In the Commonwealth’s Virtual Currencies Working Group conference held in London, participants agreed that there is a need for governments to start bitcoin regulation. Among most countries included in the group, there is still very little bitcoin regulation to speak of yet the industry sees strong growth in several Commonwealth nations.
The group garnered insights from the banking sector, academia, virtual currency operators, users and law enforcement agencies then urged governments to reconsider their lack of legislative oversight on the cryptocurrency industry.
Bitcoin Regulation Framework
“Member states should consider the applicability of their existing legal frameworks to virtual currencies and where appropriate they should consider adapting them or enacting new legislation to regulate virtual currencies,” concluded the group after the three-day conference this week.
Among the other conclusions by the group are that virtual currencies have a potential to benefit member states and to drive development, the use of virtual currencies has benefits and risks, awareness, education and funding for training for law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, regulatory authorities and the financial sector are needed, member states should consider developing and improving the capacity of law enforcement especially in the areas of digital forensics and analytics, legal frameworks should address risks and vulnerabilities, be technologically neutral and avoid stifling innovation, and that relevant technical terms should be clearly defined in the guidance to be made available.
Aside from that, the Commonwealth’s Virtual Currencies Working Group asked governments to provide education on digital currencies and funding for training law enforcement agents, prosecutors, judges, regulatory authorities and the financial sector.
From here, the group will prepare a report on the prevalence and impact of virtual currencies. The next conference is set for early next year during which the group plans construct a bitcoin regulation framework, which would involve drafting technical guidance on the subject for member states.