The Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee has set 18 November as the date for its first hearings into how bitcoin and other crypto-currencies affect law enforcement and banking.
The HSGAC hearing - Beyond Silk Road: Potential risks, threats, and promises of virtual currencies - will have two panels. The first one consists of members of US law enforcement agencies. The second will represent members of the bitcoin community.
Among those attending will be Patrick Murck of the Bitcoin Foundation, known in industry circles as 'the Bitcoin lawyer'.Publicising
the date and Murck's involvement, Mike Hearn chair of the Law & Policy committee at the Bitcoin Foundation, comments: "The selection of the other panelists are also, I think, good news for us - they're people with a strong understanding of the Bitcoin space, people who have got credibility and achievements under their belt. Unfortunately my understanding is that it would be a faux pas to reveal their names here for some reason, but you'll find out who they are in a week."
He says preparatory work has already begun and Foundation staff are working on some written testimony that will be submitted along with the oral testimony.
The hearing comes as bitcoin valuations soar and the number of outlets accepting the currency continues to grow. Over the weekend, e-commerce Website Shopify announced that it would soon be accepting bitcoin on checkout for the 17,000 online stores which use the platform, further pushing the crypto-currency into the mainstream