Bitcoin 'may hold long-term promise' - Bernake's letter to Congress

11/18/2013 - 00:00

America’s top central banker has given his cautious blessing to Bitcoin, the virtual currency that famously requires no central bank.

In a letter ahead of today’s congressional hearings, US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke mostly distanced himself from virtual currencies, saying the Fed “does not necessarily have authority to directly supervise or regulate these innovations or the entities that provide them to the market.” But he also said that bitcoin and its ilk “may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.”