Just last week, the value of the Bitcoin reached USD400 and clocked in at USD500 yesterday.

The increase in the value of the Bitcoin came at the heels of a scheduled hearing launched by the US government to discuss the viability of the digital currency. In letters released prior to the hearing, the US Securities and Exchanges Commission and the US Department of Justice had vouched their support to Bitcoin's viability and will highlight that the risks and benefits of Bitcoin is similar to any payment technology.

Bitcoin was threatened when the digital currency was involved in illicit trade in the online marketplace Silk Road. Mercatus Center senior research fellow Jerry Brito at George Mason University thought that the involvement of Bitcoin to a scandal was nonetheless a good thing.

‘‘Two years ago it was alarm when Silk Road first came on the scene. Since then, Congress has been educating itself and understands that there are great potential benefits, and like any new technology there are going to be some challenges. But they see there is a balance to be struck here and they are generally positive on the technology,'' Brito said. Brito would be called to testify about Bitcoin's viability by the committee today.

On the other hand, US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the agency does not have plans on regulating Bitcoin in the near future.

In a letter Bernanke wrote to the committee, he said, "Although the Federal Reserve generally monitors developments in virtual currencies and other payments system innovations, it does not necessarily have authority to directly supervise or regulate these innovations or the entities that provide them to the market."

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