The smell of crypto regulation is in the air. And the person to lead the charge will most likely be a person quite knowledgeable about the space. As has been widely reported, President Biden has nominated Gary Gensler to be the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Both Mr. Gensler’s professional experience and his current interests in blockchain and digital assets have become topics of much discussion in the crypto community. But what should the crypto community expect of Mr. Gensler as SEC chair?
According to Scott H. Kimpel’s article at the National law review, he would indicate that crypto optimists who do not like regulation are in for a disappointment” as Gensler’s resume as a regulator shows he tends to favor more regulation not less. He will likely feel political pressure to continue this approach at the SEC.”
These ideas are based mostly on Mr. Gensler’s past conduct and recent activities in other countries such as Korea and France, as well as on comments from high-net-worth individuals such as Bill Gates. However, they show that Bitcoin and crypto, in general, are ruffling feathers in the highest levels and are viewed with increased scrutiny and focus in many other countries. Should these developments be viewed as a bearish signal to Bitcoin holders? Depends.
From an institutional investor’s perspective, investment in Bitcoin and other assets such as Ethereum, Cardano, or Litecoin becomes easier when the regulatory framework is transparent and understandable.
This would allow large amounts of capital to be allocated into crypto. However, this to many crypto enthusiasts and Bitcoin maximalists could signify the old system simply incorporating Bitcoin into the status quo. Thus, the disruptive dream of Bitcoin starts fleeting.
On the Flipside
However, even this scenario seems to be optimistic, according to a Harward professor, Bitcoin will not be allowed to grow so much as to become a fixture in the mainstream financial markets because it challenges governments’ ability to keep track of money and taxation.
In light of these developments, how to rationalize the future of crypto? If we look only into the crypto news bubble, technology is being developed rapidly, NFT’s are exploding in value, reminiscent of ICOS pre-2017.
However, as we look into the mainstream news and general knowledge space, crypto is still widely misunderstood. Education seems to be the only way to combat the fear of crypto. One of the best indicators that crypto and especially Bitcoin are misunderstood has been shown through individuals such as the aforementioned Bill Gates, Jannet Yellen not being up to speed with its capabilities and features.
However, maybe this could also be not only a case of Bitcoin disrupting the way things have been done so far and thus receiving blowback, but maybe it’s a generational problem.
On the plus side, the millennial population is set to inherit a staggering wealth from the previous generation. This event has been called the “Great Wealth Transfer.” Over the next few decades, it is estimated that $68 trillion will be passed down from aging Boomers to their beneficiaries. Maybe when this occurs, we shall see a much quicker adoption of new crypto technology.
Although that is an optimistic sentiment for the future, what to do for us in the present? Only one option comes to mind: being informed and vigilant and following both crypto and mainstream news.