Trading of bitcoin and other digital currencies should be regulated in a similar way to gold, which commonly benefits from simpler compliance rules than stocks or bonds, according to Austria’s biggest crypto-broker Bitpanda.
According to the Vienna-based exchange, all transactions over €10,000 ($12,300) processed in the European Union should be subject to anti-money laundering regulation. Tougher financial rules might stunt the emerging market for virtual cash.
“Regulation provides us with more legitimacy. We’ve wanted to be regulated, but so far have been told that we cannot be,” Eric Demuth, the co-chief executive officer of one of Europe’s most popular cryptocurrency trading platforms, told Bloomberg.
The recent boom in digital currencies triggered a bitter struggle in the legal framework, which is currently seen as deficient for controlling the growing crypto market. Financial regulators across the world are in favor of proper rules for the industry to put it on firmer ground and lend it credibility.
The value of a bitcoin token and an ounce of gold should move closer as the US Fed lifts interest rates, says Bloomberg Intelligence expert Mike McGlone. “Just 11 months ago, gold and bitcoin were the same price, now they’re on the road to convergence,” he said.
Bitcoin rose nine percent to $9,868 at 12:13 GMT on Monday, according to the industry website Coinmarketcap.com. Gold dropped slightly to $1,317 per ounce.
Earlier this year, Austria’s finance ministry said it was considering the trading rules for gold and derivatives as a basis for the regulation of virtual currencies. The step is reportedly aimed at terminating illegal activities, such as money laundering.
Bitpanda has reportedly been extending its links with government institutions, despite warnings issued by country’s central bank. The firm trades bitcoin vouchers through the state-run postal service. The exchange also said it had signed research contracts with the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Technical University of Vienna.
The company, which opened a London office in February, is reportedly expected to surpass €1 billion ($1.23 billion) in turnover in 2018. Most of its €600 million ($737.5 million) in transactions were processed in Vienna in the fourth quarter of 2017.
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