Regulating cryptocurrencies is not straightforward by any means. Various governments around the world are focusing their attention on achieving this goal. The US Justice Department is currently working on a so-called “comprehensive strategy”. It is a bit unclear what this entails exactly. We do know the road ahead will not be easy.
The US Justice Department and Cryptocurrencies
Given the global popularity of various cryptocurrencies, it’s not surprising regulation becomes a hot topic again. This industry remained largely unregulated for several years now. It seems the US Justice Department wants to spearhead drafting up a regulatory framework for this new form of money. They are not the only party involved, though. Discussions during the recent Financial Services Round-table eventually turned to Bitcoin and various altcoins.
It is quite evident regulating cryptocurrency is not easy. This nascent industry poses a lot of different challenges. The Justice Department needs to find a balance between being lenient and providing a proper framework. None of the traditional laws seemingly apply to cryptocurrency as of right now. None of these currencies can even be compared to traditional money or the associated services. Add the encryption and cryptography technology on top of that, and the road ahead becomes even longer.
A comprehensive strategy for cryptocurrencies needs to be developed. This is still a rather vague term which tells us nothing about what might be in store next. With a dedicated task force looking into things, results should be expected pretty soon. The Department of Justice has a cyber-crime task force to help them out in this regard. Given the correlation between cryptocurrency and illegal activity, there are a lot of hurdles to overcome.
The Future of Regulation in the US
With few details to come by, there is no real indication as to what the Justice Department will do exactly. Their “strategy” does not necessarily result in regulatory measures by default. In fact, one could argue we may not see any additional cryptocurrency regulation in the US moving forward. Whether or not that is a good or a bad thing, had yet to be determined.
According to some experts, Bitcoin needs more regulation before it can become a mainstream trend. Others claim there is no point in regulating this market in the first place. For now, there is still no clear plan on the table. Even the best strategy-oriented efforts by the Department of Justice may not necessarily change that in the near future. There is still a major lack of understanding as far as cryptocurrencies are concerned.
As cryptocurrencies are decentralized, enforcing jurisdiction is pretty difficult. With no central authority, company, or CEO to deal with, it seems Bitcoin falls outside of every agency’s purview right now. Whether or not the Justice Department can circumvent this issue, remains to be determined. Government agencies seemingly want to focus on the crime aspect of cryptocurrencies first and foremost. That in itself is a positive development for the industry as a whole.
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