IMF’s Lagarde and Facebook .. in the news
On Wednesday morning, the price of one Bitcoin slipped back below the $9,000 mark for the first time this week, following several pieces of potentially worrying news for the cryptocurrency community. First came a blog post from Christine Lagarde, in which the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged regulators around the world to crack down on cryptocurrencies’ potential to be a “major new vehicle for money laundering and the financing of terrorism.” Lagarde raised the example of the AlphaBay “darkweb” marketplace, which was used to launder more than $1 billion before it was taken down. She also noted that the “extreme volatility” of crypto-assets could “easily create new vulnerabilities” in the financial system. Then came Google’s early-Wednesday announcement that it will be banning ads for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, or ICOs. Facebook made a similar move earlier this year, so the two biggest digital ad players are shunning the cryptocurrency space.
At least, in theory. Facebook’s attempts have been less than successful, with some people using off-brand spellings such as “bitc0in” to evade the social network’s filters. Even without such tactics, it still seems a few scammy ICO-related pitches are making it onto Facebook. At the time of writing, around 7 a.m. Eastern Time, Bitcoin was down 3.66% at a value of $8,830, according to CoinMarketCap.com. While the recent news may not be so great for some in cryptocurrency circles, it wasn’t all bad. On the plus side, Lagarde suggested that the blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin could also be used for regulatory purposes. “The technology that enables instant global transactions could be used to create registries of standard, verified, customer information along with digital signatures. Better use of data by governments can also help free up resources for priority needs and reduce tax evasion, including evasion related to cross-border transactions,” she wrote.