EU finance ministers begin discussion on cryptocurrency regulations

EU finance ministers begin discussion on cryptocurrency regulations

EU finance ministers are set to wrap up a two-day presentation on proposed regulations regarding cryptocurrencies in Vienna today. The

Representation of the Bitcoin virtual currency standing on the PC motherboard is seen in this illustration picture

Photo: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

EU finance ministers are set to wrap up a two-day presentation on proposed regulations regarding cryptocurrencies in Vienna today.

The meeting comes amid growing support for greater government intervention on cryptocurrency. Breguel, a think tank in Brussels, has recommended bloc-wide rules for digital coins, as has the European Parliament in an overwhelming vote in August.

The proposed rules will likely focus on several issues surrounding cryptocurrency, including increased security to prevent fraud and money laundering. Additionally, there will be new restrictions on and closer monitoring of Initial Coin Offerings, where companies offer up their own coins to investors to raise capital.

Expect the EU to take only preliminary steps towards regulation today, with proposals like having firms register with authorities and having users confirm their identities still some way from being fully enacted. These rules could also help cement the digital coins’ development as a niche speculation market rather than a legitimate alternative to money. Regardless, with momentum favouring regulation, cryptocurrencies’ days of negligible government influence are likely numbered.

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