A particularly nerdy part of the government whose members' business cards say "Crypto Assets Taskforce" has been pondering what to do about the appearance of virtual money types, including the cryptocurrencies that every corner shop is now encouraging people to subscribe to and pay with. In short, current advice is be careful, and don't expect any money you put in to ever come out again in a recognisable, spendable form.
The Crypto Assets Taskforce is manned by the finest computer-understanders from the Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England, and has pooled together all the current official thinking on the various cryptocurrencies out there and their potential to disrupt the entire financial world, or, in some cases, to do nothing more than permanently borrow the life savings of the gullible by offering products that have "no intrinsic value" at all according to the CAT. Ouch.
The FCA's research is particularly damning of the crypto world and of the modern event that is the ICO, or Initial Coin Offering, which generate the impression of a "shortcut to easy money" with their vague promises, plus the anonymity offered by blockchain-based monies comes with the obvious potential to be used in crime. This is all such a worry and menace that the FCA is considering a ban on some of the more complex and leveraged crypto trading products, with the most important piece of business being to first ensure that cryptocurrencies adhere to the UK's money laundering regime. [Crypto Assets Taskforce [PDF] via TNW]
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