If there’s one significant trend running through the digital currency and blockchain industry right now, it’s action by governments to regulate, crackdown on, and tame it. This week, the Treasury of the United Kingdom became the latest government body to promise tougher measures regarding misleading digital currency ads.
It’s really not surprising. In an industry rife with fraud, scams, and unchecked greed, the U.K. government was bound to step in and do something at some point.
What’s being proposed by the U.K. Treasury?
The U.K. seeks to change the law to make digital currencies subject to the same regulations as other financial assets such as stocks, bonds, and other financial investments.
As things stand, ‘crypto assets’ are unregulated in the U.K. This allows would-be scammers to promote and advertise digital currencies and other digital assets such as NFTs without restraint. The governor of the Bank of England has previously warned U.K. investors that they should “prepare to lose everything” if they speculate on digital currencies like BTC and ETH. If the proposed changes to the law go ahead, advertisements for digital currencies will be subject to rules determined by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The U.K. Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, took a middle-of-the-road approach, noting that “crypto assets can provide exciting new opportunities, offering people new ways to transact and invest.” However, he emphasized the need to balance this innovation with investor protections.
It’s estimated that approximately 2.3 million people in the United Kingdom own digital currencies, NFTs, or some other form of a digital item the U.K. government classifies as a ‘crypto asset.’
The fraud fest continues, but not for long
At CoinGeek, we’ve been highlighting and exposing the criminal activity in the digital currency industry for years at our Crypto Crime Cartel series. From exposing the financial crimes linked to Tether to calling out the false narratives and lies promoted by exchanges and promoters of whatever craze digital currency criminals dream up next, we’ve been trying to educate individuals and policymakers about the true potential of the industry once this current phase passes.
We’re happy to report that in the last year or two, the message seems to be getting through.
Governments globally are waking up to the misinformation and the sheer scale of the lies being told. They’re finally doing something about it as they grasp what Bitcoin really is. Among others, the U.S. SEC chairman Gary Gensler has vowed to end the Wild West era of the industry, and regulators from China to the U.K. are cracking down and demanding accountability and compliance with the law.
Finally, after years of misinformation and madness, the tide seems to be turning. As the speculative mania dies down and the true potential of Bitcoin becomes apparent, it should be an exciting next few years. As Bitcoin scales to millions of transactions per second, and as regulators become aware of its potential to prevent and prosecute theft, fraud, and other financial crimes, the narrative will change, and we’re going to see the true mass adoption that Satoshi Nakamoto dreamed of.
For now, the fraud fest continues, but as more governments follow in the footsteps of the U.K. and regulate digital currencies, it’s going to slowly come to an end, and real utility will finally have a chance to shine.
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