Yes to the first question and yes to the second statement.
IMO, this is indeed an attack. We KNOW that the Federal government has an interest in maintaining their monopoly. This is also obvious by how they attacked gold and silver currencies as well as how they sabotaged e-gold.
Since they can't take out BC like they did e-gold (because it's not centralized), the only thing they CAN do is make the barrier of entry into the market higher. Because they certainly cannot close all the exchanges without a good reason. Doing so would be too transparent. Not to mention that you would need to have a legal framework to prevent other exchanges from popping up in such an event.
Right at this moment, they cannot take harsh action against BC, because doing so would be too obvious and could create backlash. They can only move against it when it has gone mainstream. This will give them the opportunity to create more credible excuses.
I first thought that this wasn't an attack by the government as well, but reading the article on zerohedge changed my mind. Tyler is right, the timing of this regulation is simply too suspect. Not to mention that the existing regulation exists to MAINTAIN the monopoly. And that's what they did. Used existing regulation (slightly modified) and make it apply to BC.
So do not be misled that BC is now regulated. With regulation comes significant extra transaction costs.
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