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Senate committee to hold bitcoin hearing

Senate committee to hold bitcoin hearing
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The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing with top financial regulators in early February examining the implications of bitcoin.

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Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Christopher Giancarlo and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton will testify before the committee at the hearing, a source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to The Hill.

Both agencies have largely not taken firm regulatory action on bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies over the past several months, but have issued warnings to investors about digital currencies in recent months.

Over the past year, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have exploded in value. Bitcoin hit an all-time high of over $19,000 within the past month. At the start of 2017, it was trading below $1,000.

Last month, the CFTC approved bitcoin futures being offered by financial organizations CBOE and CME Group.

Financial groups have long talked of creating bitcoin and general cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to make the currency more accessible to casual and institutional investors, but several fund managers shelved their plans for such funds this past week, citing SEC concerns.

Previous attempts at a bitcoin ETF by the likes of the Winklevoss twins Cameron and Tyler, internet entrepreneurs who helped start Facebook, were not approved by the SEC. Some expect their follow-up attempts to be approved, though.