FSMA Demanding Government Regulations on Cryptocurrency
The Financial Services & Markets Authority is demanding that the Belgium Government implement stronger regulations against digital currencies. This follows after a Senate Hearing, where the Chairman for the FSMA provided proposed legislation to lawmakers. This proposal would provide the required framework needed for the sale and use of digital currencies with all Belgium-related financial products. Jean-Paul Servais mentioned countries like China, Russia, Thailand, Ecuador, Algeria and Argentina, who had all failed to regulate the market before the excessive criminal activity began. Conflicts with terrorist activity, criminal underworld gangs and system abusers prompted for billions to be lost in these respective countries. The FSMA Chairman hopes that history won’t repeat itself in Belgium, especially with the overwhelming growth this market has experienced recently.
It’s estimated that the entire digital currency market is worth more than $320 billion on a global level. This follows after the market has been flooded with 1000+ digital currencies, with few receiving worldwide popularity. Coins like BTC and Ethereum have garnered incredible reputations, with minimal fraudulent activity surrounding their services. Bitcoin is the 1st digital currency to provide ATMs or Vending Machines to global consumers, indicating that top-tier coins are entering standard financial provisions. Small percentages of these ATMs are located in Belgium, which would be illegally stolen via the internet without increased regulation.
Limitations in Resolutions
The FSMA is limited in their capabilities to solve potential problems, with Belgium’s respective regulation only allowing for this association to govern over the market and provide individual fines. All criminal proceedings must be handled with law enforcement adjudicators. Future surges in this market will increase criminal proceedings in the digital market, which will force more pressure onto law enforcement. Without the assistance of the Financial Services and Markets Authority, the Belgium market could potentially crash. Virtual currencies in 2014 saw sharp inclines in valuation but were quickly depleted because of Belgium’s government unwillingness to act.
The FSMA provided an official statement to consumers that read: “Due to their non-traceability, the bitcoins are and other virtual currencies very popular in the context of cybercrime: they are ubiquitous on the darknet since they can become cybercrime committed without leaving traces. A legal framework should be established without delay this virtual money and related financial products, in particular, to protect consumers and the use of this virtual currency for criminal objectives.”