Chief executive and founder of deVere Group Nigel Green on Friday (15 January) has called for “greater regulatory scrutiny” of cryptocurrencies, following a more than 300 per cent jump in the value of Bitcoin last year.
CNBC reported that Bitcoin’s price has gained a further 40 per cent earlier this month, reaching an all-time high.
Following the surge in Bitcoin’s value, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) have called for more robust regulations for cryptocurrencies.
In support of this, Mr Green emphasized the need to champion their calls for greater regulatory scrutiny as digital currencies – including Bitcoin – are set to play “an increasingly normalized role” for investors.
“There is sustained and growing interest in the likes of Bitcoin from both retail and institutional investors.
“They are now increasingly handling the assets as they would any other asset in the portfolio — for example, sometimes profit-taking, sometimes reinvesting, using the volatility to their advantage, and using these alternatives to help with all-important diversification.
“These mainstream, normalised investor strategies demonstrate that cryptocurrencies must come into the regulatory tent and be held by the same standards as the rest of the financial system,” said the cryptocurrencies advocate.
Mr Green believes that such a regulatory framework is important to protect investors, tackle cryptocurrency criminality, reduce the potential possibility of disrupting global financial stability, and offer a potential long-term economic boost to those countries which introduce it.
According to Mr Green, one of the best ways to address the regulatory issues is via the exchanges, given that nearly all foreign exchange transactions will go through banks or currency houses.
He explained that banks will need to be regulated as it will be much easier to tackle potential wrongdoing – such as money laundering and make sure tax is paid – when flows run through regulated exchanges.
“There can be no doubt that regulation of the crypto ecosystem is required and, I believe, it should be a priority,” Mr Green said.
“The work being done by many international financial watchdogs, lawmakers and central banks, such as the FCA and the ECB, in this area is something I fully support,” he stressed.