Risk Management

Regulators to ‘Vigilantly’ Monitor Crypto-assets

The Financial Stability Board has developed metrics for monitoring crypto-assets to identify any emerging risks to stability.
Matthew HellerJuly 17, 2018
Regulators to ‘Vigilantly’ Monitor Crypto-assets

Global financial regulators don’t see any imminent risk to financial stability from crypto-assets but have identified an analytical framework to monitor them “vigilantly.”

In a report released on Monday, the Financial Stability Board, which coordinates financial regulation for the Group of 20 Economies, said crypto-assets “do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time,” in part because they are small relative to the financial system.

But there is a need for “vigilant monitoring” in light of the rapid growth of crypto-assets and, to that end, the FSB has developed a “monitoring framework” that “focuses on the transmission channels from crypto-asset markets that may give rise to financial stability risks.”

“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 in a news release.

As Reuters reports, “Wild swings in crypto-asset prices” have prompted central bankers to issue warnings to investors and “Start ups have begun issuing new digital currencies via initial coin offerings (ICOs), raising concern among regulators over investor protection.”

But “It is unclear at times which financial rules, if any, apply to the sector or if there is legal authority to regulate it,” Reuters said.

The FSB’s proposed metrics would monitor closing price and market capitalization, price volatility, and the monthly average of daily transactions.

“Given that the proposed monitoring metrics are mainly based on public data, it should be stressed that the quality of the underlying data can vary, and might not always be satisfactory,” the board cautioned. “Furthermore, market-related [data] may be manipulated by generally prohibited practices such as ‘wash trading,’ ‘spoofing,’ and ‘pump and dump,’ the existence of which cannot be ruled out at this stage.”

Nonetheless, the FSB believes the proposed metrics “provide a useful picture of crypto-asset markets and the financial stability risks they may present.”

FSB Chair Mark Carney told G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in March that crypto-assets raise a host of issues around consumer and investor protection.

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