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Global crypto regulation takes a different turn in Q2 2023

TL;DR

  • While the technologies underlying blockchain, crypto, and tokenization continue to evolve rapidly, the regulatory frameworks of different nations continue to evolve.
  • SEC crypto regulation dubbed Chockpoint 2.0 has caused legitimate digital asset players to move offshore.
  • Investors see BTC ETFs filing by BlackRock and the PayPay stablecoin to be a regulatory turning point for crypto-USA.
  • Crypto market regulators point out that regulatory clarity for digital assets is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

Just when investors thought they had the crypto rulebook figured out, Q2 2023 swoops in with a plot twist even the most seasoned regulators didn’t see coming. It’s as if crypto regulation entities such as the SEC decided to trade its traditional playbook for a pair of roller skates – unexpected, a bit wobbly, but undeniably a rollercoaster. 

Here is the whirlwind of changes that left even the experts scratching their heads and the crypto world holding onto its digital hat.

Crypto regulation continues to be a headache

While the technologies underlying blockchain, digital assets, and tokenization continue to evolve rapidly, the regulatory frameworks of different countries continue to evolve. Some regions have ambiguous regulatory frameworks, whereas others are establishing a clear regulatory stance.

The digital asset space requires pillars of trust through regulatory certainty to codify benefits for investors, thereby enabling the community to flourish and function in a secure manner over time.

Technical advancements and the proliferation of new applications have characterized crypto bull markets. Surprisingly, as the technology has matured, regulatory clarity has been a significant driver of digital asset markets since the inception of this asset class.

Japan’s acceptance of digital assets, as a payment method in 2016 was a significant factor in the 2016-2017 bull market. Significantly, a series of interpretive letters from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the primary U.S. bank regulator, that gave financial institutions confidence to engage with digital assets, in 2020 was an undeniable catalyst for the 2021 surge.

The value of crypto has grown to the point where regulatory clarity is critical for the next potential bull market, and the dynamics are becoming more complex as the stakes rise. 

The casual observer may be surprised by the sheer number of regions around the world attempting to attract DeFi businesses and innovators by offering clear and understandable regulations. However, when you comprehend that this is a USD trillion dollar industry – regularity clarity begins to make sense.

2023 crypto regulation advancements

These are just a few of the major developments in 2023 thus far:

In June, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) began accepting applications for licenses to operate crypto trading platforms. June also saw the introduction of a stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar, although retail access is presently restricted.

Japan, perhaps encouraged by its stringent regulatory regime that protected customers even during the FTX collapse, published a Web3 white paper in April to create a friendlier environment for digital assets and reversed its position on taxing unrealized capital gains in June.

After three years of deliberation among European policymakers, the world’s third-largest economy eventually published the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) law in its official registrar last June, with the majority of provisions coming into effect by the end of 2024.

The British upper house recently passed a bill to regulate digital assets and stablecoins, which will now be considered by the lower house. Large crypto venture capital firm a16z chose London for its first office due to the city’s crypto-friendly posture.

On the other hand, it is difficult to deny that the United States lags behind other financial jurisdictions in providing industry-desired regulatory clarity.

Due to what many believed to be a coordinated effort, the industry dubbed Operation Chokepoint 2.0, the lack of U.S. banking access was a significant impediment to the operations of DeFi firms earlier this year.

Beyond the welcome pursuit of bad actors, the SEC’s engagement with the crypto industry has created pervasive uncertainty around applicable crypto regulation, causing legitimate players to move offshore.

Crypto regulation in America takes a turn

However, there are early indications that the tide is turning for crypto in the United States.

Mid-June’s Blackrock spot BTC ETF filing marked the beginning of the most compelling series of such fillings to date. The SEC has also signaled its willingness to permit futures-based ETH ETFs. Recently, measures addressing crypto market structure and stablecoins have received bipartisan support in their respective committees. 

PayPal has just announced a stablecoin for payments based on the Ethereum blockchain. Each of these events suggests that key industry actors or legislators are working to improve the regulatory status of cryptocurrencies in the United States.

Regulatory clarity for digital assets is no longer a luxury but a necessity. The good news is that the balance of events in 2023 is heavily skewed toward the positive in a number of important jurisdictions. The bad news is that we likely have a long and meandering road ahead of us to get the industry where it wants and deserves to be. 

Even if the market structure and stablecoins proposals pass the House in the United States, they will likely face opposition from the Senate and the White House during a national election year.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Florence Muchai

Florence is a crypto enthusiast and writer who loves to travel. As a digital nomad, she explores the transformative power of blockchain technology. Her writing reflects the limitless possibilities for humanity to connect and grow.

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