Washington (Web Desk): A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that virtual currencies like bitcoin can be regulated as commodities by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

US District Judge Jack Weinstein in Brooklyn ruled that the CFTC had the standing to bring a fraud lawsuit against New York resident Patrick McDonnell and his company Coin Drop Markets, allowing the case to go forward.

The reform is part of a broad overhaul of institutions that underpin the world’s largest bullion trading center to make them more transparent after accusations of price manipulation by banks and traders and pressure from regulators.

As that pressure increased, the number of banks clearing gold transactions through a company they own called the London Precious Metals Clearing Limited (LPMCL) has dwindled from seven to five. They are HSBC, JPMorgan, Scotiabank, UBS, and ICBC Standard.

Several banks have attempted to join the group in recent years. ICBC Standard joined in 2016 after months of wrangling over conditions and an application from at least one other, Goldman Sachs, was declined, sources in LPMCL member banks said.

Spokespeople for HSBC, JPMorgan, Scotiabank, UBS and ICBC Standard declined to comment. A spokesman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment on whether its application had been turned down.