On February 6th the U.S. Senate banking committee held a hearing in which Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Christopher Giancarlo spoke on what U.S. regulation of cryptocurrencies might look like. In a pretty poor week for cryptos in terms of news and lost value, this was looked upon as good news and rightly so. Over the course of the hearing, Clayton and Giancarlo traded testimony over what can be regulated and what should be regulated. They also offered their own respective opinions on the broader future of cryptocurrencies. What they did not do was suggest a ban.
No news is good news
Bitcoin rallied post-hearing and finally seems to be putting in a base.
Several big names in the crypto space were quick to call the hearings themselves worrisome, but the result encouraging. There was little to no discussion of any sort of a ban on cryptocurrencies so, in the case of bitcoin trading, no news is good news. Mr. Giancarlo spoke to Bitcoin’s value, and also explained the process of mining and how it affects the price. He also applauded the addition of Bitcoin derivatives at regulated exchanges by saying “The CFTC can now obtain trading data and analyze it for fraud and manipulation...with Bitcoin futures we’re now having visibility into underlying markets and spot markets that we would not otherwise have.” Both chairmen expressed much more concern for ICO's and consumer protection from "..virtual currency trading platforms here and abroad,” Giancarlo said.
Nothing to fear here
While there are those that see any regulation of cryptocurrencies as complete anathema, many believe that regulation around ICO's and price transparency would go a long way toward bringing crypto's in general and Bitcoin specifically into the light. Smart regulation would encourage people to investigate the merits of blockchain and altcoins and decide with a little less fear if Bitcoin trading and investing is something they want to be involved in. Regulation a good thing? In the minds of some, it's a reason to be long Bitcoin.