Bitcoin Smashes $600; Senate Holds Hearing on Bitcoin.

Bitcoin, the increasingly popular virtual currency touted as an alternative to the dollar, has smashed $600/btc and climbing, recently clocking in at over $640/btc. Growing acceptance of Bitcoin amongst virtual retailers has sparked a rebound in value following the closure of online exchange Silk Road. Adding further fuel to the fire is growing public discomfort over the health of the US dollar and the nomination of dovish inflationista Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve.

btc

The Senate meanwhile is holding a hearing on Bitcoin today, titled “Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies”. I’m sure it’ll be full of wild exaggeration over the evils and ills of virtual currency (the inclusion of Directors from Financial Crimes and Missing & Exploited Children should clue you in to this), and the need for stringent regulation and constant federal harassment of Bitcoin buyers and sellers. Then again, maybe I’m just cynical.

The list of speakers goes as follows:

Witnesses
Panel I

Jennifer Shasky Calvery
    Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Mythili Raman
    Acting Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division
U.S. Department of Justice

Edward W. Lowery III
    Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigative Division
U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Panel II

Ernie Allen
    President and Chief Executive Officer
The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children

Patrick Murck
    General Counsel
The Bitcoin Foundation, Inc.

Jeremy Allaire
    Chief Executive Officer
Circle Internet Financial, Inc.

Jerry Brito
    Senior Research Fellow, The Mercatus Center
George Mason University

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