The cryptocurrency industry is becoming so big and allowing so much risk taking that governments around the world are taking note.
Bitcoin traded above $ 50,000 on Monday; its total value now exceeds $ 900 billion, more than all but a handful of companies. Digital currencies known as stablecoins increasingly grease exchanges and issues. The giant crypto exchanges in Asia offer 100 to 1 bets, often serving traders from countries where their products are not legal.
After years of relative inattention, regulators and lawmakers are scrambling to catch up, but it won’t be easy. They aim to curb a rebellious industry that has adopted the model of the tech world to aggressively roll out new products to quickly rack up users, while often leaving regulatory compliance on the back burner.
Some of the biggest crypto companies are under increasing pressure. In recent weeks Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, has been banned or warned against offering certain crypto investments in UK, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Japan. and Hong Kong. He said on Friday that all new users would be required to provide identification and a photo of themselves to verify their identity. BitMEX, another major exchange, paid $ 100 million to settle a U.S. regulatory investigation into allegations of illegal sales of derivatives and poor anti-money laundering compliance.
Yet few industry participants expect the crypto world, emboldened by an increase in the value and interest in their products over the past 18 months, to suddenly change its ways. Regulators are scrutinizing the industry like never before, but so far coordination appears limited and key jurisdictions pursue widely divergent approaches.