The UK Wants to Regulate Bitcoin

Bitcoin hits $9,000 high

Bitcoin. Pixabay

The British government has called Thursday to regulate bitcoin, confirming that the topic will be addressed at the next G20 Finance in March.

“I think we need to be cautious about bitcoin,” British Finance Minister Philip Hammond told Bloomberg TV.

“We may need to look at how to regulate this environment before bitcoin takes on a scale that would be systemic for the global economy – we are not there yet, but it could be soon,” he added. Mr. Hammond was questioned on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The virtual currency, which is particularly volatile and which currently escapes regulation, worries many authorities around the world.

South Korea and China have already taken initiatives to better regulate bitcoin and the French and German finance ministers will present joint proposals at the G20 Finance summit planned for Buenos Aires in mid-March.

The regulation of bitcoin “must be done at an international level and of course it will be on the agenda of the G20 meeting in Argentina,” Hammond confirmed.

He hopes, however, that the framing of cryptocurrencies would not limit the potential of blockchain technology which “has a wider and more important application”. This technology is a method of transmitting anonymous and tamper-proof information that has enabled the development of virtual currencies.

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Also questioned by Bloomberg TV in Davos, Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May said that the subject of bitcoin and more generally cryptocurrency should be approached “very seriously precisely because of the way in which they can be used, especially by criminals”.

On Tuesday, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US Stock Exchange Constable, also warned companies on Wall Street, demanding that they inform investors more about their projects related to bitcoin or other crypto-currencies.

Andrei Santov

Andrei, a sociologist by profession, born in Russia but currently located in UK, covers mostly European and Russia-related news for The Talking Democrat.