Bitcoin and other digital currencies are gaining popularity in recent months, but as Bitcoin’s price is surging to record highs, investors are also becoming increasingly concerned about potential government regulation.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said in a recent earnings call that he would like to see the US Department of Commerce (USD) recognize Bitcoin as a “form of money,” a move that would open the door for Bitcoin to be regulated as a currency.
Bitcoin has been used as a medium of exchange and a payment method by a growing number of businesses worldwide, including Airbnb, Uber, Paypal, PayPal, and Square.
In a report released in April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that Bitcoin had a value of around $12 billion in 2017.
However, many are concerned that the virtual currency will become too popular and that it will cause a crash in the price of traditional currencies.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a US federal agency, recently warned that Bitcoin could be used to launder money, as it could be sold as payment for illegal drugs and other illegal activity.
On Wednesday, the US Treasury announced that it would award Bitcoin certificates to the three bitcoin exchanges in the US, Coinbase and BitPay.
The new bitcoin certificates will become available to US residents on January 1.
The bitcoin certificate is valid for up to one year, but holders of the certificates will be able to use them until March 1, 2021.
The bitcoin certificate will be issued by a new bitcoin exchange in California, and it will not be tied to a specific exchange.
The announcement comes as Coinbase, the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world, announced that the bitcoin price is rising by more than 2,000% this year.