Austria Joins Countries Planning Regulation on Cryptocurrencies, ICOs

February 23, 2018 8:16 pm Published by
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Austria announced that the government is planning to regulate cryptocurrencies using a model of existing rules for the trading of gold and derivatives, according to CoinDesk. 

The report said that the government was concerned about the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering, according to Bloomberg, and wants to extend oversight measures for traditional financial products to the new cryptocurrency assets.

“Cryptocurrencies are significantly gaining importance in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing,” Finance Minister Hartwig Loeger said before continuing, “We need more trust and security.”

Loeger said that there will be several new measures, including the requirement for cryptocurrency market participants to identify all trading partners along with disclosing trades of more than €10,000 ($12,300) or more to the government’s financial intelligence unit.

The regulation would also pertain to initial coin offerings (ICOs), which the government will regulate through applying existing rules regarding market manipulation, insider trading, and front-running. 

Loeger said that organizers would be made to submit “digital prospectuses” to Austria’s Financial Market Authority (FMA). 

The comments come after the Austrian government announced that it was seeking suspects in a scam related to bitcoin carried out by a company called Ptioment, which resulted in investor losses of up to $155 million in the bitcoin scheme.

Loeger suggested that the EU should be implementing cryptocurrency regulation around the region, which could develop further since the European Commission announced earlier this week that the top central bank and market supervision figures would be meeting with “market players” next week to discuss potential future regulation.

WN.com, Maureen Foody



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