February 9th, 2018: While news in the American cryptocurrency world has been mainly positive in the past week, members of the European Union will be seeing news that’s not so bullish. At the G20 Summit coming this April, it’s now confirmed that members of the summit will hear a case being made for the regulation of Bitcoin and presumably other cryptocurrencies as well., from concerned European financial authorities.
This is in relative contrast to the American crypto community where investors and traders were left with a sense of relief after the Senate Banking Committee hearing on crypto assets. US regulators spoke on the importance of protecting investors in the new economy and emerging asset classes (mainly in the event of ICO’s) but did not speak of needing to tamper down cryptocurrency to stop it from affecting the financial system.
France and Germany, on the other hand, have taken significantly different stances on the matter when compared to American officials. As originally reported by The Telegraph, a letter was sent to G20 finance ministers attending the summit in April and signed by interim finance minister of Germany, Peter Altmaier, and Bruno le Maire of France, calling for the discussion of Bitcoin at the upcoming summit and the need to regulate the cryptocurrency amidst all the speculation. Besides the authors, the letter had some other big name signatories as well, with Francois Villeroy de Galhau, head of Banque de France, and Jens Wedimann, head of Bundesbank, signing on for a call to action for regulators.
In the letter, finance ministers expressed concern for the future of the financial markets both in their countries, but in the global community as well. Seeing as cryptocurrencies are not run by a centralized authority, there is no way for governments to keep them limited to within a specific location or country, users are free to use them how they wish. This can bring major concerns to regulators both at home and abroad. Furthermore, the finance minister and senior banking officials believe that new cryptocurrencies “could pose a substantial risk for investors” and should be monitored closely.
Regulators at the summit are also not convinced that many of the cryptocurrencies on the market operate as actually “currencies,” and have been mislabeled and mislead the public. Investors will need to wait until April to hear polished remarks from international finance leaders, but the question is looming. One only hopes it turns out as was as the Senate hearing with the SEC and CFTC.