European Finance ministers have recently gathered in Vienna, in a meeting in which they addressed the growing cryptocurrency ecosystem. In it, they decided they aren’t rushing to further regulate the market.
Instead, Fortune reports, they’ll wait for a thorough analysis made by European authorities. Irish Finance Minister Paschal was quoted as saying the European Union (EU) will “be acting carefully in this area,” as the policymakers side with the Financial Stability Board, which earlier this year noted cryptos aren’t currently a threat to the financial system.
While the Finance Ministers policymakers aren’t in a rush to regulate the market, they have moved to increase its transparency. So far comprehensive regulations haven’t been drafted because the euro doesn’t represent the majority of bitcoin’s trading volume, but regulators reportedly worry about fraud in the market, and about cryptos being used for money laundering or terrorism financing.
The meeting in Vienna, per Fortune, was meant to make sure regulators in the EU are on the same page when it comes to whether crypto regulations are needed. Olaf Scholz, Germany’s Finance Minister, noted it ensured policymakers are “put in a position in which they’re able to act.” Per his words, “it’s obvious that we shouldn’t wait too long with that.”
How can we make our economies more resilient? At today's #Eurogroup meeting, EU finance ministers explored ways to strengthen the euro area's durability in the face of shocks. ▶️ https://t.co/p12GlsYLRq @mariofcenteno @ESM_Press @pierremoscovici pic.twitter.com/r9CHtFqWgo— EU Council (@EUCouncil) September 7, 2018
As CryptoGlobe recently covered Bruegel, a Brussels-based think tank, called for EU-level regulations on cryptocurrencies, noting it should be scrutinized how exchanges operate and how cryptoassets are distributed in initial coin offerings (ICOs). Per the think tank “limiting the exposure of financial institutions” to cryptocurrencies would be “sensible.”
Regulators throughout the world, as Fortune noted, have been taking steps to reign over the crypto ecosystem. China cracked down on the industry, banning domestic crypto exchanges and ICOs last year. Its crackdown recently saw Baidu start censoring crypto discussions in its forums.
Japan, on the other hand, adopted an exchange-licensing regime and accepted bitcoin as a legal payment method in April of last year. The result was seemingly positive for the industry as CryptoCompare data shows the Japanese yen represents over 10% of bitcoin’s total trading volume.
EU regulators have, as covered, been considering tightening cryptocurrency regulations over transparency concerns. The crypto market has, since late last year, lost over 75% of its total value. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, came down from a near $20,000 all-time high to about $6,200 at press time.