White House: Crypto Regulations Not Imminent

Some good news  inside the crypto world: A White House official charged with cybersecurity said cryptocurrency regulation is unlikely to appear in the near future.

Rob Joyce, cybersecurity coordinator and special assistant to the president, was quoted by CNBC while at the Munich Security Conference.

“I think we’re still absolutely studying and understanding what the good ideas and bad ideas in that [cryptocurrency] space are. So I don’t think it’s close,” Joyce said.

While not the full sign of approval that the cryptocurrency community has been hoping for, the honest portrayal of where the White House’s thinking is on cryptocurrency was still a welcome relief.

This news comes two weeks after a hearing by the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Feb. 6 that went much better than expected.  

“It’s amazing that nine years after the Satoshi white paper, you’ve got senators talking about this [stuff] and not pooh-poohing it,” said Stephen Palley, an attorney for Washington, D.C.-based law firm Anderson Kill. 

Right now it seems that the White House’s main concern regarding cryptocurrency is the illegal activity that is surrounding it, and has surrounded it, since its inception.

Joyce went on to say that the irreversible nature of a Bitcoin transaction is worrisome.

“We are worried. There are benefits to the Bitcoin concept — digital cash, digital currencies. 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.”

“We haven’t figured that out yet, so it’s a problem,” Joyce said.

Clampdown calls

This more measured approached to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency at large has not been mirrored by all of the countries within the international finance community.

French Finance Minister Bruno le Maire and interim German Finance Minister Peter Altmaier have called for a comprehensive crypto clampdown.

Their main concern is the potential for global financial instability.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has said that she is researching cryptocurrencies “very seriously” because “of the way they are used, particularly by criminals.”

On the other hand countries, such as Switzerland, have publicly stated they want to become a “crypto nation.”