03/22/2018 11:25 EDT | Updated 03/22/2018 12:02 EDT

Need global alignment on cryptocurrency policy, BoC deputy governor says

TORONTO — The Bank of Canada's senior deputy governor is calling for authorities to work toward a coherent set of globally aligned policies governing cryptocurrencies.

Carolyn Wilkins told a University of Toronto conference that such a strategy will need to cover risks in both cash and derivatives products, as well as the related ecosystems.

She referred to cryptocurrencies as "crypto assets", rather than currencies because "they do not perform any of the key functions of money." Her concern, she noted, was with the product and not the underlying digital ledger technology, which the central bank is testing.

She cautions that although activity involving cryptocurrencies might be too small to be systemic, at some point they could have financial stability implications.

Wilkins says that risk raises concerns about investor protection, market integrity and the use of crypto assets in illegal activities.

Her comments come after the central bank governor raised concerns earlier this year about cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.

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