Ireland’s Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman, Ger Deering, has called for the regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges. Deering has raised concerns over the lack of consumer protection measures in place for Irish citizens who invest in cryptocurrencies. His call for regulation comes as the value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum continues to rise.
Deering has stated that the lack of regulation leaves consumers at risk of fraud and theft, as well as the possibility of losing their investments. He has called for the Irish government to take action to protect consumers and to ensure that cryptocurrency exchanges are held to the same standards as traditional financial institutions.
The Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman has also expressed concern over the lack of clarity surrounding the tax implications of cryptocurrency investments. He has called for the Irish Revenue Commissioners to provide clear guidance on how cryptocurrency investments should be taxed.
Deering’s call for regulation comes as other countries around the world are also taking steps to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been cracking down on fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs), while in Japan, cryptocurrency exchanges are now required to be licensed by the Financial Services Agency.
The Irish government has yet to take any concrete steps towards regulating the cryptocurrency industry. However, the Central Bank of Ireland has issued warnings to consumers about the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies.
Despite the lack of regulation, there is growing interest in cryptocurrencies in Ireland. A recent survey conducted by Amárach Research found that 120,000 Irish people currently own some form of cryptocurrency. This represents approximately 2.5% of the Irish population.
The use of blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrencies, is also gaining traction in Ireland. The Irish government has announced plans to use blockchain technology to improve the transparency and efficiency of public services. The technology is being explored for use in areas such as voting, property registration, and supply chain management.
The use of distributed ledgers to record transactions means that every participant in the network has a copy of the ledger, and each transaction is verified by a consensus mechanism before being added to the ledger. This makes it very difficult for any single party to tamper with the data or alter the transaction records.
In conclusion, the lack of regulation in the cryptocurrency industry is a cause for concern for Irish consumers. Ger Deering, the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman, has called for the Irish government to take action to protect consumers and to ensure that cryptocurrency exchanges are held to the same standards as traditional financial institutions. With growing interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in Ireland, it is important that steps are taken to ensure that consumers are protected and that the industry is held accountable.