The Commonwealth Virtual Currencies Working Group will meet for the first time next week to discuss the management of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin.

The specialist group, formed by the Commonwealth – a voluntary association of 53 independent countries, almost all of which were formerly under British rule – is made up of members from the Commonwealth Secretariat, Australia, Barbados, Kenya, Nigeria, Singapore, Tonga and the UK.

Along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, intergovernmental organisation Interpol and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), members at the event held in London will explore the risks associated with virtual currencies, the existing legal frameworks, regulatory responses and potential benefits of use in developing countries.

A spokesperson for the Commonwealth Secretariat commented on the purpose of the meeting, telling CoinDesk:

“Recognising both the associated benefits and risks, the group will meet to design technical guidance for member states on potential regulatory and legislative measures to effectively respond to virtual currencies.”

She continued: “The meeting will also be an opportunity to hear from a range of experts about the latest developments in the sector. Participants will also share findings from a recent Commonwealth survey which shows innovative use for legitimate business opportunities but also warns an absence of regulations is exacerbating criminal exploitation.”

The event, will feature Alden Pelker of the FBI’s Money Laundering Intelligence Unit and Joe Mignano of the US Department of Justice, among others. It is taking place on 24th and 25th August.

Alden Pelker is also speaking at CoinDesk’s inaugural event, Consensus 2015, in New York on 10th September.

Commonwealth flag image via Shutterstock

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