The social and political climate is cautious in its response to virtual currencies seeking to balance a desire to foster innovation and development of the fintech sector with concerns in respect of criminality, valuation, security and consumer protection issues (for example as virtual currencies are not recognised as legal tender they are not covered by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme).
At present regulation in Ireland is catching up with the advances in availability of virtual currencies but they are not currently subject to specific regulation in Ireland outside of the existing body of regulation of financial services, eg providing or offering to provide payment services.
The area is currently being reviewed by the EBA, IMF (both of whom have issued papers on virtual currencies) and the UK government. In Ireland the Central Bank of Ireland has issued a discussion paper on consumer protection and the digitalisation of financial services which may lead to a position or policy being developed on virtual currencies.
No data available.
Broadly speaking the primary concerns raised by virtual currencies are common across EU member states, and fintechs will need to be aware of criminality, valuation, security and consumer protection issues in the context of the legal situation.