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Central bankers likely to discuss cryptocurrencies at G20

Major central bank chiefs are expressing their concerns over the growing use of cryptocurrencies.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Wednesday urged firms offering cryptocurrency services to have ample security steps in place, Reuters reported. The comments follow the recent hack of major Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck in which it lost nearly $500 million.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso also underscored the need for strengthening the management systems at cryptocurrency exchanges following the hack.

Kuroda further clarified that the BoJ does not currently plan on issuing cryptocurrency. He said:

“Careful consideration is needed for central banks to issue cryptocurrency given impacts on financial intermediation.”

Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan called for regulatory scrutiny of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Reuters quoted him saying:

“There is an important principle: Similar activities should be similarly regulated. And Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have some characteristics of other investment instruments. You can‘t, on the one hand, heavily restrict cash and on the other hand permit fully anonymous instruments that to a great extent can be used for all manner of transactions.”

In a recent speech, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney also shed some concerns over the use of cryptocurrencies, particularly at the international level.

Carney said that G20 faces decisions in future about how easily cryptocurrencies should be converted into other currencies, role of anonymity. He also said that G20 countries will discuss cryptocurrencies at the next meeting at the end of March.

Earlier this week, Japan’s vice finance minister for international affairs Masatsugu Asakawa also said, “Expect cryptocurrencies to be on G20 agenda.”

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