G20 pulls back from calls to regulate crypto-markets

G20 pulls back from calls to regulate crypto-markets

G20 finance ministers meeting in Argentina have pulled back from calls to regulate the global crypto-currency markets, instead agreeing to keep a close eye on developments in the sector.

The failure to agree decisive steps reflects divisions among G20 members on the correct policy response. While countries such as Germany and France wanted to see tough action taken to protect the public and crack down on criminality, others, such as Brazil, made it clear that they would not follow guidelines laid down by the G20.

Agreeing that the risks to financial stability remained distant, the G20 communique merely called on international standards setting bodies to "continue their monitoring of crypto-assets and their risks...and assess multi-lateral responses as needed".

Noting that crypto assets raise issues with respect to tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing, the G20 committed to implement forthcoming standards from the international financial crime collective the Financial Action Task Force.

A data gathering exercise to inform future policy making is also underway, with a July deadline proposed to mull the results.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Argentina Central Bank chair Frederico Sturzenegger said: "In July we have to offer very concrete, very specific recommendations on, not 'what do we regulate?' but 'what is the data we need?'"

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