With bitcoin having reached a new all-time high in recent days of approximately $61,000 per unit, many analysts and industry heads are calling for more regulation of the cryptocurrency arena. One such figure is Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of deVere Group.
Nigel Green on the Importance of Regulation
In a recent interview, Green comments:
Like it or not, cryptocurrencies, there is no getting around the fact that bitcoin is becoming an increasingly important part of the global financial system. Bitcoins in circulation are now worth a trillion dollars, and prices have recovered 890 percent over the last year. Most of the major financial institutions, including investment giants and payment firms, are now backing the world’s largest cryptocurrency, and there is growing interest from retail investors. The movement towards digital currencies will increase, and at the same rate, in the coming years. That is why financial regulators must now make regulation of the crypto sector a major priority.
To be fair, many have felt that regulation is a necessary staple for cryptocurrency if the space is to ever be considered legitimate and mainstream. However, it is something of a two-sided coin (pardon the pun) given that many are also wary of excessive regulation, claiming that it goes against the very notions and ideals of digital currency.
Initially, these assets were created to give their users more financial independence and freedom from third parties and standard monetary institutions. They would be the ones in full control, not the banks. However, with too much regulation in the mix, this could easily become an idea rather than a reality.
Nevertheless, it appears there are many figures – such as Green – who think that without appropriate regulation, the crypto space will never prosper. He continues his interview to say:
With a growing dominance, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies must be held to the same standards as the rest of the financial system with a solid and viable international framework. This will help reduce any potential disruption to global financial stability, protect investors, address illicit activity and give an economic boost to countries that adopt and adhere to it.
Exchanges Could Play a Huge Role
Right now, Green is convinced that the best way to handle regulation is through exchanges. He says:
Almost all currency transactions are carried out through banks or exchange houses, and this is what should happen with cryptocurrencies. When the flows go through regulated exchanges, it will be much easier to address possible irregularities, such as money laundering… For this to happen, banks will need to open accounts for exchanges, so they must be regulated. We are at an important point for bitcoin, which is now worth more than the GDP of many countries. Financial watchdogs need to bring this asset class to the regulatory shop sooner rather than later through exchanges.