Regulators across the globe are getting more serious about crypto this year, as concerns grow about the environmental impact of crypto-mining and the use of digital assets for illicit activities.
Governments are grappling with balancing the need for more oversight and investor protections with their desire to cash in on the burgeoning industry.
In Russia, Vladimir Putin has indicated he supports a plan to tax and regulate crypto-mining, rather than ban it as was proposed by his central bank. Key Democratic lawmakers in the U.S., which has become the largest bitcoin-mining center following China’s ban last year, have been holding hearings and asking mining companies for details on their power usage and greenhouse-gas emissions.
Nations such as the U.K. and Spain are taking steps to tighten rules around misleading crypto advertising, with a British watchdog proposing to restrict industry marketing to wealthy and experienced investors. Singapore’s financial regulator told crypto companies to refrain from advertising their services to the public.
Meanwhile, regulators in Estonia and the U.S. are trying to crack down on what one American official referred to as “mountains” of fraud in the digital asset space, as they see coins being used for tax evasion, money laundering and even terrorism financing.
With so much activity in this space last month alone, the rest of 2022 is sure to be interesting when it comes to regulation. To keep up with all of the developments, subscribe to Bloomberg’s new crypto newsletter. –Allyson Versprille, crypto reporter