Richard Ells: Regulation Must Happen for Crypto to Be Taken Seriously
Richard Ells is the CEO of Electroneum, a cryptocurrency app for smartphones that allegedly offers one of the fastest payment options out there. He’s also created a cryptocurrency known as ETN that he says is used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world to garner access to basic financial services.
Richard Ells: Crypto Is Better Than It Looks
He says that one of the things that bothers him most nowadays is how the cryptocurrency space is widely depicted in a negative light by the mainstream media. For the most part, news platforms typically seek to present cryptocurrency as a tool used by terrorists and bad actors to do malicious things to unsuspecting victims. He says that crypto has a whole other side to it that is not typically explored by media sources, and he’s looking to make sure this all changes soon.
In a recent interview, he commented that he was happy to see that the public point of view regarding crypto has become more positive in light of the coronavirus, which has caused more average traders to turn to it as a means of staying safe and stable during harsh economic times. He says that more and more people are using crypto, and he’s hoping this attitude can help ensure its survival.
There is a considerable lack of knowledge surrounding cryptocurrency and its underlying technology blockchain, but there’s also concern from the traditional financial institutions and governments, who fear losing control over the monetary system. For many years and up until recently, authorities and corporations plastered the global media saying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were primarily used for illegal activities, such as financing terrorism, money laundering and the dark web. However, recent reports estimate that only 0.5 percent of all bitcoin transactions in 2019 took place on the dark web.
He says that while crypto is certainly growing on a regular basis, it’s still very much in a Wild West sort of state, in which it is largely unregulated and unmonitored by financial authorities. He comments that this will have to change if people are going to see crypto as less of a crime magnet and more of a game changer in the world of finance.
Regulation Needs to Be More Common
Ells states about his own company:
In 2018, we became the first crypto to adopt KYC/ AML procedures. For many crypto purists, particularly bitcoin maximalists, that goes against the crypto ethos, but if we look at what we want to achieve with Electroneum, a full ecosystem whereby people can live off ETN and use ETN for everything they need, regulation is imperative. So, we have filed for our UK Financial Conduct Authority registration. We prepared for and adopted KYC/ AML procedures ahead of the rules that we knew were eventually coming, including the EU’s fifth directive, to regulate the crypto industry.
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