Historically, national currencies were based on a gold standard, then gradually on the belief that the State which issues the currency will be able to guarantee its value and its stability. With the emergence of multiple financial and economic crises, the reliance on States and confidence in the financial industry have declined and virtual currencies, which were initially confined to a very few initiated people, gained the interest of an evergrowing part of the population. Bitcoin and other virtual currencies were initially the result of a "bottom-up consensus" from a minority of individuals who wanted to decide by themselves what they wanted to value as money, outside of any governmental or financial authority and thus free from any regulation.
The following article provides information on Luxembourg and international regulatory framework for virtual currencies.
Source: Agefi - July/August 2015