Despite Bitcoin’s dizzying performance and politicians tightening up regulations, cryptocurrencies look set to stay.
Governments and politicians are naturally very suspicious of cryptocurrencies – they do belong to disruptive technologies and aim at existing monetary systems.
Speaking at Davos, the UK PM called for closer scrutiny of the notoriously volatile virtual money markets, and said: ‘Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, we should be looking at these very seriously, precisely because of the way that they can be used, particularly by criminals.’
It hasn’t been an easy time for cryptocurrencies with quite a few governments attempting to bring them under strict control or even ban them.
The latest example is China. In addition to the previous bans on domestic crypto-coin-trading websites and services, the People’s Bank of China has told citizens that “to prevent financial risks, China will step up measures to remove any onshore or offshore platforms related to virtual currency trading or ICOs.”
In 2018 China is planning to undertake further steps to reduce remaining cryptocurrency trading activity in the country.
South Korea has banned ICOs and recently passed a law to prevent cryptocurrency deposits into anonymous bank accounts, the reason being its instability and use for criminal activity.
India is intending to ban Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for illegal purposes and within the country’s payment system.
In the US, the authorities have been taking actions to clamp down on dodgy ICOs and investigate cryptocurrency scammers.
Facebook is blocking ads for Bitcoin and ICOs in an attempt to curb fraud and deception, and several major banks have banned using their credit cards to buy cryptocurrency.
Despite this, the general feeling is that cryptocurrencies are here to stay.
CoinDesk’s Director of Research Nolan Bauerle said that the end of 2017 was a remarkable time for cryptocurrencies. The main event was a shift in people’s perception of crypto: it transitioned from “ephemeral’ into “physical property”.
Nolan Bauerle points out how important it is to watch and follow the development of cryptcurrencies and blockchain, because the technologies of today will have a great impact on the way we live and work tomorrow.
Read the full story in Forbes