A major US government security figure recently stated that regulation of cryptocurrencies by Washington is not “close,” CNBC reports Feb. 16.
In comments which echo those from various US regulatory circles this year, special assistant to the president and White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce told the Munich Security Conference Friday that plans were still in the “studying” phase.
“I think we’re still absolutely studying and understanding what the good ideas and bad ideas in that space are,” he said on the topic. “So, I don’t think it’s close.”
Bitcoin circles reacted positively to the decision by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to adopt a hands-off approach to crypto regulation going forward.
Statements by chairmen Jay Clayton (SEC) and Christopher Giancarlo (CFTC) earlier in February made clear that foul play involving cryptocurrencies is the authorities’ main preoccupation, while the phenomenon itself would be treated as inherently unwanted.
Joyce also stated that crime involving cryptocurrencies was a “worry,” despite increasing evidence that such criminal activity is not as widespread as many fear.
“We are worried. There are benefits to the bitcoin concept – digital cash, digital currencies,” he continued. “But at the same time, if you look at the way bitcoin works after there is a criminal act that takes place, you can’t rewind the clock and take back that currency.”
Bitcoin’s traceability has meant malicious parties run an increased risk of being found, while other cases involving altcoins are also far from watertight for criminals, as the ongoing investigation into last month’s Coincheck exchange hack demonstrates.
March meanwhile is likely to see multiple countries raise the regulation question as part of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires.