Whether it’s now or later, the Federal government is absolutely eying ways to assure that the emerging Fintech market is controlled and regulated.
Under the guise of protecting people from themselves, the intention is mostly to assure the Federal government gets their cut from voluntary transactions between two entities, as well as assure that the Fintech market does not too successfully provide individuals with the tools to disentangle from the coercive enterprise systems that dominate finance today.
Congress is looking at ways to regulate fintech, cryptocurrency, in a manner that allows for the coercive enterprise to enjoy the benefits of fintech, without being vulnerable to the risks (from a coercive enterprise perspective) of Fintech.
With an international bitcoin craze up and running, Congress is taking a closer look at how it can gain better oversight procedures for an asset class that has come from nowhere. Support for the measure has the rare stamp of bipartisan approval.
“There’s no question about the fact that there is a need for a regulatory framework,” said Republican Senator Mike Rounds, a Senate Banking Committee member.
Cryptocurrency regulation today is something of a patchwork of regulatory oversight, as it is a duty shared by the SEC, CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and individual states. The result of the “everyone is responsible for bitcoin” structure of current regulation means that, in practice, no one is responsible for bitcoin — and speculative trading and investing has flourished in the legally grey environment.
Virtual currencies are not new, but the speculation in them is very new — and took off to an explosive degree in late 2017.
But the government is catching up with the issue — and deciding what agencies should be running point on the problem.
“The SEC is properly the lead on the issue,” said Republican Representative Bill Huizenga, chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, which will hold hearings on the issue in coming weeks. “Six months ago, we didn’t see this explosion. The marketplace has changed,” he said.
“We have to look carefully at all of the cryptocurrencies and make sure individuals don’t get taken advantage of,” said Representative Tom MacArthur, a House Financial Services Committee Republican.