Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been a huge talking point in the financial world over recent years, firstly due to the huge rise in the value of bitcoin over the first few years of the cryptocurrency’s existence, and most recently due to the price dropping from $20,000 to around $8,000 in the first two months of 2018.
The most recent voice to weigh in on the debate is that of the Bank of England, after Governor Mark Carney has called for cryptocurrencies to be brought onto a “regulatory playing field” similar to that of traditional currencies.
Speaking to students at Edinburgh University, Carney dismissed the idea of an all-out ban on cryptocurrencies in the UK due to the risk of “foregoing potentially major opportunities from the development of the underlying payments technologies”.
Commenting on the worldwide discussion about the currencies and their intensely fluctuating state, Carney said:
“The long, charitable answer is that cryptocurrencies act as money, at best, only for some people and to a limited extent, and even then only in parallel with the traditional currencies of the users. The short answer is they are failing.”
Carney added his own suggestions:
“A better path would be to regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to combat illicit activities, promote market integrity, and protect the safety and soundness of the financial system.
“The time has come to hold the crypto-asset ecosystem to the same standards as the rest of the financial system. Being part of the financial system brings enormous privileges, but with them great responsibilities.”
With the debate on cryptocurrencies expected to go on for some time, this will not be the last high-profile voice to join in with their own opinions as the world tries to work out what to do with cryptocurrencies.