LONDON, July 4 European Union financial services
chief Michel Barnier believes it is "imperative" to look at
possible EU regulation for virtual currencies like bitcoin, his
spokeswoman said on Friday.
"We will now look into what can be done to possibly
introduce regulation in this sector, particularly to address the
risks of financial crime that arise from the anonymity that
characterises many virtual currencies," the spokeswoman said in
"It is imperative to move quickly on this issue. The
potential for money laundering and terrorist financing is too
serious to ignore."
Barnier, who has powers to propose new EU laws, was
responding to an announcement from the bloc's banking watchdog
on Friday that lenders should steer clear of virtual currencies
until rules are in place.
(Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by William Hardy)