A feel of skepticism and a wary standpoint is growing around the European Union governments and officials towards the crypto-market, precisely Bitcoin. Issues of concern that the cryptocurrency is being used for terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering are indeed increasing.
The French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire recently claimed that the cryptocurrency could hide such activities. He also expressed concerns for those investing and betting on bitcoin in the long run saying that “there is an obvious speculative risk” . Le Maire hopes the G20 countries, including powerhouses such as the US, China, Germany and the U.K., will agree with the consensus that bitcoin regulations are needed, and will take action in the upcoming months.
Going with the same pattern, the Italian Gov stated out that it is looking to regulate the currency with rules. Her Majesty’s Treasure [HRM] – The Ministry of Treasury in the United Kingdom, initiated an exploring adventure trying to find out ways to use virtual currency exchanges in the country just like bank accounts are being used – de-anonymized.
The Ministers from the Treasury Committee added on the subject on an interview with Telegraph journalists Robert Mendrick and Gordon Rayner expressing the plans of the ministry. According to the information, crypto-exchange users have to “make known their identities and report any suspicious movement. The administrative goal for the Treasury, then, will be to ensure U.K. customers can’t easily turn to cryptocurrencies as a vehicle for money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist funding.
“The UK government is currently negotiating amendments that will bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers into Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing regulation, which will result in these firms’ activities being overseen by national competent authorities.”
The idea that bitcoin is used for cybercrime mostly stems from previous years, when the dark web marketplace Silk Road was popular. However, it is clear nowadays that there is a reversal, and bitcoin is growing more popular as a store of value, a digital currency, and a financial asset. The bitcoin community firmly believes in mass adoption and it is no longer far fetched to think it will occur within the next five to ten years.
What does the future hold for Bitcoin? It is very difficult to predict as various officials want regulate the coin but others are denying the move. The EU Commissioner for economic, taxation, financial affairs and costums – Pierre Moscovici, pointed out that the organization does not accept nor consider BTC as an alternative currency for its present stage. On the other hand, the Central Bank of Finland in Sep, dropped out a report stating that there is no need to do the first [regulate].
It is almost a fact, considered by many, that for bitcoin to reach mass adoption it has to go through so not-so-easy regulations and rules. But, how long will that development take and more importantly or interesting – is there any plan on how government and officials will be able to monitor the cryptocurrency which is out of reach from financial entities.