Bitcoin and other digital currencies have been a hot topic at the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as political leaders have called for increased regulation of the industry. Many of those leaders have expressed concerns about cryptocurrency’s potential use by criminals and other bad actors.
In an interview with Bloomberg, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said, "We should be looking at these very seriously precisely because of the way they can be used, particularly by criminals.”
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond echoed those sentiments and suggested that it was important to examine regulatory issues now, “before the amount of outstanding Bitcoin becomes large enough to be systemically important in the global economy.”
Hammond also said that regulators should move carefully to ensure that their regulation of digital currencies doesn’t negatively impact the potential benefits of blockchain technology.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin weighed in as well. During the summit’s “remaking of global finance” panel discussion, he said:
"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 also called on other governments to adopt his country’s regulatory approach by requiring wallet providers to comply with existing banking standards.