• Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

Michael Hsu: American authorities put a “perimeter of rules” on cryptocurrencies

Byeditorial

May 31, 2021

Taken up this month as interim currency controller, Michael Hsu hopes in an interview with the Financial Times that American authorities will work together to establish a perimeter of rules for cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. What is growing is concern that lack of adequate supervision risks harming savers and investors. This shift in cryptocurrency control marks a turnaround from the policies of the previous Trump administration, which in some cases encouraged the use of cryptocurrencies within the financial system. But it may take some time for all of this to happen, especially as it is still not entirely clear who has the legal authority to oversee this market. Although a signal in this direction was given when officials from the three main regulatory bodies of federal banks recently met: the Hsu Currency Control Bureau, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a sort of “Sprint” team for the new digital dollar which aims not only to monitor cryptocurrencies but also to prepare the basis for establishing crypto in a national version. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission also recently discussed how to protect investors in the cryptocurrency market. SEC President Gary Gensler said last week that there are “gaps in our current system,” calling for the development of specific laws to define which regulator should oversee cryptocurrency exchanges. And this, above all, in terms of anti-money laundering and protection from illegal activities.Hsu has expressed himself against the current enthusiasm for everything related to banking innovation brought about by crypto and blockchain by comparing the current situation to the years that have led to the financial crisis: “It’s hard for me not to feel a sense of déjà vu”. The danger is that new and improved techniques will result in “a large and less regulated shadow banking system”. Probably, the risks perceived by national control winches today are more than anything else aimed not so much at cryptocurrencies as at fintechs and technological platforms that make extensive use of them by designing payment processing tools that “bring great promises, but also risks” and that are increasingly entering into direct competition, as enclaves of wealth and technological tools, with national systems of management and control of money.

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