Sweden’s central bank governor added his two cents to the growing list of regulators, central bankers and politicians who believe the strict regulation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is inevitable.
“When something gets big enough, things like consumer interests and money laundering come into play,” Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves said on Monday, according to BNN Bloomberg. “So there’s good reason to believe that [regulation] will happen.”
He’s hardly alone in the sentiment. Michael Hsu, the acting U.S. Comptroller of the Currency told the Financial Times on May 31 that American regulators must work together to set up a “regulatory perimeter” around cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets.
“It really comes down to coordinating across the agencies,” Hsu said, noting that he is seeing a great deal of “interest in coordinating a lot more” on these issues. The focus, Hsu said, is more on minimizing risks to investors and consumers rather than criminal issues. But then, there’s the FBI and Secret Service for that.
Ransomware in the Crosshairs
On April 29, Reuters reported that the public-private Ransomware Task Force, which includes both agencies as well as executives from major technology and security companies was calling for legislation and regulation “aimed at piercing the anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions.”
Among its recommendations are expanding “know-your-customer” (KYC) regulations targeting cryptocurrency exchanges, tougher licensing requirements for payment processors working with cryptocurrency, and extending anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations to crypto ATMs.
It also called on the Department of Justice to create a team of experts to facilitate cryptocurrency seizures form a legal and technical perspective.
And that was before a Russian hacker group’s ransomware cyberattack caused the shutdown of the largest fuel pipeline in America, the Colonial Pipeline.