Cryptocurrency is “Opportunity for the Criminal”: Bank of England Governor

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: The Guardian

In a recent statement, Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, has cautioned that cryptocurrency presents an “opportunity for the downright criminal.”

The Chief of England’s Central Bank said,

“You only have to ask the question ‘What do people committing ransom attacks usually demand payment in?’ The answer is crypto.”

On Monday, Bailey spoke about cryptocurrencies at the central bank’s “Stop Scams” conference. Cryptocurrencies, according to Bailey, are the new “front line” in criminal fraud.

Bailey asked banks, digital companies, and government agencies to collaborate with the Bank of England to combat consumer fraud, which he said is a “never-ending” task.

The head of the central bank also accused certain cryptocurrency users of breaking sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. He said,

“Some crypto enthusiasts say they shouldn’t be covered by Russian sanctions because that’s not their world. I’m sorry, it is your world. We’re all in the same world.”

Is the UK developing two faces to cryptocurrency?

While on the one hand, the governor of the central bank is wary of cryptocurrency, on the other, the UK had recently unveiled its plans to become a hub for crypto in the world.

Their plans include regulating stablecoins, legislating for a “financial market infrastructure sandbox”, holding a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)-led Cryptosprint, collaborating with the Royal Mint on a non-fungible token (NFT), and setting up an engagement group to work even more closely with the growing crypto industry.

John Glen, the U.K.’s economic secretary to the Treasury, said,

“We think that by making this country a hospitable place for crypto we can attract investment … generate swathes of new jobs … and create a wave of ground-breaking new products and services.”

He further stressed that,

““If crypto-technologies are going to be a big part of the future, then we — the U.K. — want to be in, and on the ground floor. In fact, if we commit now … if we act now … we can lead the way.”