Big Four Accounting Firm Says Financial Institutions Need Regulatory Clarity on Crypto To Remain Competitive

Ernst & Young, one of the world’s leading accounting institutions, says that financial services firms must learn how to navigate the regulatory issues in the crypto markets to remain competitive.

In a new wide-ranging report about the 2022 global regulatory outlook, the firm discusses how the recent growth of digital assets and big tech companies means each must now enter the conversation about further regulation.

“New entrants that have traditionally operated outside the regulatory perimeter… are now offering financial activities such as payments or credit.

These new entrants either rely on regulatory arbitrage to operate without being subject to full-blown financial services regulation or are subject to much lighter regulation than, for example, banks.”

The report also says that financial services firms must keep in step with the evolving regulatory landscape concerning crypto assets.

“A second way that the regulatory perimeter is expanding is addressing cryptocurrencies, digital assets, tokens and related products and services.

As the acceptance and transaction volume of these assets has grown, there is increasing momentum to address regulatory concerns – along with financial stability and investor protection – head on.”

Ernst & Young says one challenge is that risk assessment and technological innovation usually don’t work hand in hand, and so there is a need to bridge the gap.

“The people who understand risk and regulation often do not overlap significantly with the people who understand evolving technologies, such as application programming interfaces (APIs), cloud technology, crypto or related solutions.

As a result, many firms need to find talent that can sit at the intersection of those realms and facilitate conversations so that risks can be identified and anticipated and controls embedded.”

The report also notes that governments and central banks have begun to enter the nascent space through the creation of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

“Some jurisdictions, such as the Bahamas, have already launched CBDCs and a number have experiments underway (such as the US digital dollar)… or policy plans (the Bank of England and EU) that would introduce retail or wholesale CDBCs.”

Back in December, Mexico announced that its central bank would release a CBDC by 2024.

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Featured Image: Shutterstock/Tithi Luadthong/Natalia Siiatovskaia


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