The EU Won’t Wait for Global Agreement on Cryptocurrencies: Spain’s Economy Minister

During the G20 summit, the Spanish Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Román Escolano Olivares, revealed that he doesn’t see cryptocurrencies as a threat to the global financial system and that the European Union (EU) may not wait for a globally coordinated effort to regulate cryptos.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing summit, the minister pointed to two fundamental issues when it comes to cryptocurrencies – which he prefers to call crypto-assets – which are consumer protection, and their use in illicit activities.

Regarding cryptocurrencies, Olivares stated (roughly translated):

“The general agreement we have reached, is that right now we cannot think that crypto-assets are a risk to global financial stability, but it’s a subject we need to actively monitor.”

Olivares went on to state that consumer protection is an issue and that the Spanish Securities Commission (CNMV) and the country’s central bank have issued statements advising investors to tread carefully.

In addition, he pointed out that it’s important to address the role cryptocurrencies can have in crime and terrorist financing. Per his words, “it is very important that there are clear rules to prevent this kind of activity from developing,” thanks to the anonymity provided by various cryptocurrencies.

He added:

“In this way the FATF [Financial Action Task Force], which is an international body that regulates these activities, has a very clear position in which it is necessary to monitor and propose legislative norms around the world to prevent these activities.”

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