According to International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde, cryptocurrencies will eventually find themselves in the web of government regulation, even as the subject of cryptocurrency regulation continues to spark a heated debate both within and outside the crypto space.
Speaking to CNNMoney emerging markets editor John Defterios, Ms. Lagarde said,
“It’s inevitable…it’s clearly a domain where we need international regulation and proper supervision. There is probably quite a bit of dark activity [in cryptocurrencies].” She was speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
Cryptocurrency regulation under scrutiny
Lagarde said that the IMF is committed to preventing digital currencies from being a hotbed of money laundering or finance terrorism. However, she also pointed out that regulators should focus less on the entities and more on activities—who does what, and whether there is proper licensing and supervision.
Cryptocurrency regulation has been a hot debate in the crypto space, with some analysts arguing that the absence of regulation is one of its pillars of strength. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more, operate independently without any third party involvement.
All along, there has been a regulatory vacuum in the crypto space, especially after bitcoin’s appearance in 2009. However, governments and central banks have started to pay a closer attention, cautioning investors about potential scams.
Crackdown on alleged scams
In December 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation began a crackdown on claims of fraud in fundraising by some crypto companies and traders.
In Asia, where digital currency is most popular, both China and South Korea have cracked the whip on cryptocurrency trading. However, concerns arise about new restrictions and rumors over a ban by the Indian government. All these led to the escalated price volatility in the crypto market.
Speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, top government officials made a declaration:
“We encourage Fintech, we encourage innovation, but we want to make sure that all of our financial markets are safe and aren’t being used for illicit activities,” said Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary.
In support of the statement, British Prime Minister Theresa May says that her government would look “very seriously” at digital currencies “because of the way they are used, particularly by criminals.”
Currently, the crypto market is experiencing a massive crash together with global stocks. Bitcoin, for example, has plunged 40% from where it was a month ago, trading at slightly below $9000. On December 16, the cryptocurrency recorded an all-time high of nearly $20,000.
Cryptocurrency regulation aside, another investor has predicted that bitcoin price would hit $100,000-mark.
Bitcoin to hit $100,000
As the bitcoin crystal ball continues to amaze both friends and foes, a fresh prediction reveals that the value of the digital currency could hit $100,000. The revelation came from an experienced investor who currently runs his own company.
According to Ryan Derks of Hodl Fund, bitcoin could hit the 100-dollar mark when more people across the world decide to adopt cryptocurrencies against fiat money.
“I believe they say that roughly five percent of the world’s population or less owns any cryptocurrency and if the trends of Venezuela continue and in Zimbabwe, if those continue it looks as though there’s going to be no slowdown,” Derks explained.
“I only imagine it’s going to continue pushing prices up because again there’s a limited supply. So if people continue to lose faith in their nation’s currency, for example, the US dollar, I don’t have very much faith at all…I would much rather have my money in a currency that I now can’t be manipulated and forged. So, in my opinion, it’s going to continue, now I think that $100,000 dollars for a Bitcoin is not far-fetched.”
Like cryptocurrency regulation, bitcoin prediction has been another hot debate in the crypto space. Some analysts are of the opinion that the value will shoot to unimaginable levels while others believe in a bubble that is set to burst sooner or later.
“When that will happen I can’t tell you, but if you just assume that 10 percent of the world’s population decides to give up their government’s currency and use cryptocurrency then yes, that’s not far-fetched at all,” said Derks.
Cryptocurrency adoption in third world countries
The investor also went ahead to say that if third world countries continue to adopt the digital currencies, it would influence bitcoin price incredibly.
“Again if you look back at the adoption rate currently among second and third world nations it is shooting through the roof. A lot of them don’t really need to be lectured about the benefits of a currency that cannot be manipulated.”
In 2017, the value of bitcoin soared from strength to strength, culminating in an all-time high of $19,535.70 on December 17. However, since that remarkable spike, the cryptocurrency has displayed a downward trend.
Asked about the unsteady prices of bitcoin, Mr. Derks was confident that bitcoin operates on “basic supply and demand economics.”
He explained, “For me, I can’t say exactly but I can estimate and what I estimate is based off the internal code of what makes bitcoin work is nothing more than just the basic supply and demand economics. So as less coins are available and more people are demanding them the price will increase.”
The investor explained that with a fixed supply of bitcoin (21 million) in existence, it is quite possible for the demand to increase as more people claim a share of the digital money. Besides, he said, 25 percent of the overall supply is already lost when people did not take the cryptocurrency “too seriously.”
“It’s estimated right now that about 25 percent of all the coins in existence have been lost, many people back in the first four or five years didn’t take it too seriously and didn’t pay close care over the coins so quite a few were lost. Then it’s the amount of global adoption that will have the secondary effect.”
In the beginning of 2018, bitcoin has witnessed a massive decline in value. However, this week the mainstream digital currency recorded a marked increase of 14.35 percent in value, according to Coinbase. As of this writing, Bitcoin is trading at $8,732.14, which is an increase of about 6.12%.
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Featured and Bitcoin Image Courtesy of Getty Images
Tony is a writer for the crypto space. He presents cryptocurrency and blockchain topics to the public in a way that he only can. While carefully researched, this article should not be taken as an express investment guide. Do your own research and consult a financial advisor before you invest in cryptocurrency.
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