The European Commission is looking at the possibility of regulating trade conducted with cryptocurrencies, its deputy chairman Valdis Dombrovskis said on Monday, stressing that while Europe needs to live with the times, it also has to pay attention to the risks. Cryptocurrencies such as the famous bitcoin are increasingly popular with investors and the general public. However, using them in international trade is not risk-free: their value is not guaranteed, which generates particularly intense speculation.
Moreover, they are popular in certain environments that carry out illegal activities since they can be used for money laundering and other illicit activities. Cases of fraud involving cryptocurrencies have also been detected by Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA).
The European Commission on Monday organized a conference bringing together representatives of the sector and experts to discuss the future of the virtual currencies. Dombrovskis stressed that cryptocurrencies had merits and highlighted the importance for Europe to take this innovation into account to remain competitive.
However, the risks they bring should not be neglected. Europe only represents a small portion of the international market in cryptocurrencies, the European financial chief said, “so we have to work with our G20 partners” to protect consumers.
He concluded by stating that the Commission did not rule out coming up ultimately with a legislative proposal on cryptocurrencies.