Digital-asset regulation has been a hot topic in 2020 and shows no signs of cooling. A recent G-7 meeting concluded that the sector faces an ongoing need for regulation.
In addition to talking about COVID-19 and economic issues, the group “also discussed ongoing responses to the evolving landscape of crypto assets and other digital assets and national authorities’ work to prevent their use for malign purposes and illicit activities,” according to a public statement from the United States Department of the Treasury on Monday:
“There is strong support across the G7 on the need to regulate digital currencies. Ministers and Governors reiterated support for the G7 joint statement on digital payments issued in October.”
Regulators have stepped up their engagement in the crypto sector in recent months. The U.S. Department of Justice, in particular, has visited a number of headlines. One of the biggest headlines of the year included the DoJ and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission going after crypto-native derivatives exchange BitMEX for allowing U.S. customers.
The members of the G-7 — as well as International Monetary Fund, the Financial Stability Board and World Bank leaders — participated in the meeting led by Steve Mnuchin, the U.S. treasury secretary, the statement said. Following the meeting, Germany's finance minister notably expressed concern about Facebook's Libra-turned-Diem asset, referring to it as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Mnuchin tweeted about the meeting earlier on Monday, noting:
"Productive #G7 call this morning. We discussed the effective actions in response to COVID19, strategies to achieve a robust recovery, and cryptocurrencies."
Bitcoin (BTC) has flown in price over the last few months, putting crypto under the mainstream spotlight. Rumors predict that Mnuchin plans on dropping an impactful crypto-related ruling in the next few weeks pertaining to digital-asset wallets. Per speculation, the regulation would essentially forbid users from utilizing personal crypto wallets outside of regulated exchanges.