High noon for UK’s “Wild West” crypto-assets
The UK’s Treasury Committee wants an end to outlaws and hogwash as it has published a “unanimously-agreed” report that calls for the regulation of crypto-assets.
As reported in February, the Committee launched a new inquiry into digital currencies and distributed ledger technology (DLT) as it seeks to get to grips with the opportunities and risks.
Now its inquiry is over and it says regulation is needed for the “Wild West” crypto-asset market.
According to the politicians, problems include volatile prices, hacking vulnerabilities, minimal consumer protection, and anonymity aiding money laundering.
The report says: “Blockchain is currently slow, costly and energy-intensive, but there is potential for data storage uses.
“The ambiguity of the UK government and regulators’ position is clearly not sustainable. Regulation could improve customer outcomes, enable sustainable growth, and reduce certain risks. In deciding the regulatory approach, the government should decide if growth should be encouraged.”
The lawmakers reckon that proportionate regulation could see the UK well placed to become global a centre for crypto-assets.
As you may know, crypto-assets, and most initial coin offerings (ICO), are currently not within the scope of Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation. The FCA was talking about that last year.
The UK Treasury states: “Crypto-asset investors are currently afforded very little protection from the litany of risks, namely there are no formal mechanisms for consumer redress, nor compensation.”
We hear this all the time. So maybe it would be good idea to get some rules in place so we don’t all die from repetition-induced rage.
The report cites the usual stuff – volatility of prices; hacks; lost passwords; and ads. You can read the full report and recommendations here.