Crypto market insider puts pressure back on regulators
The chief legal officer of Coinbase tasked regulators to get on the same page or risk sending startups overseas.
When the US House of Representatives got its turn for a Congressional hearing on cryptocurrencies this week, the industry insider returned the pressure applied by regulators during last month’s Senate hearing and in recent weeks. Even though the government isn’t expected to regulate cryptocurrencies anytime soon, the SEC has issued a strong warning to ICOs, exchanges have been given an ultimatum and FinCEN has called ICO developers to register as money transmitters.
Referencing the hodgepodge of treatments applied to cryptocurrencies by the different US enforcement agencies – securities in the SEC’s view, commodities to the CFTC, property according to the IRS and money if you ask FinCEN – Coinbase‘s Mike Lempres told lawmakers to coordinate better or innovative blockchain startups may up and leave American soil, according to a Bloomberg report.
Coin Center research director Peter Van Valkenburgh added that US-based startups are also subject to state regulations that multiply the duplication of license requirements dozens of times over and inflate costs.
Because of all the uncertainty, Coinbase has limited its exchange, Coinbase Pro, to listing only known virtual currencies as opposed to possible securities: bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
The hearing was hosted by the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities and Investment, which is part of the Committee on Financial Services.
Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency market has tumbled since the beginning of the year, when South Korea made headlines with rumors of a possible ban on cryptocurrency trading that turned out not to materialize. Ever since, government regulation has been a hot topic in the fast-moving space.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds XRP, CND, ANT and DRGN, and actively trades BTC and ETH.
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