Time for regulators to focus on crypto

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Beefed up regulation of cryptocurrencies is needed urgently to protect consumers, give legitimacy to responsible asset businesses and drive out the cowboys.

Moreover, the UK economy would benefit by providing a supportive environment for innovation.

Current UK regulation of cryptocurrencies is patchy and provides limited consumer protection. There are thousands of cryptoassets, ranging from true cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and dogecoin to cryptos with features essentially the same as traditional financial instruments, like securities.

Gold bitcoins are seen in the window of a bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey

Gold bitcoins are seen in the window of a bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey

CHRIS MCGRATH/GETTY IMAGES

The latter type is regulated and consumers may have some protection if things go wrong from, for example, the financial services compensation scheme. All crypto-exchanges and wallet providers also have to comply with anti-money laundering laws.

But apart from that, true cryptocurrencies are entirely unregulated. That may be why, according to



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