The Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Heath Tarbert, has publicly stated that the crypto space could result in a fundamental transformational change to the global finance industry and that the United States should lead in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology rather than impeding it.
This statement comes hot on the heels of Chinese President Xi Jinping calling for China to become a leader in blockchain technology. Right before that, the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, warned Congress that if the Libra project was blocked then China would do something similar, and the United States would miss out on a major opportunity.
Tarbert notes how stablecoins and other crypto and blockchain projects are regulated by both the federal government, which includes multiple agencies which have jurisdiction in the sector including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Department of Justice (DoJ), as well as different regulations from each of the 51 states.
This has created a confusing regulatory situation, where different agencies are essentially putting out conflicting laws. The impact has definitely been felt in the crypto space, with the initial coin offering (ICO) industry grounding to a halt, and new coins having a difficult or impossible time of launching in general due to securities laws.
Tarbert goes on to say “I want to at least create an environment where innovation can flourish, and whatever risks there are, we’re able to mitigate those.” Essentially, Tarbert is calling for the rest of the government to come together so that the positive aspects of the crypto space can flourish, while carefully controlling negative aspects, unlike the current situation where the entire crypto space is being persistently suppressed by regulations regardless of how beneficial a project is.
Tarbert is not alone. Warren Davidson, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, has proposed the Token Taxonomy Act which would take jurisdiction over the crypto space away from the SEC. If this bill would pass, new crypto projects could start flourishing again, although there is no sign that this bill will pass anytime soon.
Hopefully, more politicians join the ranks of Tarbert and Davidson in trying to make the United States a leader in the crypto space since as of now most crypto projects are launching outside of the country due to harsh regulations.