Whereas 2017 saw dozens of initial coin offering launches, the world of cryptocurrency has seen the implementation of extensive regulatory policies in 2018. Until now, crypto has been loosely self-governed with unwritten rules guiding the industry. Due to its continued popularity worldwide, various countries are beginning to develop their own regulations, ranging from inviting to wary. If you’re looking to learn more about global cryptocurrency regulations, here’s what to keep in mind.
Clouded in Uncertainty
One of the biggest difficulties many countries are facing when it comes to developing regulations is the uncertainty surrounding virtual currency. For regulations to be at their most effective, it’s thought that there needs to be at minimum some form of global consensus for international legislation as cryptocurrency is essentially without borders. As it stands now, some countries are uninterested in developing regulations, some are developing particularly stringent ones, and some are still in the initial planning stages.
A consensus would be particularly useful in enforcing the prosecution of crimes facilitated by cryptocurrency. Currently, it’s feared that even a criminal defense lawyer wouldn’t be of much use in effectively navigating a crypto claims case as a result of the anonymity it provides. However, those that are active on cryptocurrency exchanges posit that regulating financial transactions across the various blockchains is antithetical to the core meaning of crypto which provides for relative anonymity and decentralized platforms.
As mentioned, some countries are expressing interest in adopting cryptocurrency already while some are having a hard time addressing the concept as a whole. While many nations are showing at least a passing interest in digital currency, a good few of them are also experiencing internal division on how it should be treated.
Australia, one of the first countries to take a direct stance on cryptocurrency, is no stranger to the growing pains of this global phenomenon. Back in 2015, the Australian government expressed a desire to remain fairly uninvolved in cryptocurrency This worked fairly well for a couple of years until the end of 2017 when Australian crypto brokers stopped accepting local currency for deposits. It was at this point that the nation’s government elected to regulate crypto in an effort to thwart laundering attempts. Senators from two of the country’s major political parties also called for the recognition of cryptocurrency as legal tender in Australia.
Asia is home to vastly differing opinions on cryptocurrency. While China was once seen as a fertile ground for ICOs and blockchain technology, the country now has a particularly hostile opinion of crypto. Recent regulations enforce the nation’s stance that ICOs are illegal and freezes bank accounts as well as bans internet and mobile access for suspected cryptocurrency-adjacent activities.
Counter to China’s regulations, both Japan and Singapore are rather laissez-faire on the matter. Singapore’s International Commercial Court recently issued a determination on a crypto trade dispute which validated digital currencies in a way. While common opinion holds that Japan is using a crypto-positive stance to court consumers from the hostile Chinese and Korean markets, the country is fairly optimistic about cryptocurrency. However, an exchange hack this previous January has somewhat stunted the country’s enthusiasm.
As for the United States, while some regulatory proposals have been introduced, it’s seemingly not a pressing matter for legislators. Instead, independent associations, such as the Virtual Commodity Association, are leading the charge for self-regulation within the country, a stance that is quickly attracting members who approve of cryptocurrency on the grounds of its inherent decentralization. For now, it’s unlikely that the government will start interfering in trades, exchanges, or the determination of the Bitcoin or Tron price any time soon.
Predicting the Future
While the crypto markets are in one of their rockier stasis periods, it’s unlikely that the industry will see too many radical new policies. Many countries are still in the initial determination stages when it comes to forming a cohesive stance on virtual currencies which means that any sort of international regulatory body is likely several years from inception. The popularity of cryptocurrency still holds strong, however, so it’s possible that new changes will crop up in forthcoming legislative action.