If the latest comments from heads of various regulatory bodies are to be believed, the United States is not going to suppress the cryptocurrencies. At the Consensus 2018 conference held in New York, top officials agreed taht while they will keep a close eye on the market and products, but with the intention of making it more credible and secure – and not to suppress it.
The panel discssuion was held on Tuesday this week, where James McDonald, executive director of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Robert Cohen, deputy director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s law enforcement network, and Associate Deputy Attorney General Sujit Raman participated. The discussion revolved around the cryptocurrency market, blockchain, and regulation.
While the aforementioned officials claimed to be representing their own self, and not the institution, still their personal comments were very encouraging. They agreed on encouraging the innovative products powered by blockchain and maintaining a no interference policy unless someone tries to commit fraud, deceit or theft.
Both Cohen and Macdonald said that their institutions (CFTC & SEC) are “open-ended” to the token sale and related products.
According to Cohen: “The SEC has been openly talking with people and employees in the industry, understanding their ideas, exploring new developments and new technologies. The committee encourages the way to raise funds, we will not supervise the technology, but will only supervise the financial industry and the market.”
James McDonald, while elaborating the specifics of financial industry regulation and implementation of this strategy, said: “Our mission is to foster financially sound markets, and we understand as a regulator that requires a certain amount of [flexibility] in our approach. We’re doing it in a way that doesn’t hinder innovation.”
Both of them generally agreed on encouraging the industry to innovate and bring in disruptive fintech products – and reiterated their respective intuition’s commitment to the core objective with clear mention of the flashpoints.
The Attorney General was assertive in claiming that his ministry has a fundamental role to play, and that is protecting the people and investors from any kind of fraud.
He said: “The first priority for the Department of Justice is to keep people safe. One concern we have for the larger virtual currency space is large sums of money are flowing through the market without touching financial institutions…. From a national security perspective or an anti-money laundering perspective, that’s something we have to investigate.”
While there were some questions and concerns (raised) by the industry people, the general feedback from the event was very positive. The fundamental demand of the participants was to have clarity and transparency in regulatory guidance. While they agree on regulator’s interference to check the fraud, they demand clear guidance on how to avoid those beforehand.
Another note of the event is that – the industry has realized the importance of fundamental regulatory guidance, as it’s showing acceptance as long as it doesn’t disturb the core practice and idea of decentralization.
(Panel Image: By Nikhilesh De for CoinDesk)