Virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, litecoin, etc. making great inroads in many Commonwealth nations, taking this into cognizance, Commonwealth has set up a working group to address virtual currencies. Now the organization has urged member governments to review their legislative response to virtual currencies.
Nonetheless, the organization is asking the governments to ensure they are addressing associated risks and avoid stifling innovation. The decision regarding this came at the end of a three-day conference at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London where the newly formed Commonwealth Virtual Currencies Working Group was held.
The Group Educates Government Agencies about the New Technologies
The team concluded that virtual currencies have the potential to benefit countries and drive development. The member governments e.g. Nigeria, Australia, Barbados, Kenya, Singapore and Tonga together with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are now working closely on the mission to spread awareness about new technologies.
Nonetheless, the role of the group is to raise awareness, develop capacity among member states and provide technical guidance. The group is engaging in dialogue with experts from the banking sector, academia, virtual currency operators, users and law enforcement agencies, etc. amongst others to learn about the virtual currency technology.
After a lot of discussion and debate with these stakeholders the group issued a set of recommendations which urge countries to regulate virtual currencies and strengthen law enforcement to counter risks such as criminal misuse. They also noted that member state should consider the applicability of their existing legal frameworks to virtual currencies.
Educating the Judges, Lawyers, Enforcement Agencies about Digital Currencies
Though most of the laws are obsolete when it comes to application on the virtual currencies, the group thinks that where appropriate the governments should consider adapting the existing laws or even enact new laws to regulate. Nonetheless, the group also thinks that government should educate law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, regulatory authorities and the financial sector about the virtual currencies.
In the official blog, the organization says that despite the potential of this technology, adoption has been slow and use of virtual currencies is fairly niche. However, according to them it is due to the fact that there are also associated risks such as value fluctuation and criminal misuse which a lot of users detest and don’t want to get involved in.
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