U.S. regulators don’t want to hold back blockchain innovation

25 May, 2018

During CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference in New York, a panel of U.S. regulators discussed their feelings toward cryptocurrency innovation and regulation, as well as the role their agencies will play in its development.

The panel at Consensus 2018 was made up of Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) enforcement director James McDonald, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Division Cyber Unit chief Robert Cohen and Associate Deputy Attorney General Sujit Raman. The group participated in a discussion on enforcement activities during the event.

The panel was joined by Kiran Raj, chief strategy officer at cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, and Steve Bunnell acted as moderator during the discussion.

The regulators, who were sure to state they were giving their own personal opinions and not speaking on behalf of their respective agencies, all agreed they did not want to interfere with blockchain innovation or the currencies relying on the technology.

What the regulators had to say

As far as regulating the space, McDonald 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 and doesn’t interfere with other regulatory priorities.”

Raj, voicing his concerns about regulatory clarity, said there seems to be some confusion for those who want to partake in token sales. He urged the panel to clear up these issues.

McDonald assured Raj that the CFTC is working to create more clarity. “We’re careful not to be putting ourselves out there in the same way that the policy divisions would be but the policy divisions are having conversations with market participants,” he said. Both McDonald and Cohen said their agencies are working with individuals in the industry to create constructive regulatory practices.

Raman added that the DOJ’s role in crypto regulation would only involve cases in which there was a potential threat to America.

The meeting can be seen as a positive step forward for cryptocurrencies. If regulators are on board with further developing blockchain technology and leaving innovation unhindered, then innovators and investors can rest easy for now.



Image via Pixabay.

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