Shifting Regulation Will Steady Cryptocurrency, With Europe Leading The Way

Digital coins have continued to defy expectations and growth, attracting investment and inevitable negative interest from international governments. Bitcoin in particular fell in price throughout 2017, but steadied into January 2019 at US$3528.39. This newfound stability has attracted the attention of institutions and governments globally, according to Forbes, with the EU and Britain taking particular interest. Regulation has since come in place and now, globally, there is a clear interest for bitcoin, which will bring a level of stability throughout the year.

Europe’s baby steps to regulation

The biggest signal towards a crypto-friendly business environment in Europe has been signaled by similar statements released by watchdogs ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) and the European Central Bank authorities. Notably, on 9th January they called for common EU-wide approach to crypto, demonstrating a clear appetite from the authorities to get digital coins under control and as a viable part of the economy. While a simple declaration, indications are that this is already being preempted and taking hold – surveys conducted among member states have yielded positive attitudes towards crypto, and some of the largest law firms in Europe, including Norton Rose Fulbright of London, have started to establish cryptocurrency divisions to engage with lawmakers.

Improved attitudes from large developing economies

Away from the established and well-developed economies of Europe, large but developing countries are also taking a positive view towards crypto. India has led the way with this, certainly on the global stage. September 2018 saw Zebpay, one of India’s leading crypto lights, shut down amid controversy. Despite this heavy-handed gesture towards the fledgling digital coin economy, encouraging signs now emerge from the country. According to a report analyzed by Finance Magnates, India may well regulate cryptocurrency, bringing it back into the fold of legality. Many developing countries can stand to benefit from the impetus and excitement a well-maintained crypto market brings, and as a result traders have funneled in. If a compromise can be struck between growth and security, India may well show the way.

Better times for the USA?

Cryptocurrency is traded widely in the USA but there is still a level of institutional distrust. This is evidenced by the frequent and hard-line decisions made by the SEC against the operation of cryptocurrency exchanges. 2019 looks set to be the year in which the SEC marginally soften their stance, opening the floor for wide-spread trading without compromising stability. According to CNBC, one large Korean exchange is set to break into the USA; this is in addition to the likely green-light for home-grown exchange Bakkt, backed by the NYSE. Like Europe, these are baby steps, but expect to see a competitive market held by stringent trading rules. Ultimately, this will bring growth.

Cryptocurrency is growing, and finally, regulation is starting to form to meet it. A slow and considered approach is being favored in all of the world’s big economies, setting a trail for any others that would like to follow behind. 2019 will see widespread rules put in place, allowing cryptocurrency the framework it needs to flourish.

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