The Bitcoin digital currency was invented in order to fulfill the utopian dream of having a currency free from the shackles of government control and regulation. However, this has lead to it always having a whiff of fraud surrounding it, as various scams were perpetuated using it. Indeed, two US-based Bitcoin exchanges, Tradehill and BitFloor, among others, ended up being shut down due to fraud. Given this experience and various other mistakes, it now looks like such regulation isn’t so bad after all.
Bitcointalk has reported that Bitcoin exchange, Bitcoin-Central, is to be the first exchange to operate as a real bank, after having received official approval from French regulators. Run by Paymium, Bitcoin-Central partnered with two French companies, payment processor Aqoba and bank Credit Mutuel to create a Bitcoin-based payment service. To achieve this however, Bitcoin-Central had to first agree to come under just the sort of government regulation that Bitcoin was created to avoid. This should help to clean up Bitcoin’s image and might well lead to an alternative viable currency. Being all-digital, might it perhaps also become the de facto worldwide currency, in time replacing all others?
“We’re therefore extremely proud and happy to announce that Bitcoin-Central.net will be raising the bar for all the other exchanges, at least the ones operating in Europe.
We’re announcing today that Bitcoin-Central.net is getting, through a partnership with Aqoba and the Credit Mutuel, allowed to operate as a bank, (or more precisely a PSP which is basically the same as a bank, just without the debt-money issuing part).
Some people might argue that regulation is a bad thing. We respect this opinion, but we’ll have to agree to disagree.”
There’s more info about this, including details of the regulations, over at Bitcointalk.