The Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Monday, Nov. 18, about the future of virtual currencies including bitcoin.
Two panels are scheduled to address the committee during the hearing titled, “Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats and Promises of Virtual Currencies.”
Bitcoin’s price has reportedly reached a record on the BitStamp online exchange at $330.01.
According to the Bitcoin Talk Forum, Patrick Murck of the Bitcoin Foundation will be testifying at the hearing.
“For those who don't know Patrick, he is pretty much ‘the Bitcoin lawyer’ and is one of us – he has been involved behind the scenes with Bitcoin for a long time now, I talk with him frequently and I know he will do a great job,” said Mike Hearn, chair of the law & policy committee at the Bitcoin Foundation.
Hearn also wrote on the forum that the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs would also be holding a hearing on virtual currencies the same day. It has not officially appeared on the committee’s schedule.
Some credit union executives have shown interest in bitcoin as a way to engage a younger audience.
In August of this year, Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee Chairman Thomas Carper (D-Del.) and Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) wrote a letter about the need for the federal government to address virtual currencies to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
“Our committee staff has been interviewing individuals inside and outside of government regarding the threats and risks related to virtual currency – and also the promise it holds in some areas,” the letter said.
“The expansive nature of this emerging technology demands a holistic and whole-government approach in order to understand and provide a sensible regulatory framework for their existence.”