Representatives in the U.S. Congress have taken a step towards trying to add clarity to cryptocurrency regulations in the United States. Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) just introduced legislation to develop a working group consisting of industry experts and members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to study current digital asset regulations.
The bill, ironically called Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021, seeks to identify when the SEC has jurisdiction (i.e., when a cryptocurrency is considered a security) and when the CFTC has authority (i.e., when a digital coin is considered a commodity). The irony is that the increased involvement of regulators in the bourgeoning crypto space will only increase barriers to innovation, versus eliminating them. As proof of this, one need only examine the arduous regulatory requirements and reams of paperwork needed to be filed in other areas such as in the process of registering a security with the SEC.
Separately, the more the government is permitted access to individuals private affairs, the less freedom people have to live their lives free from being harassed by various agencies. Early American colonists fought bravely to gain freedom from the heavy hand of English rule which sought to impose itself in many aspects of daily life at the time. It is very ironic and sad that the hard-fought lessons of the past are so easily forgotten.
Even some within the SEC understand the need for deregulation and civil liberty when it comes to digital currencies. In 2020, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce suggested a three-year safe harbor to allow projects to get off the ground. While this is not a long-term viable solution to providing freedom and independence for crypto projects – especially private ones like META 1 Coin – it is a step in the right direction. Just like agencies do not intervene each time someone opens their physical wallet to buy and sell physical goods, there is no valid reason for there to be a difference with digital goods, or crypto coins.
In an attempt to try to save everyone from any possible danger, governments end up oppressing everyone instead, by removing or limiting freedoms in the name of public safety. The basic premise of a free and open democracy with a free market is that citizens hold the utmost power, and that government serves their needs, not the reverse. Yet, within one year of this working group, a report will be filed analyzing the current state of regulations, their impact on markets and will include suggestions for future regulations.
In the 18th century, Americans faced the tyranny of autocratic rule which was not of their choosing. It is unfortunate that in the 21st century, the choice is being made to invite more government interference in our private lives. As a private digital coin, META 1 Coin is positioned for success regardless of the outcome of this bill, assuming it gets passed. However, it is critical for individuals to voice their opposition to this bill and any others that seek to control the crypto space by contacting one’s local representatives.