WASHINGTON—Senior U.S. law-enforcement and regulatory officials said they see benefits in digital forms of money and are making progress in tackling its risks. The price of bitcoin, the most common virtual currency, soared to a record following the comments.
U.S. authorities, appearing Monday at the first-ever congressional hearing on virtual currencies, outlined the pitfalls and promises of bitcoin amid concern the anonymity and decentralized nature of some virtual currencies can help facilitate crimes. The hearing provided a financial lift to bitcoin as U.S. officials, who have previously highlighted the currency’s role in money laundering and other illicit activities, called it a "legitimate" financial service.
Is Bitcoin another flash in the pan? Or are the early investors onto something — that will make them rich? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer.