How will the Biden administration approach cryptocurrency?

Key highlights:

  • China’s digital yuan could affect the Biden administration’s positions regarding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency
  • There’s a crypto intersection for Biden’s administration. On one side, some rogue countries and criminals are using crypto. On the other side, cryptocurrency can be an essential tool for human rights activists and protestors
  • Biden’s nominees for different seats are not crypto-friendly, and Biden is against encryption

Many people are curious to see how the Biden administration will approach the topic of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. China’s presence as a geopolitical rival and the emergence of its digital yuan can make the situation more complicated. There are issues like competition with China, improving monetary policy, and digital regulations and rights around the globe related to Bitcoin. Although Biden’s administration might not address Bitcoin directly, there are some relevant issues to consider.

There are various issues facing the Biden administration. China is a rival superpower, and the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many lives. At the same time, the Federal Reserve has been printing money faster and faster, resulting in a weaker dollar. These challenges are essential for the next administration, and they will affect the crypto ecosystem indirectly.

The current position of BTC

Right now, some of the most important institutions in the U.S. that are regulate matters that can affect Bitcoin are the OCC, CFTC and the SEC.

Under Jay Clayton, the SEC went after several initial coin offerings (ICOs), accusing the of selling unregistered securities. Right before Clayton left the agency, the SEC announced a bombshell lawsuit against Ripple. The news crashed the price of the XRP cryptocurrency, which the SEC argues is actually a security sold by Ripple.

Even under the Clayton-led SEC, which was quite hostile to many cryptocurrency market players, Bitcoin and Ethereum weren’t treated as securities – this is unlikely to change moving forward.

Biden’s candidates for different seats

There is a crypto intersection for any administration right now. On the one hand, there are rogue countries like North Korea that use crypto for illicit activities, and on the other hand, there are human rights activists and protestors who positively use crypto to raise funds.

When we look at Biden’s candidates and advisors, his opinion towards cryptocurrency and decentralization technologies will become clearer.

A few of his nominees have expressed their views about Bitcoin and crypto, including Janet Yellen, his nominee for the Treasury Department. In the Clinton administration, Yellen was the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. She is not enthusiastic about Bitcoin, and thinks Bitcoin is mostly used for illegal transactions. In her opinion, Bitcoin consumes a lot of energy, and it is a massive concern regarding cyber criminal activities.

The OCC is a part of the Treasury Department. The Secretary of the Treasury will determine the head of OCC. Currently, Brian Brooks is in that position, and he has an extremely positive attitude on cryptocurrencies. It’s likely that he will be replaced by another person, and they probably won’t be as crypto-friendly.

The office of Foreign Asset Control and FinCEN may restrict some crypto addresses and enforce rules against money laundering. When the Treasury department is headed by a person who is doubtful about crypto, some consequences are unavoidable.

Gary Gensler is another exciting candidate on Biden’s list. In the Obama Administration, he managed the CFTC. He has expressed some statements in favor of Bitcoin previously.

The Biden Administration has many different financial challenges, and they will affect BTC, as well. The most critical factor is Joe Biden himself. He was against encryption when he was in the Senate. He introduced two bills in the Senate that inspired early Bitcoin adopter and cryptographer Hal Finney to work on PGP encryption.

Andrew is a writer that does most of his work on cryptocurrency-related topics. While he’s primarily interested in Bitcoin, he also follows major altcoins and the innovative ideas that new cryptocurrency and blockchain projects are bringing to the table.