Diane Abbott voices Labour concerns over Bitcoin’s ‘gigantic Ponzi scheme’
Shadow home secretary suggests party would look to better regulate cryptocurrency
Credit: BBC Daily Politics
The Shadow Home Secretary said the party was concerned about terrorists and criminals using cryptocurrencies to fund their illicit activities and duck the law.
Fears have emerged that Bitcoin and other digital currencies like it could become the capital of choice for jihadist groups, money launderers and other offenders keen to stay below the radar. Drugs, weapons and child pornography are all said to be available in exchange for crypto cash using the so-called Dark Web.
Meanwhile, the WannaCry ransomware attack that hit the NHS last May offered to free machines for a fee paid in the currency.
Abbott (pictured above) revealed that Labour was looking into the movement of funds using Bitcoin and their possible links to criminality in an interview with The House magazine.
- Treasury Committee to examine digital-currency regulation
- NHS, local government, and ICO impacted by cryptojacking attack
- Think tanks call on government to invest in blockchain
She said: “One of the problems with Bitcoin is the extent to which it is just a gigantic Ponzi scheme... If everyone took their Bitcoin money and tried to buy a new car all at once the whole thing would collapse.”
She added: “But we are certainly worried about how in the here and now it is being used to fund terrorist activity and that is something we are looking at.”
Abbott said Labour would impose regulations on digital currencies the way Jeremy Corbyn vowed to curb the power of financial services last month.
“Labour overall thinks it’s important to have proper regulation of financial services,” she said. “It was poor regulation of financial services which led to the 2008 crash and obviously regulating Bitcoin would be part of that.”
The Government has announced its own plans to crack down on Bitcoin by forcing trading exchanges to disclose the identities of their users and report suspicious activity.
A Treasury spokesman said last year: "We intend to update regulation to bring virtual currency exchange platforms into anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist-financing regulation.”
We are approaching the fourth anniversary of the foundation of the NCSC and the threats it was created to respond to loom larger than ever. PublicTechnology examines the growth of the UK’...
Head of Test and Trace programme Baroness Harding says she does not want to specify a timeframe as projects often do not ‘run in a smooth way’
The UK has tended to only introduce data-protection laws in conjunction with EU legislation and, according to Ray Walsh from ProPrivacy, the post-Brexit world may see the country prioritise...
A major government-commissioned study found that about half of UK organisations are lacking basic security skills. PublicTechnology talks to the researchers behind it to find out where...
PublicTechnology talks to Rich Turner about why organisations need to adopt a ‘risk-based approach’ to security – but first make sure they get the basics right
CyberArk's David Higgins explores the cyber risks of hiring independent contractors