Bitcoin Central has received approval from the French banking firms Aqoba and Credit Mutuel to allow it to function as the first Bitcoin centered banking institution. This essentially allows Bitcoin Central all the rights and privileges as a standard banking institution.
This presents a major milestone for Bitcoin as a legitimate currency and provides national protection from the French government regarding money held at the exchange.
Source Link - BBC News
The European Central Bank (ECB) published a report on October 29, 2012 regarding virtual currency schemes with a specific focus towards Bitcoin.
This report summarizes the beginnings of currency as a medium of exchange, a measure of value and a store of value. This report focuses on the growth of the internet and digital communication age and the potential transition period between conventional existing fiat currencies and the emergence of virtual currencies like Bitcoin.
Virtual online communities like Second Life and World of Warcraft already have internal "closed virtual" currencies, but Bitcoin appears to be the first virtual currency to have broken the bounds of the virtual world and has emerged as the first real bridge between the virtual and the real economic world.
Currently Bitcoin can be used to purchase actual products. See list of vendors that will accept Bitcoin for products and services.
The ECB report has summarized the Bitcoin currency itself in the following way.
There are a few interesting quotes found throughout the article that stand out as direction to the potential future of virtual currencies...
Currently the world banking system is under intense pressure around the world to solve the global economic crisis. Since 2008, there has been little progress to resolve the underlying problems with the current fiat currency system.
Perhaps the right time for the decentralized virtual currency has arrived?
Read the original source material for yourself
SEE ATTACHED ECB REPORT.
ECB Source Link