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October 11, 2018

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Regulators say crypto assets no threat, yet

Crypto assets such as bitcoin do not pose a threat to financial stability but monitoring is needed along with possible action to protect consumers, the global Financial Stability Board said yesterday.

While price increases in crypto assets have been larger than comparable historical asset bubbles, market capitalization remains small compared with other financial markets, the FSB said.

“Based on the available information, crypto assets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time. However, vigilant monitoring is needed in light of the speed of market developments,” it said.

Nonetheless, the FSB said, “Illiquidity, concentrated ownership, fragmented market structure, and other issues also make crypto assets potentially susceptible to price manipulation.”

It said total market capitalization peaked at US$830 billion in January, with a third accounted for by bitcoin alone, dropping to US$210 billion by last week or just 2.8 percent of the global value of gold.

“Crypto assets also raise several broader policy issues, such as the need for consumer and investor protection,” said the FSB, which coordinates financial regulation for the Group of 20.


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