Bitcoin may be thriving as a relatively unregulated currency, but governments are beginning to pay it more heed as it grows in popularity. On Thursday, a group of nine state regulators formed the Emerging Payments task force; it is charged with studying virtual currencies and learning "how new entrants and technologies affect the stability of payment systems and the broader financial marketplace." Thus far, the move has been met with support — The Hill reports that Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) called the task force an "important step" toward protecting existing financial institutions from unregulated currencies.
"As virtual currencies, like Bitcoin, and similar technologies continue to be increasingly utilized, we have to ensure that governments are adequately protecting consumers and addressing lawbreakers without hindering innovation," Carper said. However, it remains to be seen how the Bitcoin community will react to the possibility of increased attention and regulation from the US government — one of the primary tenants of cryptocurrency it its decentralized nature, and more oversight from the government may not be go over well with Bitcoin users.