US financial institutions are going to play a more active role in regulating $ 1.5 a ton cryptocurrency market, amid growing concerns that a lack of proper control endangers savers and investors.
The new effort reflects a rift with the Trump administration, which in some cases has encouraged the use of cryptocurrencies in the financial system. But they may take time to bear fruit, as US regulators struggle to determine who has the legal authority to control an volatile market.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Michael Hsun, who was appointed acting currency controller this month, said he hoped US officials would work together to set a “regulatory framework” for cryptocurrencies.
“It really comes down to coordinating between agencies,” said Hsun, who heads the Treasury Bureau overseeing national banks. “Just talking to some of my peers, there is an interest in coordinating these many.”
Pt ice currencies have been rolling around this year. The price of Bitcoin rose in February Tesla co-founder Elon Musk He said the company had plowed $ 1.5 billion in cryptocurrency and reached a record high of more than $ 60,000 in April.
But: the price fell After Chinese regulators signaled against the use of digital coins, while Musk reversed the move by allowing Bitcoin to be paid for Tesla cars, citing environmental concerns. Other cryptocurrencies have had similar volatility.
One sign of the new US approach came this month with the first meeting of the Interagency Crystal Sprint team, which involved the three leading federal regulators of banks: Hsu Currency Supervisor Office, Federal Reserve և Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Hsun says the team’s goal was not to develop a policy, but to “put some ideas in front of the agencies that need to be considered” as they try to achieve it. cryptocurrencys:
“It’s too young,” he said of the Hsun working group. “The idea is that time matters, և if it’s too big, it gets harder.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission also discussed how to protect investors in the crypto market.
Last week, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler told the House committee that “there are gaps in our current system,” pointing to the need for legislation to clarify which regulator should oversee cryptocurrencies.
Gensler said his goal was to “provide protection on exchanges where you sell crypto assets, as you would expect on a New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq.”
Gensler said the Treasury Department was focused on “protecting itself from money laundering and illegal activities” in the crypto market. Finance Minister Jan Annette Yellen said he feared that bitcoin was being used “often for illegal financing”.
By placing Hsu in the OCC, Yellen also signaled a change in approach to cryptography. In his own words, Hsun is “a civil servant of my career, a bank supervisor.” Under Donald Trump, his predecessors at the OCC included former Coinbase cryptocurrency lawyer Brian Brooks, who is now CEO of Binance. US: Competitive cryptocurrency exchange.
As one of Hsu’s first actions at the OCC, he asked staff to reconsider the Trump-era decision to issue national trust regulations to companies that hold cryptocurrencies.
Although Hsu believes there is no turning back from innovations such as blockchain technology used in cryptocurrencies, he told Congress this month that the current enthusiasm for banking innovation reminds him of the years before the financial crisis.
The danger is that new, improved technology will lead to a “larger, less regulated shadow banking system.” Today, fintech և technology platforms are developing payment processing tools that “make great promises,” he said, “but they are risks.”
“It’s hard for me not to feel deja vu,” he told the Legislature.