The major Austrian cryptographer Bitpanda argues that trading Bitcoin and other digital currencies should be regulated similarly to gold, which typically benefits from clearer rules of compliance than stocks or bonds.
According to Bitpanda, anti-money laundering laws should apply to all transactions over EUR 10,000 ($12,300) processed in the European Union. Tighter financial rules could hinder the emerging virtual cash market.
“The regulation gives us more legitimacy. We wanted to be regulated, but so far it has been said that we can't be, ”Eric Demuth, the co-chief executive officer of one of Europe's most popular cryptocurrency trading platforms, told Bloomberg.
The recent boom in digital currencies has sparked a bitter struggle in the legal framework, which is currently considered lacking control of the growing crypto market. Financial regulators around the world are in favor of proper rules for the industry to put it on firmer ground and thus increase its credibility.
The value of one Bitcoin token and one ounce of gold is expected to approach as the US Fed raises interest rates, says Bloomberg intelligence expert Mike McGlone. "Just 11 months ago, gold and Bitcoin were at the same price, now they are on the road to convergence," he said.
Bitcoin was up 19.36% to $37,577.04 GMT on Friday, according to the Coinmarketcap.com website. Gold fell slightly to $ 1,852.73 per ounce.
The Austrian Ministry of Finance said it was considering trading rules for gold and derivatives as the basis for regulating virtual currencies. The step is reportedly aimed at ending illegal activities, such as money laundering.
Bitpanda has reportedly extended ties with government institutions, despite warnings issued by the country's central bank. The company markets Bitcoin coupons through the state-run postal service. The exchange also claimed to have signed research contracts with the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Technical University of Vienna.
The company, which opened an office in London in February, is expected to exceed € 1 billion ($ 1.23 billion) in revenue in 2018. Most of its € 600 million ($ 737.5 million) ) transactions were processed in Vienna in the fourth quarter of 2017.