Date
17 October 2018
Regulators have raised the alarm over bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, saying they may aid money laundering and terrorist financing, hurt consumers and undermine trust in the global financial system. Photo: Bloomberg
Regulators have raised the alarm over bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, saying they may aid money laundering and terrorist financing, hurt consumers and undermine trust in the global financial system. Photo: Bloomberg

G20 financial heads to urge crypto-asset monitoring

The world’s financial leaders will call for stronger monitoring of crypto-assets amid concerns that such assets could threaten financial stability.

The call appears in a draft communique prepared for the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s 20 biggest economies in Buenos Aires on March 19-20, seen by Reuters.

The financial leaders will say the technological innovation behind cryptocurrencies has the potential to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system.

“Cryptocurrencies, however, raise issues with respect to consumer and investor protection, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing,” the draft communique states. “At some point they could have financial stability implications.”

“We agree that international standard-setting bodies strengthen their monitoring of crypto-assets and their risks… and assess whether multilateral responses may be needed.”

Regulators have raised the alarm over cryptocurrencies, saying they may aid money laundering and terrorist financing, hurt consumers and undermine trust in the global financial system.

Japan was the first country to adopt a national system to oversee cryptocurrency trading. It carried out checks on several exchanges this year after the theft of US$530 million from one exchange, Coincheck Inc., in January.

France and Germany have said they will make joint proposals to regulate the bitcoin cryptocurrency market.

The head of the European Union’s watchdog said a short-term strategy could be to focus on applying anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules, warning consumers of the risk of trading in cryptocurrencies and preventing banks from holding them.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission said last week that many online trading platforms for cryptocurrencies should be registered with the regulator and subject to additional rules, in a further sign regulators are cracking down on the digital currency sector.

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RC/CG

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