Updated Apr 14, 2022 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on crypto regulation

On Thursday, April 14th, Axios crypto reporter Brady Dale and fintech reporter Lucinda Shen explored the most consequential trends in cryptocurrency and examined what’s next for the regulatory framework, featuring George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School associate professor of law J.W. Verret and Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito.

J.W. Verret explained whether the executive order on cryptocurrency changed what the SEC is doing on crypto, the arguments against bitcoin ETFs and why there is so much focus on the industry right now.

  • On the effects of Biden’s crypto executive order: “I don’t think the executive order changed anything with respect to the SEC…I think Gary Gensler knows exactly what he wants to do, and he’s going to use this executive order maybe to give him cover for what he sort of planned to do anyways.”
  • On why the crypto industry is receiving so much attention: “I think that governments are trying to figure out what to do with crypto, and on the one hand, they’re always afraid of something new and afraid of something unregulated. But the Treasury Department and certainly anti-money laundering regulators around the world have understood that bitcoin and other blockchains with pseudonymous transactions are easily traceable for organizations.”

Jerry Brito discussed how the current administration compares to previous ones regarding crypto acceptance, the impacts of the increase in crypto-focused lobbyists in D.C. and outlooks for a crypto crackdown.

  • On the increase in crypto lobbyists as the industry grows: “On one hand, it’s super useful to have more allies where our interests align. We can collaborate and work well together on different issues. But at the same time, you did have a big explosion in a very short period of time, and so you have a lot of folks who are sort of government affairs professionals who maybe don’t have an extensive crypto background coming in.”
  • On outlooks for a regulatory crypto crackdown: “I have been surprised at the SEC for so much rhetoric that we’ve seen out of this SEC and this administration, there have been relatively few enforcement actions. You would expect more, but I keep waiting and I don’t see any.”

In the View from the Top segment, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse emphasized the lack of regulatory clarity on cryptocurrency as an emerging technology in the U.S. in comparison to other countries.

  • “I think the U.S., way back in the late ‘90s, provided that clarity and certainty as it related to the internet, the internet we use today, and it allowed the U.S. to thrive and be a leader in how the internet grew. I think that same opportunity exists today as it relates to blockchain and crypto, and so far the U.S. has been a laggard when they could be a leader.”

Thank you Ripple for sponsoring this event.

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