Welcome back to the Tribe! In this post we discuss democratic senator Wyden’s stance on crypto and the upcoming crackdown.
Nothing should be considered investment or financial advice. Enjoy the ride!
A senior Democrat senator has called for American regulators to consider more crypto-friendly regulatory policies rather than champion rigid laws and intense crackdowns on the burgeoning industry of digital assets. The comments come months after SEC official Gary Gensler likened crypto to the wild west.
Senator Wyden Likens Crypto to the Internet’s Early Days
Financial Times reported that a senior American senator and Democrat opined that party members and regulators alike should be open-minded regarding cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets. According to the chair of the Senate finance committee, Ron Wyden, crypto is much like the internet and could pave the way for a better worldwide economy.
Wyden suggests that a crackdown on the emerging crypto industry might ostracize a growing portion of institutional investors and private investors alike. The senator’s comments come shortly after reports emerged that some top-ranking members of the Joe Biden administration have plans to propose anti-crypto policies by targeting unregulated crypto transactions.
According to the reports, the officials also suggest that activities carried out by platforms such as Coinbase and FTX should be limited, and fall under the purview of strict laws.
Wyden, who is credited as a key player in establishing fair U.S. internet regulations said that legislature should look to side with innovations. The senior senator added that:
“There is obviously a debate [about stricter regulation] but I want to be on the side of the innovator. When I think about crypto I think about remittances or somebody who has a kid 1,000 miles away and wants to get them help in an emergency, rather than going through scores of banks, credit card companies…I keep looking for innovations”
U.S. Stance on Crypto
Comments from Wyden are reportedly in direct opposition to previous rhetoric from other party members and some U.S. regulatory officials. Back in August 2021, American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) boss Gary Gensler asked Congress to grant the SEC additional power to police cryptocurrencies and supposedly protect investors.
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, Gensler opined that the crypto markets are much like the “wild west, rife with fraud, scams, and abuse”. The SEC top official added that crypto regulation must be given legislative priority in order to ensure the best protection for consumers.
While reaffirming the agency’s dedication to regulating crypto assets, Gensler pointed out that the SEC currently has limited tools to provide adequate oversight. The SEC boss also said that existing policies fall short of ensuring broad-based regulatory infrastructure for the crypto industry. An excerpt from Gensler’s comments read:
“There are some gaps in this space. We need additional congressional authorities to prevent transactions, products and platforms from falling between regulatory cracks. I also think we need more resources.”
As of the time of writing this report, it remains unclear what stand the U.S. Congress could take regarding digital assets and how to regulate virtual asset service providers (VASPs). However, considering the current geopolitical uncertainty in Ukraine, some crypto proponents have surmised that the regulatory hammer could fall hard on crypto.
COINBASE SANCTIONS RUSSIA
Coinbase, one of the top cryptocurrency exchanges is the first to comply with the directive. The freeze was not arbitrary as the exchange earlier agreed to freeze only accounts owned by individuals in the sanction list.
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