Austria’s Finance Minister urging Cryptocurrencies regulation

Business News

As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to grow in popularity and usage, Austria’s Finance Minister Hartwig Löger sets forth motions to define cryptocurrency regulations. 

Löger suggest cryptocurrencies should be treated the same way as gold and derivatives and has warned Oesterreichische National Bank, Austra’s Central Bank, and the Financial Market Authority of the hazards of unregulated crypto markets.

“Cryptocurrencies are significantly gaining importance in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. That’s an important aspect for the changes we support. We need more trust and more security.”  Löger argues that while there is great use to blockchain technology, the industry needs to be regulated while still allowing it to grow.

In addition to classifying cryptocurrency trading in the same manner as Gold, Löger recommends mandatory AML (anti-money laundering) and KYC (know your customer) procedures for crypto transactions of more than €10,000, and the same AML/KYC procedures for all ICO participants.

The Austrian Finance Minister’s sentiments were parroted in a statement posted the same day by the Austrian Financial Market Authority,

“The Board of the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA), Helmut Ettl and Klaus Kumpfmüller, welcome the move by Finance Minister Hartwig Löger to subject cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to regulation and supervision. Since digital currencies are essentially a phenomenon of the Internet and are offered there without limits, regulation and oversight of cross-border cooperation are also of great importance.”

Löger is expected to propose his case in a meeting with Eurogroup (group of financial ministers from EU countries to discuss matters related to the euro) before the EU commission meetings that will be held on Feb 26th.