The bitcoin industry focused on news that the UK government might roll out strict regulations on cryptocurrency transactions this week, sparking a few losses for BTC on speculations that black market operations may have to be shut down.
In their latest Treasury Report, UK officials outlined plans to closely monitor potential criminal activity with its anti-money laundering restrictions. The proposal could also allow bitcoin industry companies to comply with stricter regulation and standardized consumer protection laws that could be implemented prior to the general elections in May.
Bitcoin Industry Restrictions
While some bitcoin startups took the news hard, others saw promise in the government’s 10 million GBP injection into bitcoin research, adding to its previous pledge to support FinTech’s digital currency developments.
Some say that they already have strict rules in place and would be open to implementing additional restrictions under “reasonable guidance” from the UK government. Others questioned the need to introduce additional legislation curbing transactions in the bitcoin industry and in other cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin enthusiasts are hopeful that the proposed regulation could improve the security and transparency of the cryptocurrency, allowing it to be more widely accepted among financial institutions and companies. Financial news reporters such as Katie Collins of Wired noted that the regulation should support innovation instead of simply restricting the use of bitcoin.
Elsewhere in the globe, Hong Kong authorities noted that there is no need to add new legislation in their country to restrict bitcoin activities. After all, the cryptocurrency hasn’t been as widely accepted in this region and, save for the recent MyCoin scam and investigation, not a lot of criminal activity has been reported in relation to bitcoin in Hong Kong.
All in all, the UK Treasury Report suggests that financial authorities are likely to put the needs and security of consumers first in making decisions regarding the bitcoin industry.