In a bid to deal with the use of Bitcoin to fund terrorist regimes around the world, the United States’ Financial Action Task Force is set to come up with standards that will help to stop the use of the digital asset to fund such activities.
This was stated by the Assistant US Treasury secretary and president of the force, Marshall Billingslea while speaking in Paris. Billingslea expressed concern that the “money laundering gaps around the world” have allowed the movement of cryptocurrencies around the world by crypto-based companies for illegal businesses which allow money laundering that cryptocurrencies are speculated to promote.
The new standards to be set by the FATF are specifically aimed at combating terrorism around the world especially in Syria. These standards are to be used by countries around the world to ensure cryptocurrencies are not used to finance terrorist activities.
“It is essential that we establish a global set of standards that are applied in a uniform manner.”
Cryptocurrencies have been viewed as a means to achieve criminal ends since its inception. This view has directly driven the move to regulate the industry by many countries around the world, some of which have declared a complete ban on the industry.
The image of the industry has gotten more tainted with the recent incessant hacks, some of which may affect the cryptocurrency markets in some countries for a long time. This and other problems have made the European Union, and some countries to consider regulation of the industry, one of which is the United Kingdom.
Just last week, members of the Treasury committee in the British Parliament released a report detailing how cryptocurrencies can be regulated in order to “bring them out of the wild west”.
Speaking on the need to regulate the industry and expressing the committee’s displeasure over the indifference displayed by the UK Government and regulators concerning regulation of the industry, Chairman of the committee, Nicky Morgan said:
“Bitcoin and other crypto-assets exist in the wild west industry of crypto-assets. This unregulated industry leaves investors facing numerous risks.”
She further stated that
“As the Government and regulators decide whether the current Wild West situation is allowed to continue, or whether they are going to introduce regulation, consumers remain unprotected.”
Some of the risks mentioned by Morgan include the unstable prices of cryptocurrencies which expose investors to loss, the vulnerability of exchanges to hacks and the potential role in money laundering, for which the committee is convinced only regulation of the industry will ensure the safety of investors.