Crypto market insider puts pressure back on regulators |

Crypto market insider puts pressure back on regulators

Ryan Brinks 14 March 2018 NEWS

At House hearing, crypto insiders turn the table and call out 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.

Yet even as Lempres urged a consolidation of regulatory authority, the founders of fellow exchange Gemini threw another option on the table: a proposal for an industry-led self-regulatory body.

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.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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Picture: Katherine Welles/Shutterstock

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