The UK government is eyeing regulating Bitcoin as the cryptocurrency soars to record highs attracting speculators who are looking to make a handsome profit, anonymously.
Speculators at present can trade cryptocurrencies anonymously and can avoid taxes, and launder money without disclosing their identities. This has become a grave concern for many governments. China recently banned cryptocurrency exchanges citing that it was risky and it attracted criminals.
The UK Wades In
Bitcoins rise of 1,000 percent in value so far this year has banks and MPs concerned with the treasury wanting to regulate the cryptocurrency and looking at ways to step up regulation, under European Union anti-money laundering rules. This would force traders to reveal their identities and give transparency to their dealings.
John Mann, the Treasury Select Committee member said in an interview that the Government is going to have discussions over the regulation of digital currencies. With the money laundering, terrorism and theft from the rapidly expanding forms of exchange it is important that they do not get left behind, or have a regulatory lag, he said. By the end of December or the beginning of next year he expects the changes to the EU-wide rules which are under negotiation to come into effect.
On the Coin Exchange cryptocurrency trading platform on Sunday night Bitcoin was at a record high of $11,879, settling at $11,253 in early morning trading on Monday. There is currently around 16.5 million bitcoins in circulation with 3,600 new coins created each day.
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