One of the big bubbles in the world at the moment is the massive growth of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO's). At its heart this a business of issuing tokens that are pretending to be money. The tokens are promoted and some go up in value and some down. It is a new ear of electronic store/deletion of value.
However this past few months the Icarus phenomenon has struck, even China is thinking about cracking down on this multi-billion dollar industry. Japan this week has said it is considering next steps.
The USA has one a whole lot further, the SEC is now issuing subpoenas and demanding info from the coin offer companies.
The key issue, is that ICO's have thus far managed to sneak around the huge regulatory barrier of the Finance sector, by only pretending to be money and in reality being software they have skated the old rulings. Of course, to their customers they are a form of money. It's very clever and of course has been exploited at length.
Finally though, now the bubble is very toppy, the regulators are getting their act together. However, noticeable is the EU and also UK, being much slower to act. yes, Mark Carney and the Bank fo England as ever are calling investors 'fools' and such like (none of us have the spectacular BOE pension fund to look forward to though, do we?), but they have not really done anything.
The EU and UK are primarily concerned about money laundering - as always their main fear is they maybe losing tax revenues somewhere. So the focus is on how transactions can be monitored and KYC checks done.
The US and others have a more fundamental approach, that is are many of the currencies even vaguely legitimate or are many of them just complex frauds to hoover up money from retail investors?
Of course, in the short term this may lead London and Frankfurt/Berlin to become crypto-central for a small while which is a decent bump to our growing FinTech industry, but we would have to question the benefits of this. London hardly needs to host yet more ways of either money laundering or ripping off people with financial scams - already it is a world beater at both.