BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May signaled her Government could be ready to crackdown on crypto as the UK gets set to Brexit.
And she said she is concerned over criminal activity amid positive noises from Europe ahead of Brexit.
The Conservative leader spoke during a trip to Davos just days after the European Commission said they plan to “embrace” the developing market.
Volatility has been the major buzz word of the industry over the past month as hundreds of ICOs attempt to list amid regulation noises.
May warns of crypto crime ahead of Brexit
However Mrs May made it clear that she believes her Government should investigate potential criminal aspects of the movement.
The UK Government is yet to publish any analysis of the job creation and economic benefits linked to the sector.
Speaking at an event in Davos, she said: “We should be looking at these very seriously.
“Precisely because of the way they can be used, particularly by criminals… so that is something that has been developing, obviously increasingly developing. I think it’s something we do need to look at.”
Europe sees positive case
The news comes just days after EC’s Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel told an audience at the Digital-Life-Design(DLD) conference in Munich that she was positive about the sector.
She said: “How do we make sure that technology serves us, helps [to solve] our problems and reduce our economic and societal divides?”
Her comments were reinforced by Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and the highly controversial Capital Markets Union.
At a Brussels press conference for the Economic Finance Ministers, Mr Dombrovskis said: “In terms of financial services legislation: I made some suggestions on how the EU should approach cryptocurrencies. Make no mistake: We want Europe to embrace the opportunities of blockchain, the technology underlying cryptocurrencies. But to do so, we must be vigilant and prevent cryptocurrencies from becoming a token for unlawful behaviour.”
SEC devoting resources
Meanwhile in the USA, the Securities and Exchange Commission in conjunction with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has signaled it plans to move forward with regulation proposals as it watches the market which is burgeoning at exponential rates.
Jay Clayton and J. Christopher Giancarlo, chairs of the SEC and CFTC made a statement this morning which comes as a warning to rogue traders.
They told the Wall Street Journal: “The SEC is devoting a significant portion of its resources to the ICO market … Market participants, including lawyers, trading venues and financial services firms, should be aware that we are disturbed by many examples of form being elevated over substance, with form-based arguments depriving investors of mandatory protections.”
The news of SEC intervention has been welcomed by business leaders operating in the sector.
Max Kane CEO of VaYo, a crypto-management platform said: “The comments made by the chairpersons of the SEC and CFTC should be seen as no surprise, and be embraced, by the cryptocurrency community.
“While the applications built on blockchain have not yet impacted society in the way they will, the road to their legitimacy and adoption starts with regulation.
“Personally, I see the announcement by the SEC and CFTC as a step in the right direction. My only caveat, is that the bodies who eventually regulate these technologies truly understand them and don’t try to fit them into a existing category.”