Bitcoin next big thing after social media?

In the eyes of some Silicon Valley investors, Bitcoin has transformed from a “joke” to “the next revolution to hit the Web after social media,” Bloomberg reports.

The Winklevoss twins, who sued Mark Zuckerberg for $65 million for allegedly stealing the idea for Facebook, are downright evangelical about the digital currency. They are among a growing number of Silicon Valley bigwigs who are buying Bitcoin or stakes in exchanges and payment processors that facilitate its use.

But Bitcoin’s future is largely in the hands of regulators, Bloomberg reports. BitInstant, a payment processor that’s attracted the Winklevoss twins and other investors, went offline in July, not long after the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued guidelines requiring Bitcoin exchanges and processors operating in the U.S. to register with FinCEN.

Regulators in the U.S. and abroad are concerned about Bitcoin’s popularity with money launderers, drug dealers and tax dodgers. Source: bloomberg.com.