A major European banking trade group has called for governments and businesses to develop regulatory solutions for cryptocurrencies.
The European Banking Federation (EBF), a group representing thousands of the continent's largest banking groups, recently released its vision for a digital revamp of the banking system. Included in its proposals are several recommendations to policymakers regarding bitcoin and the blockchain.
The group points to the blockchain as an innovation that "provides a number of interesting opportunities both for financial institutions individually and for the collective ecosystem".
The EBF proposal states that bitcoin should be regulated through the development of a comprehensive regulatory framework and the application of existing anti-money laundering statutes to digital currency transactions. It also recommended further research into the technology so ongoing evaluations of rule-making can be made.
Despite calling for digital currency transactions to be regulated to the same degree as traditional currency transactions, the EBF's manifesto noted that "maintaining innovation should remain however a prerequisite for the development of crypto-technologies".
The document also points to some of the potential pay-offs of the technology's wider adoption, stating:
"Using such technology offers clear opportunities to reduce costs of moving and handling money, to secure consumer spending and to introduce greater liquidity to the market. It also improves offers of products and services and increases banks' velocity in all their activities."
Yet the group appears to dismiss the prospects of bitcoin's use case as a currency, calling its future "unclear".
"'Bitcoin' cryptocurrency represents probably one of the most well-known examples of crypto-technology," the report states. "However, its future as a currency is unclear, given that it was built as an experiment."
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