Italy boosts crypto risk oversight and toughens sanctions, draft shows


FILE PHOTO: Representations of cryptocurrencies are seen in this illustration, August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy plans to adopt measures to beef up surveillance over risks tied to cryptoassets, including high fines for those who manipulate the market, a draft decree reviewed by Reuters showed on Thursday.

The decree, due to be approved by cabinet later on Thursday, lays out fines of between 5,000 and 5 million euros ($5,400-$5.4 million) for insider trading, unlawful disclosure of inside information or market manipulation.

Central banks and international bodies have warned that cryptocurrencies have no underlying value and pose risks for macroeconomic and financial stability, with investigations around the world also showing they can pave the way to fraud.

The scheme, which moves within the framework laid out by a European regulation last year, designates Italy's central bank and market watchdog Consob as the authorities overseeing cryptocurrency activities to preserve financial stability and grant an "orderly functioning of markets."

Cryptocurrencies enable people to send money around the world without using the mainstream financial system.

The underlying blockchain technology creates a record of transactions where senders and receivers are identified only by their wallet addresses, which are a string of letters and numbers.

($1 = 0.9332 euros)

(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and Angelo Amante; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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