Impact of Administration Change on the Digital Asset Industry
At Tuesday’s Global Investor Conference, CrossTower President and Co-Founder Kristin Boggiano spoke with Matt Kulkin, partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s and former director of the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO), to tackle pressing topics within the digital asset industry. Topics included what new legislation and regulatory developments that might result with the new U.S. presidential administration, the significance of the STABLE Act, the possibility of a digital dollar and the other exciting things that may be in store for the digital assets industry in 2021 and beyond.
Matt and Kristin kicked off with a discussion of the potential changes the SEC, CFTC and Congress could make related to the digital asset industry following the change in the U.S. Presidential administration. As the interest in digital assets continues to grow, Kristin noted that we have gained some clarity from regulators to date but further clarity is needed. She said that regulators are eager to receive input from the industry. They discussed what will happen when the new administration comes into office. Matt commented: “Things will change, and it will probably start around the edges. The SEC and CFTC will likely continue along a similar trajectory with a strong focus on enforcement, anti-fraud and anti-manipulation, but stick within their mandate and mission.”
The STABLE Act
Kristin addressed the recently introduced Stablecoin Tethering and Bank Licensing Enforcement (STABLE) Act, which would require stablecoins to secure bank charters and other regulatory approvals. Matt suspects that the bill is unlikely to pass but that it brings issues to the table at a national scale. He said that he hopes that Congress will understand the real benefit of cryptocurrencies. “Crypto can help people gain access to financial tools they may not otherwise have,” he said.
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)
Kristin and Matt then discussed the potential introduction of a digital dollar, commending Christopher Giancarlo and Daniel Gorfine who are pushing CBDCs forward for the industry. Matt offered that while these decisions take a great deal of time, “It’s a question of when, not if, in terms of seeing something come forward like a digital dollar.” Commenting on the United States’ ability to collectively move the industry forward, Kristin said: “There are so many competing regulatory issues and agencies that ideally, I would like to see one person from each agency come together to make this a clean and quick process.”
What’s in Store
Now more than ever, it is an exciting time for the digital asset industry. Matt said he enjoys his practice as a partner at Steptoe: “It’s fun to work with creative, innovative companies that have ideas for this industry. What has changed the most in the past five years is the appreciation for regulation and there is much more acceptance about trying to operate in a regulatory compliant manner.” Kristin echoed Matt’s sentiment, stating: “It’s terrific when regulators are asking more people to have a seat at the table. While it can be difficult to find the time to provide input, it would be extremely helpful if we can put pen to paper and respond to issues when regulators ask.”
Watch the Full Interview Here:
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