Theresa May on crypto crime

Jan. 25, 2018, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May discusses the need to “seriously” look at Bitcoin and other virtual currencies due to their potential for use in crime during an interview with Bloomberg’s Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait. During their conversation in Davos, Switzerland, May talks about the importance of continuing the fight against online crime and her concerns regarding the use of cryptocurrencies and other technologies for elicit and illegal purposes.

May on Crypto, Crime and Tech

After May expresses her desire to see more progress in terms of social responsibility in the tech world, specifically mentioning online child pornography and terrorist activities, Micklethwait asks her if she sees digital currency as an area where she “ought to try to clamp down, too?” May replies that she sees the realm of cryptocurrencies as “increasingly developing” and says, “Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, we should be looking at these very seriously, precisely because of the way they can be used, particularly by criminals.”

She also says that she feels progress has been made overall in the realms of online social responsibility but calls for more to be accomplished, so that “people can look at the internet and know that it is a force for good.” She says she is positive about tech companies’ abilities to change lives for the better and feels that the UK is already a leader in realms such as AI, electric vehicles and battery technology. “We are already an attractive place for businesses to come and set up,” she adds.

Recent UK Crypto Regulations

In December 2017, the UK and other EU governments committed to increase the regulation of virtual currencies as a means of deterring their use to launder money or fund international crime and terrorism. Established counterterrorism and anti-money laundering finance rules will now be applied to cryptocurrencies and are expected to be made into law by participating countries within 18 months.