Cryptocurrencies are “Here to Stay,” According to European Commission Vice President
The European Commission has apparently reached a conclusion on cryptocurrencies: the market is not only here to stay, it can and will co-exist alongside traditional finance. That message was delivered Friday by Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis following a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) in Vienna.
“Here to Stay”
In his opening remarks Friday, Dombrovskis said the Ecofin committee has developed a positive view of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) and that a full assessment of their regulation and governance will be completed this year.
“We also had a good exchange of views on crypto-assets,Dombrovskis said. “We see that crypto-assets are here to stay. Despite the recent turbulence, this market continues to grow.”
Regarding ICOs, the Commissioner said the new crowdfunding model has “the potential to emerge as a viable form of alternative financing. Already last year, ICOs helped raise over $6 billion in funding and this year this figure will be substantially bigger.”
This year alone, ICOs have raised nearly $7 billion, according to latest available data.
The Commissioner also highlighted an ongoing proposal to bring cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet companies under anti-money laundering legislation. He added that “the Commission will continu to monitor these markets” along with other companies at the “EU and international level.”
Dombrovskis, who oversees the EU’s Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, has long argued for a common regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. Back in February, he raised the possibility of a new regulatory framework for all EU member states, but conceded that more research into cryptoassets was needed.
The Commissioner’s comments added to growing optimism that cryptocurrencies were gaining favor with lawmakers following years of uncertainty over how they should be regulated. Earlier this year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) clarified its position on bitcoin and Ethereum, concluding they are both “sufficiently decentralized” to be classified as non-securities. Nations such as Singapore, Japan and Malta have also carved out crypto-friendly policies to attract business development.
The recent flood of positive news doesn’t end there. On Monday, Business Insider reported that Citigroup, one of Wall Street’s largest financial institutions, was developing a new cryptocurrency product for institutional investors. Dubbed Digital Asset Receipts, the new product will allow U.S.-based investors to gain indirect exposure to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Sources also say that Nasdaq is preparing to launch cryptocurrency analytics tools that will help investors predict price movements in the market. The stock exchange is reportedly using natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning protocols in pursuit of new analytics tools.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
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