The United States government is still researching digital currency and examining its risks and potential benefits. As a result, US authorities are not yet ready to create a regulatory framework for the industry, according to remarks made by White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce at the Munich Security Conference on Friday.
Joyce told CNBC that the government still had some work to do to better understand the technology before any type of broad regulatory scheme could be developed. In answer to a question about that possibility, he said, "I think we're still absolutely studying and understanding what the good ideas and bad ideas in that space are. So, I don't think it's close."
Like other US officials, Joyce focused his attention on the potential for abuse by criminals:
"We are worried. There are benefits to the bitcoin concept — digital cash, digital currencies. But at the same time, if you look at the way bitcoin works after there is a criminal act that takes place, you can't rewind the clock and take back that currency."