US to give Bitcoin consumers long-awaited support?

Even following Canada’s national law enactment, the idea of ‘regulating Bitcoin’ is still one which both irks and bores the community.

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US to give Bitcoin consumers long-awaited support?

Even following Canada’s national law enactment, the idea of ‘regulating Bitcoin’ is still one which both irks and bores the community.

The latest sentiment towards official regulation of Bitcoin in the US is a refreshing one, however, being aimed at consumer support in a sign of a more positive reaction to Bitcoin’s growing popularity.

Mulling over the idea of consumer assistance is the latest task of the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), following a request from the Government Accountability Office watchdog (GAO), Bloomberg reports.

The GAO made the recommendation following publication of its report into Bitcoin last month. Senator Tom Carper, in charge of the first Bitcoin hearings in 2013, reiterated that “all sectors […] must come to the table and engage in meaningful dialogue to provide clear rules of the road for entrepreneurs, investors, and consumers alike.”

The report further suggests that the CFPB has thus far not given suitably inclusive stance on Bitcoin, something which The Bitcoin Foundation’s Jim Harper picks up on in a blog post today. “Bitcoin isn’t where the consumer protection action is, sorry to say,” he writes, but adds that “it’s a little premature to lament CFPB’s non-involvement.”

While information about what form of assistance to consumers who already use Bitcoin is still forthcoming, it is hoped that results of CFPB scrutiny will be constructive as regards the growing commerce market Bitcoin is creating. William Wade-Gery, CFPB’s acting assistant director for card and payment markets, said during correspondence with the GAO following the report:

“We’re looking forward to increasing our involvement in formal working groups as they engage on specific issues relating to consumer protection.”

“Commerce and State are the agencies that work to see that good things happen,” Harper meanwhile concludes. “They accentuate the positive. And so far—if U.S. federal involvement matters—they are the agencies really missing from the Bitcoin scene.”

 

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