Financial regulators in Sweden and the U.S. both hinted at impending crackdowns on largely unregulated cryptocurrency markets over Memorial Day weekend, noting the absence of a consistent framework for the new technology, the specter of financial crime and the risks to consumers posed by crypto exchange platforms, which a number of U.K. banks reportedly blocked customers from transferring money to.Officials warn stricter cryptocurrency oversight is looming. getty Key Facts
Michael Hsu, the new acting comptroller of the currency, told the Financial Times he wanted U.S. agencies to coordinate and set a “regulatory perimeter” for cryptocurrencies and take a more active role regulating the market, something he said there was appetite for.
On Monday, the governor of Sweden’s central bank, Stefan Ingves, told Bloomberg stricter regulation is likely on the horizon for bitcoin and other digital assets, particularly when the market is so large that “things like consumer interest and money laundering come into play.”
Specific oversight will likely “come at different times in different areas,” Ingves said.
Asa Lindhagen, Sweden’s financial markets minister, told Bloomberg the country is already in the process of cracking down on exchange platforms and working with other regulators around the world to tackle the issue of money laundering.
Lindhagen said the international efforts are a “work in progress,” though emphasized the cross-border dimensions inherent in financial crime.
A number of banks in the U.K.—including Starling, Monzo and Barclays—have reportedly suspended payments to cryptocurrency exchanges in recent weeks in order to address “high levels of suspected financial crime with such payment,” according to The Telegraph.Key Background
The extreme volatility of the cryptocurrency mark...