Cryptocurrency exchanges have called upon legislators to oversee the emerging digital asset economy.
Platforms including London-based eToro and Austrian Bitpanda have made a bid for increased regualtory observation. The move would, according to the exchanges, bring legitimacy to the cryptomarkets and increased investment.
Europe is currently behind other areas of the world when it comes to cryptocurrency policy. In the United States, exchanges are forced to comply with Know Your Cusomer (KYC) and other regulations, but Europe has not yet such legislation in palce.
The lack of a clear regualtory framework is stopping institutional investors and large isnitutions from engaging with digital currencies, according to the exchanges.
Eric Demuth, Co-CEO of Bitpanda’s told the Bloomberg news network: “We’d be happy to have regulations, so we know where we stand.” The attitude was shared by Iqbal Gandham, Managing Director of eToro:
“The benefits of regulation are clear. An appropriate framework would serve to both protect consumers, and ensure the longevity and legitimacy of the industry itself.”
It appears that the European Union is mulling the right approach pending further investigations. Recent news shows that the organisation is considering using blockchain technology, but results are still waiting regarding decentralized digital currencies.
Whilst the European Union is biding its time, not all countries are being reserved. Malta is fast-becoming a blockchain-hub, opening its arms to previously Hong Kong Based OkEX. The prime minister and leader of the labour party took to Twitter to advertise his country.
We welcome @OKEx_ a world-leading digital exchange, to our growing #blockchain ecosystem. #Malta🇲🇹 is fast becoming the jurisdiction of choice for Distributed Ledger Technology companies in the European Union and globally -JM @SilvioSchembri
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) April 12, 2018
Both authorities and exchanges are worried about the bad reputation cryptocurrencies are developing in some sectors. Misconceptions regarding anonyomity are associating virtual currencies with money laundering and terrorisim funding, something that exchanges are keen to dispel.
What action the EU will take remains to be seen – European exchanges just hope that it comes fast – and fair.