EU ‘ready to regulate cryptocurrencies’, says finance chief

26 Feb 18

The European Union is ready to regulate cryptocurrencies if it is not done so at the global level, the bloc’s financial services chief has said.

“This is a global phenomenon and it is important there is an international follow-up at the global level,” Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters after hosting a roundtable attended by the European Central Bank and other industry bodies.

“We do not exclude the possibility to move ahead [by regulating cryptocurrencies] at the EU level if we see, for example, risks emerging but no clear international response emerging.”

Finance ministers from G20 and heads of central banks are to meet in Buenos Aires in March, with cryptocurrencies on the agenda.

The EU is to decide how to address the issue of virtual currencies at the end of 2018 or early in 2019.

Both Germany and France have said cryptocurrencies could pose substantial risks for investors and be vulnerable to financial crime if it is not safeguarded, Reuters reported.

Venezuela launched its own cryptocurrency earlier this month in attempts to pull the country out of economic turmoil. The currency, dubbed Petro, raised $735m in the first day of a pre-sale and will go public next month.

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