Bank of England (BOE) Governor Mark Carney has called for greater regulation of cryptocurrencies, calling the huge price moves and volatility "speculative mania."
"The time has come to hold the crypto-asset ecosystem to the same standards as the rest of the financial system. Being part of the financial system brings enormous privileges, but with them great responsibilities," Carney said in a speech on Friday.
He talked up the potential of the underlying technology, known as blockchain or distributed ledger technology, to improve accuracy, efficiency and security across payments, clearing and settlement.
But Carney said that the "speculative mania" around cryptocurrencies means further regulation is needed.
"A better path would be to regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to combat illicit activities, promote market integrity, and protect the safety and soundness of the financial system," Carney said.
When asked if there would be a global push for regulation around digital coins, he said it would likely be on a country-by-country basis. "I would have a greater expectation for a series of national steps rather than some big coordinated approach."