By Huw Jones
LONDON -The Financial Stability Board (FSB) said on Monday it would propose “robust” global rules for cryptocurrencies in October, following recent turmoil in markets that has highlighted the need to regulate the “speculative” sector.
The FSB, a body of regulators, treasury officials and central bankers from the Group of 20 economies (G20), has so far limited itself to monitoring the crypto sector, saying it did not pose a systemic risk.
But recent turmoil in crypto markets has highlighted their volatility, structural vulnerabilities and increasing links to the wider financial system, the FSB said.
“The failure of a market player, in addition to imposing potentially large losses on investors and threatening market confidence arising from crystallisation of conduct risks, can also quickly transmit risks to other parts of the crypto-asset ecosystem,” the FSB said in a statement.
The value of bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, has slumped some 70% since its November record of $69,000 and was trading at $20,422 on Monday, leaving many investors nursing losses.
TerraUSD stablecoin collapsed earlier this year, and withdrawals and transfers from major crypto firms Celsius Network and Voyager Digital have rattled markets.
Stablecoins should be captured by robust regulation if they are to be used as a means of payment, the FSB said.
“The FSB will report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in October on regulatory and supervisory approaches to stablecoins and other crypto-assets,” the FSB said.
The FSB has no lawmaking powers but its members commit to applying its regulatory principles in their own jurisdictions.
The watchdog is lagging the European Union, a leading member of the FSB, which agreed comprehensive new rules for the crypto market this month.
The FSB said cryptoassets are predominantly used for “speculative purposes” but don’t operate in a “regulation free space” and must comply with relevant existing rules.
Many countries require crypto firms to have anti-money laundering controls.
“FSB members are committed to using the enforcement powers within the legal framework in their jurisdiction to promote compliance and act against violations,” the FSB said.
(Reporting by Huw JonesEditing by Louise Heavens and Mark Potter)