British financial observer and ECB president are calling for stricter rules.
Regulatory authorities are paying more attention to bitcoin and itsuse in the international financial system after the value of the digital currency rose sharply as a result of a volatile rally, which heightened fears of a lack of reliable oversight from financial supervisors.
As the Office of Financial SupervisionBoth the UK and the President of the European Central Bank stressed this week the need for stricter oversight of cryptocurrencies by regulators, noting the extreme volatility and criminal activity often associated with the cryptocurrency market.
ECB President Christine Lagarde said onconference on Wednesday that bitcoin was "a very speculative asset that allowed for dirty deeds and totally unacceptable money laundering activities."
Ms Lagarde's comments follow a somberformulated by a warning from the UK regulator, which reiterated to consumers this week that anyone involved in Bitcoin schemes "should be prepared to lose all their money."
Bitcoin's price skyrocketed more than 300% last year and surged another 40% in early January, peaking at over $ 40,000. It has since dropped 17% with no clear trigger.
This degree of volatility turns off many institutional investors, but is hard to ignore for some hedge funds and other private investors.
However, Ms Lagarde warned that “criminalinvestigations have shown very clearly that bitcoin has been used for money laundering, ”and called for harmonization of cryptocurrency regulation rules at the global level, possibly in the G7 or G20 rich country groups.
“If there is a loophole, then this loophole is alwayswill be used by criminals - this suggests that global coordination and multilateral action is needed, ”she said, adding that the FATF is increasingly focusing on cryptocurrencies.
German police closed this weekan online marketplace that sold a huge amount of illegal drugs in exchange for cryptocurrency. According to Europol, a site called DarkMarket operates on a hidden part of the Internet known as the darknet and has been used by 2,400 vendors to sell drugs worth more than € 140 million using cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and monero. Europol said the site is the world's largest illegal marketplace on the darknet, adding that German police have arrested the 34-year-old Australian who is the alleged operator of the site and seized more than 20 computer servers in Moldova and Ukraine.
In the UK, the FCA said it was concernedunauthorized investment schemes offering super-profits in the cryptocurrency market, as well as a high level of price volatility in this market, while consumers cannot count on the protection of British regulators from losses associated with investments in cryptocurrencies.
, close to the FCA, said that management in the firstqueue worried about advertising methods. “It has nothing to do with the actual bitcoin price movement. But we understand that surges in the price of cryptoassets such as bitcoin could increase consumer interest in these assets and associated investments, ”the source expressed concern.</p>
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