from MIT Technology Review
Denizens of the cryptocurrency world ought to get used to rubbing shoulders with regulators. The dark underbelly of the bonanza in initial coin offerings, rising concerns about the security of cryptocurrency exchanges, and a rush of “Main Street” investors to the scene have helped convince bureaucrats across the globe that cryptocurrency markets deserve a lot more attention. As a US Senate hearing illustrated this week, however, the question of how best to apply that attention is head-achingly complicated.
Why you should care: The stakes are high, and not just because billions of real dollars are on the line. Many think the blockchain technology underlying cryptocurrencies can be as disruptive as the foundation of the internet. Decisions by policymakers will influence whether and how the promise unfolds.
Crackdowns have commenced:
- China has banned ICOs and cryptocurrency trading, and may clamp down on mining.
- South Korea has banned ICOs and anonymous trading.
- Japan has introduced a licensing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges.
Gaps: Regulators are still wrestling with how to define cryptocurrency, which is partly why there are still big holes in oversight.