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23 October 2021
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“American regulators must stimulate development, not brake development”

The status of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) is in many cases still unclear in the United States. Proponents of innovation are of the opinion that the US should not fall behind in the crypto race, and that supervisors should therefore give the industry more room.

Thomas W. Hodge, a lawyer at Brock & Scott PLLC and founder of Crypto and Policy, believes that the US has always stimulated technological innovation instead of slowing it down. Even with the developments in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain, the US can not stop innovation, says Hodge:

Nowadays we see many new technologies emerging: artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and perhaps most importantly, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, which will change the way we live our lives – from banking to voting […] Simply put, the United States can can not afford to lose their place as a leader in crypto.

Hodge hopes that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will quickly change its position on cryptocurrency. The SEC is the stock exchange regulator in the US and decides for example about the approval of Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds. Such an ETF is expected to cause an influx of new institutional money to the crypto market, resulting in growth and further developments. So far, however, the regulator has rejected all Bitcoin ETF applications.

Hester Peirce, Commissioner at the SEC, is one of the few within the agency positive about the technology. According to her, the SEC is the supervisor of an important industry:

We regulate a sector that is an important gatekeeper for progress and productivity in the rest of the economy.

Peirce therefore advocates regulation that can be applied more effectively to the cryptocurrency industry. The SEC currently assesses two Bitcoin ETFs, one from VanEck and one from Bitwise. We will not see until late 2019, and only in 2020, whether Peirce could tempt the SEC to walk a more crypto-friendly path.

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