Regulator unveils plan to monitor cryptocurrency threat

A Bitcoin (virtual currency) coin is seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, June 23, 2017. (File photo: Reuters)
Updated 16 July 2018
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Regulator unveils plan to monitor cryptocurrency threat

  • “Monitoring the size and growth of crypto-asset markets is critical.." FSB says
  • Plan follows drive by central banks and regulatory bodies to keep cryptocurrencies at bay

GENEVA: A financial regulator on Monday unveiled a strategy to monitor whether cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin pose a threat to world economic stability.
The plan follows on from a concerted drive by central banks and regulatory bodies to keep cryptocurrencies at bay.
In a statement, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which oversees regulation among G20 economies, said it believes “crypto-assets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time.”
But, the FSB added, the speed at which cryptocurrencies are spreading, the lack of solid data on their use and uncertainty over which rules apply in the sector should spur major economies to redouble their scrutiny.
“Monitoring the size and growth of crypto-asset markets is critical to understanding the potential size of wealth effects, should valuations fall,” the FSB said.
The framework also calls of an examination of whether cryptocurrencies are evolving from a method of paying for goods and services into a securities product, which individuals are holdings as a savings device instead of a stock or a bond.
The FSB also underscored “the scarcity of reliable data on banks’ holdings of crypto-assets.”
That point serves as a chilling reminder of the 2008 financial crisis, which was made worse by the fact that some banks did not know their level of exposure to securities backed by junk mortgages, even after those mortgages started to fail.
The FSB said an affiliate called the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision was “conducting an initial stocktake on the materiality of banks’ direct and indirect exposures to crypto-assets.”
It warned that the exposure of financial institutions to cryptocurrencies will serve as a key measurement of the “risks to the broader financial system.”
The FSB said it expects its plan will face hurdles from the outset, given the “data gaps” and “lack of transparency” in the sector, especially concerning the individuals trading coins on a daily basis.
The FSB, currently chaired by Bank of England chief Mark Carney, said it will formally present the framework to G20 finance ministers when they meet in Buenos Aires later this month.
The call for tighter monitoring follows major swings in the value of assets like Bitcoin and the constant emergence of new cryptocurrencies, which has raised fears that the unregulated and opaque market could pose a rising threat to investors.


Iraq’s Basra Oil, Chevron agree to implement MOU to develop oil fields

Updated 2 min 32 sec ago
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Iraq’s Basra Oil, Chevron agree to implement MOU to develop oil fields

  • Executives from the two companies have signed an agreement which outlines a program to develop the fields
  • The MOU provides for Chevron to conduct surveys and studies on oil sites and installations

DUBAI: Iraq’s state-run Basra Oil Company and Chevron agreed to begin implementing a memorandum of understanding to develop fields in the south of the country, the Iraqi oil ministry said on Sunday.
Executives from the two companies have signed an agreement which outlines a program to develop the fields, which includes studies to survey the reservoirs and extraction operations, said a statement posted on the oil ministry’s website.
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Al-Luaibi announced in June that Basra Oil and another state-run company, Dhi Qar Oil, signed an MOU with Chevron.
The MOU provides for Chevron to conduct surveys and studies on oil sites and installations and help the two Iraqi companies to improve their technical, administrative and financial performance.