"Episodes like last week will lead to some sort of scrutiny," he said. "There are foreign-exchange boiler-room aspects to this, and that's something the CFTC has been very aggressive about."
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission hasn't taken any action against Bitcoin traders, but another government agency, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said last month that dealers in virtual currency are required to comply with its money-laundering and record-keeping rules.
Of course, Bitcoin's whole appeal is based on being beyond the reach of government. If regulators succeed in applying national laws to this anarchist currency, pessimists may have to find some other way to bet against the end of the financial world as we know it.
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