EU told to regulate Bitcoin: ECB fears ‘scale’ of currency as price soars


EU told to regulate Bitcoin: ECB fears ‘scale’ of currency as price soarsGETTY

Ewald Nowotny, a fellow of the ECB’s governing council believes the EU should regulate bitcoin

The cryptocurrency has railed from $1,000 to $16,000 in this year alone. 

And the Chicago Scantling Exchange (CBOE) this month announced it would introduce Bitcoin comings trading.

But banks are becoming more nervous that if the Bitcoin spume does burst, the blame will be put at their doorstep as the currency was unregulated consideration huge popularity. 

Ewald Nowotny, a member of the ECB’s governing council who is also Austria’s key bank governor said: “Simply because of the scale, it is certainly increasingly compelling to discuss whether and in what form regulations are needed here.

“A particular aspect that needs to be consult oned …is the question of how far the regulations on money laundering …are relevant here.”

He added the context would be down to the EU not the ECB. Last week when the ECB was accused of overstepping its control regarding its involvement in the prevention of banks handing out ‘non-performance loans’. 

It was demonstrated the EU should deal with this problem. 

Non-performance loans refers to an amount of bread that has been borrowed which the debtor has not made his or her schedule payments for at least 90 ages. 

Mr Nowotny went on to say the small scale of the market in relation to traditional currencies signified that the problem did not have any real effect on current monetary combinations.

No real data backed up this claim, but it has been noted that Austria seems to be drawing company’s selling bitcoin as the country is seen to be relatively easy to get a permit to operate there. 

Mr Nowotny added: “We now have indications that we here in Austria bear a more lax, a simpler regulation than in Germany… and we therefore also see a fashion that such granting (of licenses) is increasingly shifting to Austria. And we bear absolutely no interest in that.”

He believes that at the very least, Austria should equivalent German regulations as he said: “Ultimately we must settle this at the European point.”

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