UK lawmakers have responded to calls for more regulation of the crypto industry by suggesting plans to reign in the “wild west” world of Bitcoin.
A report published yesterday by the UK Treasury Select Committee has called for regulations in an attempt to help protect consumers and curb money laundering.
Financing terrorism and other criminal activity
The report highlighted an emerging industry that has seen its fair share of fraud allegations and price volatility, as well as worries that it could be used to finance terrorism and other criminal activity.
The British government has taken an “ambiguous” position on regulating the crypto industry thus far according to the report, and the voluntary regulatory approach by the industry itself has been “inadequate.”
Committee chair Nicky Morgan, a Conservative MP for Loughborough, Leicestershire for the past eight years and a former lawyer commented that “Bitcoin and other crypto-assets exist in the Wild West industry of crypto-assets.”
“This unregulated industry leaves investors facing numerous risks.”
Morgan also claimed that the UK government has to do more than “bumble along issuing feeble warnings to investors.”
The report claims that British financial authorities need more power to regulate what it believes are “misleading” advertisements from cryptocurrency exchanges and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
A worldwide issue
Britain is just one of many nations who’s financial regulators are finding it difficult to deal with the meteoric rise of the crypto industry.
In Asia, we’ve seen Japan choose to recognize bitcoin as a legal payment form and apply sensible regulations to the crypto industry, and the same can be said of South Korea when it comes to government agencies taking a more open-minded approach to crypto.
China has taken an extremely confrontational stance though, which has seen it go from one of the leading powers in the early days of the industry to a position where nations such as Japan and South Korea have taken that mantle.
The EU has been making noises earlier this month about looking into cryptocurrency in more detail as it ponders regulation of the crypto industry.
The report published by the Treasury Select committee states that there is still a belief that the UK can become a global epicenter for the worldwide crypto industry, but only if the government takes a firm hand in implementing a regulatory approach that encourages industry growth.
Lover of all things crypto, blockchain and AI, professional tech scribe & part of the editorial team at Crypto Disrupt.