The crypto industry is very controversial these days and discussions about the whole industry are booming in many countries. On June 15, 2021, the House Financial Services Committee’s Fintech working group held four major crypto hearings. Congress appears to be taking a closer look at cryptocurrency. The current crypto bull market, whether bitcoin is terrible for investors and great for criminals, and what politicians can or should do about it will be the subject of four hearings in June. to be clear, hearings have been going on for many years. What is new is that we are starting to focus on particular topics and forums.
Former presidential candidate and longtime supporter of consumer protections, Senator Elizabeth Warren, held a Senate subcommittee hearing on cryptocurrencies last week. On paper, the meeting was to take place on Central Bank digital currencies, but the real focus turned out to be bitcoin. It wasn’t a good hearing for bitcoin either.
Warren criticized bitcoin’s price volatility as well as some of the concerns consumers have about digital assets and the amount of energy needed to protect the bitcoin network. These are not brand issues. However, last week’s hearing plus three more scheduled for this month, implying that we are approaching a new level of regulatory awareness: the important events on the timeline are:
- Regulators are aware but not particularly concerned about the early days of bitcoin and we have seen advice from the Internal Revenue Service of FinCEN on how it will be managed.
- The ICO boom occurs and the Securities and Exchange Commission responds with the DAO report and following execution proceedings.
- More and more attention is being paid to stablecoins and regulations in this regard.
- The coronavirus outbreak erupts around the same time and authorities are starting to view central bank digital currencies as a regulated and government-controlled alternative to stablecoins.
- When it comes to platforms and regulation, this is also a hot topic of discussion. The regulations are not so strict when it comes to trading platforms, however, in the majority of states, betting and in this case crypto bet in the United States was under great pressure. However, Senate hearings highlighted dozens of cases where lawsuits were not protected and more and more people were getting involved in the betting process. These actions are one of the most important topics of discussion for today’s congressional audience.
On the regulatory front, there has been a lot of noise lately. It’s happening all over the world, not just in the United States, and it’s been a bit mind-boggling. What’s more interesting is that all of the metrics we’ve seen so far indicate that policymakers perceive crypto as something that can and should be regulated, but not something that can or should be banned. There are some important recent developments in the industry:
- FinCEN has announced that as part of its regulatory goals, it will complete its crypto-related anti-money laundering activities and regulations by the end of the year. Dozens of exchange apps are hovering without the proper regulation.
- Following a request from El Salvador, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration will establish a technical committee to help the Central American country determine how to enforce its bitcoin laws.
- Argentina’s central bank is investigating a number of fintech companies allegedly providing illegal crypto-related services. The identity of the companies was not disclosed by the bank.
- South Africa wants to strengthen the regulation of crypto companies and the digital asset industry in general, with its financial authority proposing anti-money laundering regulations and other measures to do so.
- After warming up earlier to the idea of using bitcoin as a financial tool, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said he wants to regulate cryptocurrency as soon as possible.
Emmer and the Congressional Blockchain Group are ask the IRS to revise his advice on charitable cryptocurrency donations. Tom Emmer wrote to the US tax collector again, this time asking for specific instructions on digital assets. After being passed by the State Senate, a New York crypto mining bill dies in the Assembly. A measure by the New York State assembly that would have essentially banned crypto mining operations has died.