The groundhog greets every day: It is not the first time that leading financial overseers have sworn to intervene in the crypto market. This week, the new head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Gary Gensler, pushed ahead and called on trading platforms for Bitcoin and Co. to cooperate with the regulators.
New figures from Germany show that such cooperation is urgently needed: The money laundering suspicion reports with crypto-related information from the notoriously overwhelmed special unit FIU are exploding.
Here, too, supervisors and experts are hoping for greater cooperation from banks and stock exchanges in order to master the problem.
So far, so unsatisfactory. Alone, the incantations of the overseers seem increasingly helpless. Of course, it is overdue to regulate the large crypto platforms and get used to a minimum of regulations – such as proper identification of their users. But that will change little in terms of the basic problem.
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Travelers destined for the USA know the questions asked by the Immigration Service: The question “Are you a member of a terrorist organization?” Must be ticked with “Yes” or “No”. What a real terrorist would answer is obvious.
Doing business with Bitcoin & Co .: The shady part of the crypto world must be visible
The same applies to the crypto market: Anyone who really wants to do dark business with Bitcoin and Co. will not register on the regulated US or EU platforms in the future either. But at file sharing sites that have evaded supervision for years, such as Binance, whose homepage does not have an imprint. Or with service providers from the “Defi” area, of whom not even the founder is known.
What to do? Putting your hands in your lap cannot be an answer. Rather, the regulators must finally make themselves honest: The legal reclassification of Bitcoin and Co. and the increased cooperation of reputable platforms will not be enough on their own to master the shady part of the crypto world.
Instead, a laborious new approach has to be found: The old form of supervision – civil servant lawyers work cooperatively with honorable bankers, penalties are imposed from time to time – is hopelessly lost in the crypto market.
The supervisors finally have to build up know-how here, hire programmers, hackers and experts and examine the dark corners themselves. That is, no question, expensive. The consequent taxation of crypto assets is all the more urgent.
More: Suspected money laundering cases explode in the crypto universe