Monday, July 7, 2014

Virtual currencies, gold, money laundering, regulations etc

Now EU is mulling ban on virtual currencies and particularly bit coins as it seems there are more chances of irregularities which might happen and antisocial elements can use this route to beat the current regulations.

“It’s imperative to move quickly on this issue,” Chantal Hughes, a spokeswoman for Financial Services Commissioner Michel Barnier, said . “The potential for money laundering and terrorist financing is too serious to ignore.”

The Commission, the EU’s executive arm, moved after the European Banking Authority said banks shouldn’t buy, hold or sell virtual currencies until regulators develop safeguards to protect their integrity. The watchdog identified more than 70 risks linked to the currencies ranging from identity theft to the possibility hackers could target a trading platform.

Now coming back to the early days of gold as currency, it was a well thought method adopted by all the ancient civilizations and till now also countries measure it as a symbol of richness and well being of nations. We advance in terms of technology use it and then at some point of time this becomes a necessity and we can not get away from it so it is welcome move , before bitcoins become necessity like credit cards, and becomes an wide spread phenomena, we need to regulate and then wait and watch if it can be good. particularly after the Mt. Gox disaster once the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy in Japan earlier this year amid claims it lost 850,000 Bitcoins. China’s central bank barred financial firms from handling virtual currency transactions last year.

There are many AML regulations across the globe but still it happens and people find ways to do it.  So it is time will tell we might go back to some mechanism where the real money can be how much gold you have or in other form which you can convert in to gold.

If we observe closely many countries are driven by the thought of spending today because people can ear tomorrow vs earn today so that you can spend tomorrow. Interestingly US dollar is a credit instrument so if you submit to US gov, govt will not give you anything but Indian currency if you submit you will get same amount of gold. Many countries keep on spending so that they can earn tomorrow but when are not able to control then file for bankruptcy which is not good for world economics.