Federal regulators and law enforcement agencies don't need new laws to tamp down on the more seedy uses of bitcoin and other virtual currencies, Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., told CNBC on Tuesday.
"They've told us right now that we don't need more legislation," Carper said on "Squawk on the Street." "They think they have the powers they need to go after the bad stuff."
Carper, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman, told CNBC that federal agencies, from the IRS to the FBI, have assured him that they can police illicit uses of cryptocurrencies, such as money laundering or drug trafficking, through the country's current legal framework.
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He likened virtual currencies to the beginning of the Internet, when the "early message on the Internet was lets not kill the baby in the cradle," Carper said.