The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday edition that the meltdown of QuadrigaCX has prompted calls to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges. The Globe's Barrie McKenna writes that the problem here is that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not money. Mr. McKenna says Quadriga's customers were warned about the dangers. At the peak of the hype over cryptocurrencies in late 2017, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz dropped his usual cautious tone on policy issues with this stark warning: "The term 'cryptocurrency' is a misnomer -- crypto, yes, but currency, no. ... For something to be considered a currency, it must act as a reliable store of value, and you should be able to spend it easily. These instruments possess neither of these characteristics, so they do not constitute money." For that reason, the BOC has no role in regulating cryptocurrencies. The total value of crypto assets stashed around the world is now estimated at $230-billion, according to the BOC. While regulators should keep a wary eye on cryptocurrency trading, the focus should be on enforcing existing laws -- including fraud, money laundering and terrorism financing -- not on imposing new rules to protect investors, who should know better.
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