On Tuesday, U.S.Representative Warren Davidson, a Republic from Ohio, hosted a roundtable with some of the most influential leaders of the cryptocurrency industry. Davidson plans on introducing a bill to create a framework for the industry. He calls the language surrounding the industry “sloppy” currently, and believes that legislation will provide the cryptocurrency market with a renewed credibility that will allow it to grow tremendously.
The cryptocurrency experts that attended the roundtable certainly agreed, and included executives from Fidelity, NASDAQ, Kraken, Coinlist, Andreesen Horowitz, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and more. In total, there were over 50 industry participants in attendance. The chief policy officer at Coinbase, which many consider the most important company in the cryptocurrency world, reiterated that they were not at odds with regulators, but stressed that “we want all the same things”.
The fact that cryptocurrency companies might move their operations outside of the United States because of the lack of legislation surrounding the industry was certainly a topic at the discussion. Joyce Lai, a lawyer for Consensys, a blockchain software company, pointed out that there was still opportunity for the U.S. to be an industry leader in the space, but acknowledged that “the competition around the world is real”.
There certainly are countries that have seen an influx of businesses as a result of pro-cryptocurrency legislation. This can be seen by the strategy of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily volume, that expects to net a staggering $1 billion in profit by the end of 2018.
Thanks to crackdowns on cryptocurrency in China and Japan, Binance wasted no time in relocating their operations to Malta, thanks to their favorable laws surrounding the industry. Malta is becoming known as the “blockchain island” because of companies who have chosen to flock there, because they know that the government is not working to crack down on the industry, but instead to help to enable and empower the industry as a whole.
This is not the first time that lawmakers have discussed the topic. In February of this year, representatives met to agree on a definition of cryptocurrency, and in July, industry leaders had also asked members of Congress to develop a legal framework for the sector. This latest hearing, titled “Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies”, has underlined the urgency of the situation.
It is clear that both industry leaders and lawmakers do want the industry to be regulated, and recognize the need for legislation, considering that there are issues regarding fraud and consumer protection that have prevented financial institutions from entering the market.
Davidson pointed out that if this was done, this could have very positive economic consequences for the United States. He also likened the cryptocurrency space to the internet, explaining that when it came to regulation, “we did it well with the internet”.