- J Markezic and M Bacina
US Government calls for more industry input
Officials from the US Treasury, the Commerce Department and the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDoFS) has welcomed increased involvement from digital asset industry members at a recent blockchain conference hosted by Chainalysis. The invitation also follows President Biden's executive order signed in March 2022 directing federal agencies to study and report on digital currencies.
The US Commerce Department's International Trade Administration issued a notice asking for public input in its endeavour to develop a framework for enhancing economic competitiveness in, and leveraging of, digital assets.
The notice poses 17 questions related to competitiveness, comparisons to traditional financial services and financial inclusion considerations. The director of cybersecurity and secure innovation at the National Security Council, Carol House, recently noted that the comment requests were essential to help the administration make informed decisions on digital assets policies. House said:
[the comment requests] are completely earnest... these opportunities, with the government... putting out requests for comments, we mean it, we need that data, we need that input.
According to the US Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN) associate director for enforcement and compliance, Alessio Evangelista, FinCEN received over 10,000 comments from crypto industry stakeholders in response to its 'travel rule' regulatory proposal. The rules, as drafted, would require cryptocurrency trading platforms and banks to keep records of customers' cryptocurrency transactions and counterparties for those transactions exceeding US$3,000.
Evangelista went on to say:
It is important to use that we hear from you... we read every single comment and we are carefully considering them as we move forward. Addressing the illicit finance and national security risks related to the travel-rule compliance and unhosted wallets remain top of mind for us.
Meanwhile, the NYDoFS is seeking to streamline its licencing and business registration process for digital assets, whilst also issuing increased guidance for the industry, according to superintendent Adrienne Harris.
Harris recently commented that she was:
...a firm believer that we can be good for consumers, good for markets, but also cement New York's place as the financial capital of the world, [and] be a great place to do business whether you're in crypto or other areas of financial services.
It is clear that regulatory authorities sees participation from the private sector as imperative for technological advancement, but also to ensure that the digital assets industry won't be at risk of being used for harmful purposes. Domestically, there have also been calls for the newly elected Labor government to heed the involvement of the private sector in several crypto-initiatives spearheaded by its predecessor.