MC: crypto congressman may be chief of staff, but US falling behind in regs

Cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts were excited about the announcement that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, a longtime supporter of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, was set to become interim White House chief of staff before the end of 2018. As a congressman, Mulvaney was a co-founder of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus.

But when it comes to actually embracing cryptocurrencies, the US has been generally skeptical. As a recent opinion piece in the Harvard Business Review by law firm Jones Day blockchain initiative leaders Stephen J. Obie and Mark W. Rasmussen noted: “Without clear regulations, cryptocurrency innovation in the United States is being stifled. Entrepreneurs sit on the sidelines for fear of innocently running afoul of the law. Investors, meanwhile, hang back because of uncertainty regarding valuations. And the commonweal suffers, as other countries lure innovators away from the United States by creating rules that make their jurisdictions more hospitable to this growing asset class.”

That was one of the arguments made by US Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Pierce in her July dissent from an SEC decision refusing permission to create a Bitcoin-based exchange-traded product (ETP), a security that would track the value of the cryptocurrency. She wrote that the decision “preclud[es] approval of cryptocurrency-based ETPs for the foreseeable future,” and “demonstrates a skeptical view of innovation, which may have an adverse effect on investor protection, efficiency, competition, and capital formation well beyond this particular product.”

Media outlet Modern Consensus provides an overview of how crypto regulations and developments are moving forward in jurisdictions within Europe, Asia and the Persian Gulf.

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