The European Union’s financial services commissioner, Mairead McGuinness, has called for a new “global agreement on crypto,” to protect investors and limit the environmental impact of bitcoin mining.
McGuinness, the EU’s most senior financial-services official, said she wanted to ensure “no product remains unregulated,” and warned of risks like sanctions evasion and financial instability, writing in The Hill.
“I believe that the EU and the US can together lead the way on a shared international approach to regulating crypto. Together, we can enable innovation in finance, while protecting consumers and maintaining financial stability. ” McGuiness wrote.
“The crypto ecosystem and the technology that underpins it could bring great benefits to the world. Blockchain technology essentially removes the need for centralized processes and intermediaries. It cuts out the middleman. It can make transactions more efficient and transparent, too, by recording key information in an unchangeable format, making it accessible to all market participants. This has the potential to make payments cheaper, faster and safer. It could also unlock the billions of euros and dollars currently used to cover credit or settlement risk in the financial system.”
The EU is in the closing stages of passing new laws to regulate cryptocurrencies, including the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA), and recently came close to heavily restricting the energy-intensive proof of work technology that underpins bitcoin.
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