- Private sector participation is critical in the digital asset business.
- The US government is seeking public input on how to regulate cryptocurrencies.
- More than 10,000 comments are submitted to FinCEN by the crypto sector.
In recent years, digital assets have exploded in popularity. As the popularity of digital assets has grown, so has the interest from government regulators.
The US government is seeking public input on how to regulate cryptocurrencies. Back in 2018, the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) had requested comments from the public on the use of digital assets.
Recent announcements on May 19, 2022, confirm that an executive order directs the secretary of commerce, in consultation with the secretary of state, the secretary of the treasury, and the heads of any other agencies, to establish a framework for enhancing U.S economic competitiveness in leveraging of digital asset technologies. On Thursday, the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration issued a notice asking for public input for this framework.
According to industry experts, private sector participation is critical in the digital asset business. The notice comes as the US government is stepping up its scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry. Notably, more than 10,000 comments were submitted to the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network by the cryptocurrency sector.
The notice from FinCEN also indicates that the US government is seeking to increase its oversight of the cryptocurrency industry. In March, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a website to track “potentially unlawful online platforms for trading digital assets.” The SEC has also issued subpoenas to a number of cryptocurrency companies over the years, including Coinbase, Ripple, and Telegram.
Reports indicate that the US government’s crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry is in contrast with its approach to the traditional financial sector. For example, while FinCEN has fined banks for violating anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, it has not taken this lenient approach with crypto companies. This has led to criticism from some quarters that the US government is singling out the cryptocurrency industry for regulation.