U.S. Lawmakers Must Act Fast to Regulate Crypto Industry

U.S. Lawmakers Must Act Fast to Regulate Crypto Industry

The cryptocurrency industry is at a major crossroads, with regulators around the globe moving to enact rules for the 15-year-old industry. However, the United States is lagging behind in this regard, with fragmentation, frustration, and fighting among lawmakers and regulators.

The U.S. capital markets are the strongest and most liquid in the world largely because of their regulatory regime. However, when it comes to digital assets, the country is on a path to becoming one of the worst regulatory jurisdictions in the world. If the United States wants a piece of this growing global industry, legislators and regulators need to get their act together – and fast.

The current situation is one where rules are being made piecemeal, with per-state handling of digital assets such as New York's BitLicense, and inconsistent money transmission rules from state to state. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is denying all charters, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is implementing accounting rules that effectively block traditional financial institutions from participating in digital assets.

Instead, the SEC is leaning heavily into enforcement, which isn't a problem in and of itself. It's that the SEC isn't making it clear what firms are doing wrong. Groundbreaking firms, with few avenues of recourse available, are suing regulators just to get their questions answered.

Blocking digital assets in the United States doesn't stop the industry from moving forward. It simply puts American businesses at a competitive disadvantage. The United States must act quickly to regulate the industry and provide clarity to investors and businesses alike.

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