Government officials from the US and UK have said they are “looking at” cryptocurrency this week as the topic gains considerable focus at the ongoing World Economic Forum 2018.
Speaking separately at the annual event, US Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and UK prime minister Theresa May both said that “illicit” or “criminal” use of Bitcoin was cause for ensuring appropriate regulation.
“My number one focus on cryptocurrencies, whether that be digital currencies or bitcoin or other things, is that we want to make sure that they’re not used for illicit activities,” Mnuchin told CNBC.
“So in the U.S., our regulations (state that) if you’re a bitcoin wallet you’re subject to the same regulations as a bank.”
Theresa May meanwhile echoed the need to ensure Bitcoin had only bonafide uses in the UK as it prepares to leave the European Union with only limited regulation in place surrounding cryptocurrency.
“In areas like cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin, we should be looking at these very seriously, precisely because of the way they can be used, particularly by criminals,” May said in an interview with Bloomberg.
“It is something that has been developing… I think it’s something that we do need to look at.”
As Cointelegraph reveals insights into cryptocurrency from the world’s leaders at Davos, in the US, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Jay Clayton co-authored an article in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Jan. 24.
Clayton’s piece is dedicated to so-called ‘distributed ledger technology’ and how its regulatory future should look. Echoing May and Mnuchin, SEC chairman has reiterated the need for strict oversight of the “offer, sale and trading” of cryptocurrencies:
“The SEC will vigorously pursue those [cryptocurrencies] who seek to evade the registration, disclosure and antifraud requirements of our securities laws,” he wrote in the WSJ.
“If history is any guide, DLT is likely to be followed by many more life-changing innovations. But we will not allow it or any other advancement to disrupt our commitment to fair and sound markets.”