Backers of bitcoin have said the underlying technology has potential to revolutionise the financial system and make everyday payments easier and cheaper.
Carney noted in his speech that the technology could "increase the efficiency of managing data" and "enhance transparency (and auditability) through the creation of instant, permanent and immutable records of transactions". "Being part of the financial system brings enormous privileges, but with them great responsibilities", the BoE governor said.
While the price of bitcoin has fallen significantly from the dramatic highs of a year ago, supporters remain bullish.
Authorities everywhere are attempting to ascertain cryptocurrencies place in the wider financial firmament, with some choosing to ban their usage and others fully regulating them.
Carney confirmed that United Kingdom watchdogs wanted to ensure financial firms active in the market for crypto assets, including specialist exchange groups, were held to the same regulatory standards as others.
Thus far, rather than a sober assessment of their future prospects, the prices of many cryptocurrencies have exhibited all the classic hallmarks of bubbles, including new paradigm justifications, broadening retail enthusiasm, and extrapolative price expectations reliant in part on finding the greater fool.
But while he added that they could pose a risk to financial stability in the future, he said they should not be banned: "A better path would be to regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem".
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"The Financial Policy Committee is looking at the risks to financial stability", Governor of the UK's central bank Mark Carney said.
"Bringing crypto-assets into the regulatory tent could potentially catalyse innovations to serve the public better", Carney said.
However, Carney said regulations would be done on a country-by-country basis initially. Bitcoin was partly a "Ponzi scheme", the head of the Bank for International Settlements, Agustin Carstens, said last month. As the most popular form of cryptocurrency, some financial experts complain that it remains too volatile and has ties to cybercrime.
"Cryptocurrencies are proving poor short-term stores of value", he said.
The Bank chief also conceded that the distributed ledger technology which underpins cryptocurrencies can act to help the way payments are made evolve.
Carney delivered the speech at Bloomberg's London office, with a video link to Edinburgh, after heavy snow prevented him from delivering the speech as planned in the Scottish capital.