bitcoinLast month, in my series on Bitcoin, I wrote that for the crypto-currency to succeed it will one day have to become trusted by more mainstream consumers, which requires adding such features as regulatory oversight and a centralized monetary authority—the very features of other currencies that Bitcoin was created to avoid.

That day may be coming sooner than later:

Senior officials at a top US financial regulator are discussing whether Bitcoin, the controversial cyber-currency, might fall under their regulatory remit.

Bitcoin “is for sure something we need to explore”, Bart Chilton, one of the five commissioners at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) told the Financial Times. A person familiar with the CFTC’s thinking said that the regulator is “seriously” examining the issue.

Said Mr Chilton: “It’s not monopoly money we’re talking about here – real people can have real risk in these instruments, and we need to ensure that we protect markets and consumers, even in what at first blush appear to be ‘out there’ transactions.”

As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end—or else be regulated by the government.