American businessman and former United States Mint director Edmund Moy first knew about bitcoin from a coin demand forecast report.
After becoming the Mint director in 2006, Moy published annual reports where he described main market trends and their influence on coinage in USA. It also covered virtual currency payment systems, including credit cards and internet payment methods.
The 2009 report featured a brief description of bitcoin, but a footnote was perceived from curious perspective as the majority was unaware of the cryptocurrency.
Since two years, bitcoin grew in price and size. At that time, the report provided larger footnote about the digital currency. Moy said: “It was on the radar, there was interest in it but it was really from the objective observer’s perspective.”
The further bitcoin development prompted Moy to call bitcoin “a disruptor to the traditional notions of currency”.
Moy said it is difficult for bitcoin to exist in the Us market due to unclear regulatory landscape. He noted: “Bitcoin is not just one thing. It’s not just currency, it’s not just a payment system, it’s a protocol – there’s multiple things that cross over into many different turfs of government.”
Due to the novelty of bitcoin and lack of cohesive regulatory language, the regulators have to determine the virtual currency as they can.
Moy also reminded the recent hearing, during with Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve chairwoman, stated that there is lack of legal authorization to control virtual currencies.
Moy commented: “Every agency has to look at bitcoin from the perspective of what their agency does. So the Commodities Futures Trading Commission looks at bitcoin as a commodity, because it complies with all the issues that commodities applies with.”
“The Federal Trade Commission looks at this as a bartering issue, as a trading issue; the FEC looks at it from an investment perspective; the IRS looks at it as a taxable event,” he added.
Moy sees the problem solution in the establishment of clear language for agencies to regulate the cryptocurrency.
By the way, he noted that it is not right time for the new digital currency bill as there is lack of education on the agency level.
Besides, Moy admitted that self-regulation is needed in the bitcoin community and firms can“illustrate to the government how this could work”.
Today, many Congress members don’t have enough understanding of the digital currency to create laws for its regulation.
Moy added: “It’s probably not a good time to ask Congress to get engaged. Because even when Congress is working well, what you end up getting out of Congress is less than what you wanted at the outset. There’s that old joke in Washington: that the definition of a camel is a race-horse designed by a Congressional committee.”
Moy said bitcoin is likely to be incorporated by banking and payment systems due to its security benefits provided by encryption.
The recent bitcoin development represents a huge step in defining it as money. However, Moy is not sure bitcoin will replace fiat currencies in the near future.