Crypto’s Position in the Italian Economy: Will It Only Grow and What Would Regulation Do?
Crypto is continuing to grow in the Italian economy. Click here to find out how and what regulation might mean for crypto’s future.
Despite the ambush of crypto’s development through orchestrated, negative press, cryptocurrency’s position in the European economy, specifically within Italy, is starting to look largely positive. The popularity of cryptocurrency investment in Europe is on the rise because it has been at the forefront of blockchain tech development. Italian companies and designers have also been leading the charge of the recent NFT surge, proving their interest in utilising the technology and pioneering it to grow Italian brands and boost their outreach into the new digital landscape.
Having said that, the rise of cryptocurrency has not exactly been plain sailing. The blockchain is, after all, a decentralised system which is outside of regulation and therefore impenetrable to middlemen or governing bodies. The Italian companies and exchange commission (CONSOB) have been particularly vocal about the dangers that it can bring to investors.
Their statements have detailed the lack of security and the possibility of money laundering, which can put investors’ assets at risk. According to them, this would be avoidable if the blockchain was a regulated, centralised system which remained under government supervision. So what exactly is crypto’s position in the Italian economy, and what would regulation do to its future?
Cryptocurrency Is Welcomed In Italy Despite CONSOB Reservations
Despite the fact they do not have regulations, several cryptocurrencies are currently operating within Italy. Italy has home-based exchanges, but it also has around 2% of Italy’s population investing in coins internationally recognised exchanges. Coffee houses, restaurants and jewellery stores have even begun to accept Bitcoin as tender for their goods and services.
In this way, cryptocurrency is growing positively within the Italian economy, showing that CONSOB’s reservations are insufficient to ward off investors. This is not surprising due to the beneficial nature of crypto as a concept. While CONSOB sites money laundering and hacking as major disadvantages, cryptocurrencies are a perfectly secure method to make transactions. It is exceedingly difficult for anyone to tamper with the system with no centralised control. Because it is not connected to any specific country or place, worldwide payments come without restrictions and without fees.
Of course, it is understandable for any governing body to want to retain tradition and favour regulated and controllable banking systems. But the truth is, with Italy using the euro as a fiat currency, the financial situation right now is not perfect. With inflation, the population's income can fall in its value, while cryptocurrency would not be susceptible to these issues.
Italy Is Also Taking Advantage Of NFTs
Not only is the decentralised nature of crypto a positive thing for investors, but Italian organisations and brands which help to maintain the economy are also benefiting from the cryptocurrency movement. An NFT (non-fungible-token) is a relatively new concept in the crypto market. They take the form of digital art pieces or videos which have the value decided by those who want to purchase before being sold on the blockchain.
Last year, the Italian luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana managed to sell an NFT for just over $5.7 million. The sports club AS Roma also took advantage, signing a $42 million partnership agreement with an NFT company. This is an example of how crypto can positively influence the Italian economy, even without regulation.
How Regulation Would Affect Crypto’s Growth In Italy
Having said this, the question of regulation might not be a question of it, but a question of when. Despite CONSOB’s calls for more control over crypto’s growth in Italy, the question of regulation in the future might not be a bad thing. Crypto regulation could be the next important step for the digital economy which crypto is looking to build. With a regulatory regime being utilised, an air of legitimacy that has been missing could be integrated into crypto’s reputation, making it hit the mainstream.
While cryptocurrency is becoming more and more popular worldwide, some are hesitant to invest due to the dark, unknowable corners caused by the lack of regulation. Hesitance from the traditional authorities, specifically authorities like CONSOB, is a crucial reason why potential investors have so far chosen not to partake. With the price of the most popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum being highly volatile anyway, the added trepidation from governing bodies is enough to give would-be investors cause to wait it out and see where it goes.
Of course, the concept of regulation has mixed reactions from those in the crypto community, with some arguing that it has the potential to suppress growth and innovation. While they might not necessarily be wrong, regulation can offer cryptocurrency a more widespan acceptance and a way to entirely counteract scams, money laundering, and cyberattacks. If done right, it can also lead banks and large companies to become open to the possibility of incorporating crypto and decentralised systems into their own organisations. If this was to happen, then it would be sure to boost other crypto assets such as altcoins, stablecoins and NFTs.
What Crypto’s Future In Italy Looks Like
Whether we like it or not, the world is heading towards a digital future which is impossible to ignore. With crypto’s ability to provide secure, efficient ways to make transactions, it will likely grow into an entity used by everyone in all walks of life.
It is clear, also, that Italy can accept and utilise crypto to its full potential. If CONSOB’s warnings lead to a more regulated system, this should be looked at as a positive thing for crypto’s future. With millions of potential investors yet to utilise the blockchain, regulation could be the first in a line of dominoes, with each one falling onto the other until no corner is uncovered. Only then will cryptocurrency be at the forefront of the new digital age which lies in front of us.
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