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Ripple urges UK regulators to find balance between risk and innovation

Ripple’s head of regulatory relations Ryan Zagone is calling on UK regulatory authorities to end the “Wild West” time in the cryptocurrency age, prompting a look into Japan’s regulations as a blueprint.

Ripple, currently weighing in at the third most valued cryptocurrency by market cap, has reached out to UK regulators to toughen the industry rules and authorize new policies in a way to “end the Wild West days” of cryptocurrency.

Not shooting from the hip, Ripple’s head of regulatory relations Ryan Zagone has aimed a suggestion to see if UK regulators can somehow satisfy a balance between “capturing risk and enabling innovation”, as reported by The Telegraph.

Zagone has insinuated that the time is nigh for clarity and that rules will result in a necessary certainty, adding that now is “a good time to start revisiting that ‘wait and see’ ­approach taken by regulators”. With the right kind of regulations, Zagone believes that it could create an environment where “the guardrails on the highway that allows new entrants to come in, particularly institutional investors”.

He also suggested that the three main points to target regulation are “consumer protection, anti-money laundering, and financial stability” and related the current cryptocurrency regulations to that of the early age of the internet.

Zagone aims to use Japan’s newly introduced legislature as a base point, calling the country a “leader” for their take on regulations. After the high-profile hack on Coincheck, a leading Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, Japan’s Financial Service Agency established requirements for digital exchanges operating in the country – in order to maintain business, the companies need to apply for registration – which successfully managed to rid a number of risky players.

Since then, the country’s legislature on cryptocurrency related activity has been stricter in an attempt to ensure progressive growth and financier protection, which sounds to Zagone like an appealing strategy to follow.

Cryptocurrency is becoming more and more accepted in Europe, and countries are partnering together to expand the blockchain ecosystem. With advancement, a set of regulated rules might be not only helpful but necessary to ensure protection for investors and cryptocurrency users.

Regulations for the digital economy is not a new topic in the UK. British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond involved a task force to “manage the risks around crypto-assets” recently, and Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, has warned that there is a risk of regulatory suppression in cryptocurrency.

If the UK can take the right leaf out of Japan’s rulebook, it might be a pivotal move in the future of regulation – both in the UK and across the globe.