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Bitcoin Faces Regulatory Crackdown, Bank of England Warns


Richard Partington:

Mark Carney, the Bank’s governor, used a speech in London on Friday to attack a situation of “anarchy” in the trading of cryptocurrencies, with the market having grown rapidly on unregulated exchanges. He said the time had come to “regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to combat illicit activities”.

His warning comes amid growing efforts around the world to bring bitcoin under the control of central banks and governments, amid fears of consumers losing money at the hands of market manipulation. There are also growing efforts to curb the risk of cryptocurrencies being used for money laundering, financing terrorism and drug dealing.

First the remarks of European bankers, now this. In short: here we go. I’m genuinely curious about how central banks and governments plan to bring bitcoin under their control. It’s inherently decentralised. Do they plan to corner mining somehow? Or perhaps impose rules by some other means? Whatever happens, I think it’s going to be quite interesting to watch.

Especially when the governor of the Bank of England comes out and says things which are just plain weird:

“Authorities are rightly concerned that given their inefficiency and anonymity, one of the main reasons for their use is to shield illicit activities. This cannot be condoned. Anarchy may reign on the dark web, but in the UK it’s just a song that your parents used to listen to,” Carney said, in a speech which will be seen as a major intervention by a top global regulator.

Wait… what?