ECB Director Says G20 At Work On Bitcoin ‘Answer’

Bitcoin Auction

Amid the continuing global debate over cryptocurrencies, G20, an international forum for governments and central bank governors, has taken up the gantlet, Reuters reported Friday (Jan. 26).

The central bankers and regulators — representing Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union — slated to gather at the next meeting in March will be looking at risks posed by both bitcoin and other digital currencies, according to Benoit Coeure, who is a member of the European Central Bank (ECB) board.

“The international community is … preparing an answer to that and I would expect, for instance, the G20 discussion in Buenos Aires in March to focus very much on these issues,” Coeure said. The remarks came Friday at the World Economic Forum held in Davos.

As has been widely reported, France and Germany will make joint bitcoin regulation proposals at that summit.

The regulatory scrutiny comes as bitcoin price action has been, to put it mildly, volatile. Last year the price per coin neared $20,000 before policy changes in South Korea and elsewhere helped send traders to the exits. For example, South Korea said earlier this month that it would tax digital currency exchanges to the tune of 24 percent. In addition, the government there has said a shutdown of the exchanges remains an option.

Closer to home, here in the United States, January also saw the announcement that three cryptocurrency operators had been sued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), with allegations that the three firms had broken laws that govern commodity trading.