MPs on the UK’s Treasury select committee released a new report today calling for the government to implement regulatory oversight to end the cryptocurrency industry’s ‘Wild West’ environment, according The Times. The report suggested that the government’s current ambiguous stance leaves consumers at risk and fails to properly prepare the country to become a leading center for crypto trading and innovation.
Committee chairwoman Nicky Morgan outlined the risks that need to be addressed:
“Given the high price volatility, the hacking vulnerability of exchanges and the potential role in money laundering, the Treasury committee strongly believes that regulation should be introduced.”
The report presented several recommendations, including increased commitment from the government to prioritize its efforts to apply anti-money-laundering rules to the industry. Lawmakers also called for tightening restrictions on ICO advertising. Morgan said that the current situation, in which the nation’s regulators “bumble along” and rely on “feeble warning to potential investors” is unsustainable.
The committee’s report suggested that government indecision has left consumers in a vulnerable position, noting 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.”
Morgan emphasized that the UK could see substantial benefits if officials are able to implement the right kind of regulatory regime for the industry:
“At a minimum, regulation should address consumer protection and anti-money laundering. If the government decides that crypto asset growth should be encouraged, appropriate and proportionate regulation could see the UK become a global centre for this activity.”