The European cryptocurrency brokers are confronting regulators head-on, saying bring on the transparency.
According to Bloomberg article, digital currency brokers would rather face clear-cut rules and greater transparency in the market than battle the stigma that they have anything to do with fraudulent activity in cryptocurrency trading.
It’s a sign of market maturity to see bitcoin exchanges like London-based eToro and Austra’s Bitpanda proactively engaging with regulators for greater oversight. They believe policy like know-your-customer (KYC) regulation that is enforced in the United States would legitimize the market for investors who till now have remained sidelined, including mainstream and institutional investors.
US bitcoin exchange Coinbase, for instance, boasts 20 million members on its trading platform, but the exchange also works hand-in-hand with Wall Street regulators to keep track of customer activity. Japan’s regulators are similarly becoming more engaged with the market, as evidenced by its decision to issue licenses to cryptocurrency exchanges that meet certain standards.
Brokers in the United States and Japan are required to provide investor data to tax agencies, which could create a conflict of interest with customers.
Meanwhile, Europe lags both regions for cryptocurrency trading, and in order to take a bigger slice of the pie, e.g. institutional investors, regulation is vital.
“We’d be happy to have regulations, so we know where we stand,” says Bitpanda’s Co-CEO Eric Demuth told Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, Bitpanda is avoiding expansion into cryptocurrency- and blockchain-friendly regions such as Gibraltar and Malta where there is lax regulation and Demuth said “it doesn’t look good” to operate. Other ther bitcoin exchanges including OKEx, which previously was based in China, has its sights set on Malta with plans of redomiciling in the island country.