Reuters is reporting that the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced it would look into whether it has the authority to regulate cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

The CFTC regulates commodities such as swaps and futures in the US, and some in the organization believe Bitcoin qualifies as something similar.

“I think people [here] believe there’s a pretty good argument that it would fit that definition,” CFTC acting chairman Mark Wetjen said.

The big picture

Other questions, such as what the commission would do with cryptocurrency derivatives, remain, Wetjen said.

Here is what he told a US Senate Committee in February:

“Virtual currency [...] does present new risk, as a firm would be interacting outside of bank payment channels, increasing the risk of hacking or fraud, among other cybersecurity issues. The CFTC is working with registrants that are seeking to accept virtual currencies to educate them about best practices.”

In the larger context of recent announcements by American officials, such as New York’s resumption of Bitcoin-exchange regulation, it appears a legal framework for dealing with cryptocurrencies is slowly taking shape in the US.