Britain’s spy agency has said it is monitoring Bitcoin to find out more about the risks associated with the cryptocurrency.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is investigating to see if there are security risks with the digital currency – which has soared in value recently.
Chris Ensor, the deputy director for cyber skills and growth at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), an arm of the intelligence agency, told the British national newspaper that they were interested in Bitcoin because it could “affect the country.”
There are currently no regulations in place for Bitcoin in the UK but in countries such as China and Vietnam, its use is prohibited.
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The currency has made huge gains as of late – its value shooting up from less that $1,000 at the beginning of the year to $17,000 last week.
There is worry amongst governments that the unregulated nature of Bitcoin may lead to the collapse of banks or may be used to launder money.
The UK treasury have said that they hope to regulate bitcoin.
“Organised criminal groups have been early adopters of crypto-currencies to evade traditional money laundering checks and statutory regulations,” said Det Supt Nick Stevens, from the Serious and Organised Crime Command.
“Criminals have also used crypto-currencies to purchase illegal commodities on dark market sites with anonymity.”
The NCSC told the Telegraph that mathematicians were being used to explain to civil servants the complex nature of the currency.
And rightly so. The complex currency is currently taking the world by storm – with some going crazy over investing – the people in charge are starting to get worried.
With governments racing to find out more about the currency, or downright ban it, only time will tell if this currently unregulated cryptocurrency will remain just that – unregulated.