France and Germany will make joint proposals to regulate the bitcoin cryptocurrency at the next summit of the G20 group of major economies in Argentina in March, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said.
“We will have a joint Franco-German analysis of the risks linked to bitcoin, regulation proposals and these will be submitted as a joint proposal to our G20 counterparts at the G20 summit in Argentina in March,” Reuters quoted Le Maire as telling reporters.
The world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency has fallen to half its record peak of almost US$20,000 in recent days on fears that regulators could seek to curb speculation.
“We have a responsibility towards our citizens to explain and reduce the risks,” Le Maire’s German counterpart Peter Altmaier said at the joint news conference in Paris.
Bitcoin soared more than 1,700 percent last year, hitting a record high just shy of US$20,000 as institutional and retail investors snapped up the virtual currency on expectations of further steep increases.
Its astronomical gains, though, have attracted the attention of global regulators tasked with protecting investors from fraud.
In recent weeks, Japan and China have made noises about a regulatory crackdown while South Korean policymakers said they are considering shutting down domestic virtual currency exchanges.
In addition, the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is “aggressively” pursuing virtual currency platforms that lack strong internal safeguards against money laundering.
Bitcoin plunged to below US$10,000 on Wednesday on the Luxembourg-based exchange Bitstamp after the news about South Korea’s proposed clampdown, Reuters said. On Thursday, however, bitcoin recovered to trade at US$11,718, up 4.6 percent on the day.
South Korea is the third-largest market in the world for bitcoin trades after Japan and the United States, according to digital currency website Coinhills.
– Contact us at [email protected]