Crypto-currencies are currently on a collision course with the British Government over whether they can continue to operate legally in the country, as new laws are introduced in the wake of the recent death of a man in London.
The laws, which include an annual cap on the value of cryptocurrencies, were passed in response to the death of 34-year-old Gavin Wood, who was fatally shot on a train in London on June 24, 2016.
Bitcoin was first recognised as a currency in 2005 and has since surged in value from around $US4,000 ($5,000) at the start of 2017 to more than $US10,000 today.
As the currency was being developed, a number of governments began to recognise its potential and banned it, with some banning the trading of the cryptocurrency itself.
In May 2018, the British government introduced new laws aimed at regulating the trade of the currency and restricting the use of it.
These include a £100,000 cap on cryptocurrency trade and the creation of an online reporting tool to monitor trading activity and to inform authorities of any illegal activities.
Cryptocurrencies are traded via peer-to-peer digital markets.
This means that the price of the coin may be volatile, and it is important to note that many of these markets have been banned by the authorities, including some in the US.
However, the move to regulate the cryptocurrency markets has sparked a fierce debate in the cryptocurrency community, with a number claiming the measures are a threat to the financial system.
Several countries, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand, have also taken similar actions, with New Zealand’s decision to restrict the trading in the currency following the death in June 2016.
This has led to calls from a number quarters for more transparency and regulation.
At the moment, the regulations are in place and there are no restrictions on the use or sale of cryptocurrencies in the United Kingdom, but there is some debate as to whether they should be enforced.
Following the death, the Government announced a series of new laws intended to curb the spread of the virus.
Among other measures, the government plans to require all Bitcoin transactions to be recorded and to require Bitcoin to be used for a legitimate purpose.
“We are now in the process of setting up a dedicated team of experts to ensure this is done in a responsible and efficient way,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice told the Daily Mail.
Some in the Bitcoin community argue that the government’s efforts to regulate Bitcoin are not enough.
“This is the first step to make sure the cryptocurrency is safe and regulated,” one user told CoinDesk.
Others believe that the legislation could have a chilling effect on Bitcoin transactions.
“There are already so many ways to evade the regulation and the government is not doing enough to address this issue,” said the CoinDesk user.
“It’s not that the Government isn’t interested in protecting the currency, but instead they are using it to clamp down on those who want to use it and profit from it,” he added.
For now, Bitcoin remains a relatively new cryptocurrency in the global financial system, with an average trading volume of less than 0.1 bitcoin.