‘Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies are Being Monitored by Our Team’, Says White House Press Secretary

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that the Trump administration is monitoring the cryptocurrency market, especially after the historic rise of Bitcoin this year.

Bitcoin with its unprecedented growth this year in 2017 has caught the frenzy and excitement of retail and institutional investors alike. However, the Bitcoin journey till now has been full of whimsical strides as it has been subjected to a lot of criticism coming from famous individual personalities and financial institutions. But the continued investor support and backing to the cryptocurrency from time-to-time has provided Bitcoin enough strength to overcome the criticism and surge further ahead to touch new highs.

After its unprecedented run, Bitcoin is now being closely monitored by the officials from the White House. In a press briefing session on Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that the Trump administration is closely observing things on the ground. She stated that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are “something that is being monitored by our team.”

Upon further question by the reporter regarding any planning of the U.S. government on cryptocurrency regulations, there is as such no specific announcement to be made at this point in time. However, she has confirmed that this topic was raised in a meeting earlier this week by Tom Bossert, a member of the Homeland Security team. Sarah said that “Tom Bossert, with the Homeland Security team, an advisor to the president, has brought this up in a meeting earlier this week. I know it’s something that he’s keeping an eye on. And we’ll keep you posted when we have anything further on it.”

On the other hand, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has firmly stated that there is a need for regulation of cryptocurrencies. IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice told reports that “A key challenge for country authorities will be to contain risks without stifling the innovation associated with cryptocurrencies. We also believe that greater international discussion and, indeed, cooperation would be helpful, and as you may have noted, we, the IMF, have been trying to play a role in that regard.”

However, Rice said that the Blockchain technology which offers the infrastructure for cryptocurrencies to operate certainly has potential future applications like efficient payment and settlement process and promotion of financial inclusion. He said that with money flowing into cryptocurrencies, specifically Bitcoin, from U.S. and other parts of the world, the situation is being monitored closely. “On the other hand, we have also alerted for, cautioned, that cryptocurrencies can also pose considerable risks as potential vehicles for such things as money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion and so on. So there’s a need for a balanced assessment of cryptocurrencies,” Rice said.

November 2017 has proved to be a crucial month for Bitcoin as a lot of liquid cash from big financial institutions was invested in Bitcoin. The result was Bitcoin prices surged by over 100% during this period and continues to remain strong even today. Moreover, owing to a huge investor demand, the participation form financial institutions has gone up with many of them launching their own Bitcoin-based investment tools the coming year. Such a participation has instilled more confidence in retail investors towards Bitcoin.

Recently, the U.S Court has ordered Coinbase – one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges to disclose data of 14000 transactions to the IRS in the past year. Following this, Bitcoin prices plunged by nearly 20% but has soon recovered from its low of $9000 and is currently trading at $11,247.50 as per CoinMarketCap.

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.