Regulation is desperately needed in the cryptocurrency space to protect against money laundering and other financial crimes, similar to requirements placed on the traditional banking industry, according to a panel of regulators and bank CEOs at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. However, watchdogs need to be careful not to legitimise “purely speculative” activity in their quest to rein in the industry hit by several high-profile failures, such as the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, said Tharman Shanmugaratnam, chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. “Some things are very clear, whether it’s cryptocurrency or traditional finance. You’ve got to regulate for things like money laundering,” Tharman said on a panel discussing banking in today’s uncertain environment in Davos, Switzerland. “Beyond that, if you have to think about regulating cryptocurrency, the same way we regulate banks, insurance companies for prudential reasons, for financial stability reasons, I think we have to take a step back and ask the basic philosophical question: does that legitimise something that is inherently purely speculative and, in fact, slightly crazy?