Bitcoin Reuters

Former US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Arthur Levitt will be advising bitcoin companies BitPay and Vaurum.

BitPay is a bitcoin payment processing company, while Vauram is a bitcoin exchange designed for institutional investors.

Levitt, who is the longest serving chairman of the SEC, will work closely with both companies to monitor business practices as well as help develop new ways to market and refine the cryptocurrency.

"Bitcoin is a fascinating new product in the rapidly changing world of financial service," said Levitt.

"I hope to help BitPay and Vaurum blend their new business models with core monetary methods and transparency practices in order to ensure their long term success."

"Arthur's experience and reputation are incredible assets to a rapidly innovative company like BitPay, and with his advice we hope to better navigate the financial industry and build a successful business," said Tony Gallippi, BitPay co-founder and executive chairman.

BitPay was founded in May 2011 and currently enables over 40,000 businesses around the world to accept bitcoin as a form of payment.

"Arthur Levitt brings additional validation to the space, and we're pleased to work with him on our financial controls, banking relationships and regulatory compliance," said Vaurum CEO, Avish Bhama.

Vaurum is an escrow exchange for bitcoin, offering secure storage solutions. Its customers include banks, brokerages, hedge funds, and trading firms.

Many bitcoin backers have pointed out Levitt's support as a positive development for the digital currency industry.

"For someone of Levitt's stature to add his imprimatur to these companies provides further evidence of the maturation of the bitcoin space," said David Berger, founder of digital currency promotion group the Digital Currency Council.

"It also highlights the degree to which so many emerging players in bitcoin have realized the importance of adding smart, knowledgeable legal minds to their teams."