Federal government could be taking stab at regulating cryptocurrency as it grows more popular
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The federal government estimates 40 million people have invested in, traded or used cryptocurrencies. As more people are interested, the president is directing the government to research digital currency.
President Biden signed an executive order on March 9, directing the federal government to look into the risks of cryptocurrency, as well as their benefits, and it involves multiple federal departments.
The U.S. Treasury, Department of Commerce, Secretary of the Treasury and Federal Reserve are among the organizations looking into digital assets.
Dr. Rob Tennant, an assistant professor of accounting at Texas A&M University Central Texas said there’s been some discussion of an order like this for about six months.
According to a fact sheet released by the White House, there are six main goals: consumer and investor protection, address illicit use of digital assets, promote U.S. leadership and competitiveness in digital currency, promote equitable access to safe and affordable services, support safe and responsible technological advances and explore the possibility of a digital U.S. currency.
Dr. Tennant said many people who are involved in cryptocurrency likely won’t appreciate the federal government stepping into possibly regulate the industry. He added this is the only area of investment that isn’t really regulated at this time.
“It’s not surprising that it’s happening,” Dr. Tennant said. “It’s reminiscent of when people used to purchase things on the internet, and they didn’t pay state sales tax or states sales and use tax throughout the country, and that only went on for so long, and then the wild west was tamed.”
Dr. Tennant said at this time, the order is merely exploratory.
“It’s not like there’s any plans that have been hard set, there’s no rules,” Dr. Tennant said. “There’s no regulations that have been imposed, and it’s going to take some time for it to work its way out to find out what is going to be suggested and put into place.”
According to CBS, the price of most popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, either fell or remained flat during trading on Friday. Dr. Tennant said it will be difficult to see what the true impact of the order will be on cryptocurrency, at least until more detailed initiatives are unveiled.
Earlier this year, we took a look at what cryptocurrency is and how it works. You can find those stories linked below.
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