The cryptocurrency industry is becoming so large and allowing for so much risk-taking that governments around the world have heightened attention to it. Bitcoin topped the $50,000 mark on Monday and the total value of that market now exceeds $900 billion, more than most companies around the world. Digital currencies called stablecoins continue to show more trades and issues. Giant cryptocurrency exchanges in Asia often serve traders in countries where their products are not legal.
After years of relative inattention, regulators and lawmakers are looking to pursue this issue, which should not be easy. They seek to rein in a rebel industry that has embraced global technology to aggressively issue new products, often leaving regulatory compliance issues in the background.
Some of the biggest cryptocurrency companies are under increasing pressure. In recent weeks, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has been barred or warned about offering certain investments in this sector in the UK, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan and Hong Kong.
BitMEX, another big industry exchange, paid $100 million to close a regulatory investigation into allegations that it illegally sold derivatives and for lax rules to prevent money laundering.
In the industry, few expect that the cryptocurrency industry, which has strengthened in the last 18 months in value and interest in its products, will suddenly change its practices. Regulators have been focusing on the sector like never before, but so far coordination seems limited and key jurisdictions are looking for widely divergent approaches.
There are questions about investor protection, compliance with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules, access to banking and payments infrastructure, and tax evasion. It is a global market, but the United States, Europe and China have taken different approaches to monitoring it.
The US has imposed fines on projects that circumvent investor protection rules, Europe is working on specialized rules that will take a while to implement, and China has launched against the sector, but its exchanges have established themselves in nearby, friendlier locations. .
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