Expect continued conversations about cryptocurrency regulation. Lawmakers in Washington D.C. and across the world are trying to figure out how to establish laws and guidelines to make cryptocurrency safer for investors and less appealing to cybercriminals.
“Regulation is probably one of the biggest overhangs in the crypto industry globally,” says Jeffrey Wang, head of the Americas at Amber Group, a Canada-based crypto finance firm. “We would very much welcome clear regulation.”
China announced in September that all cryptocurrency transactions in the country are illegal, effectively putting the brakes on any crypto-related activities within Chinese borders. In the U.S., things are less clear. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said recently that he has “no intention” of banning cryptocurrency in the U.S while Security and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler has consistently commented on both his own agency’s and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s role in policing the industry.
Gensler recently went so far as to say investors are “likely to get hurt” if stricter regulation is not introduced. Plus, the IRS has an obvious interest in making sure investors know how to report virtual currency when they file their taxes.
Like most things with cryptocurrency, regulation comes with hurdles. “There are different agencies that may or may not have jurisdiction to oversee everything,” says Wang. “And it differs state by state.”