Germany’s top regulator is calling for global regulation of cryptocurrencies. Mark Branson, the head of the country’s financial market regulator BaFin, believes that regulating the cryptocurrency industry is necessary to protect consumers and prevent money laundering. He says that the current self-governing approach is not an adequate strategy and has led to the creation of a “playground for grownups.”
Branson recently addressed journalists in Frankfurt and spoke about the need for regulation in the crypto space. His comments came just hours after US prosecutors accused Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, of misappropriating billions of dollars and violating campaign laws in what has been described as potentially one of America’s biggest financial frauds. Bankman-Fried faces several federal charges for his crimes.
Branson predicts that this “crypto winter” will eventually be followed by a “crypto spring,” and that the industry that emerges will strongly link itself with traditional finance. This means it will need to rely on regulators like the SEC to help protect investors from fraud and scams. However, just like with fiat regulations, the only way it will work is if the rules are applied globally.
The regulation of the industry has been loose, with no common thread holding it together. Germany requires banks to receive licenses in order to interact with the cryptocurrency space. Europe, in turn, is currently working on a policy called MiCA (Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation) that would bring much-needed regulation to the market of crypto assets. Some suggest it may need to be tweaked as they move forward to MiCA 2.