At a session held on Thursday (26, April) by the U.S Chamber of Commerce Center for Capital Markets, Joseph Otting (a top banking regulator), said that cryptocurrency has the potential to go mainstream.
According to a report from Forbes, Otting (who was sworn in as Comptroller of the Currency by President Trump in November 2017) likened cryptocurrencies to trading cat’s eye marbles for baseball cards when he was a child. It’s not the most flattering comparison given the nature of the technology, but it does add Otting to the list of financial authorities who are beginning to take cryptocurrencies seriously as a means of exchange.
Otting seems open to the application of Fintech solutions to solve problems not being addressed by banks. In his December, during his first formal press briefing, he said that regulations had forced banks out of the small-dollar lending business and that the void had been filled by Fintech firms. Ideally, Otting would see regulations enforced after the financial crisis rolled back to give banks the chance to re-enter the space with their Fintech solutions, but he is “open to other entities coming in and providing those services if they’re not being fulfilled by the banking industry.”
Others attending the session on Thursday reiterated calls for ICOs to be brought under regulations to avoid the plague of fraudulent activity. Bill Huizenga said that the longer authorities wait to bring the industry under regulatory control the harder it would be to achieve — the Michigan Politician added that there was no need for Congress to impose laws that defied common sense.
Most attendees were more conservative than Otting with their assessment of crypto, doubting that it would replace fiat and declared their lack of trust in the currency as it has yet to prove itself. This mirrors the climate in the nation regarding cryptocurrencies with the SEC chief notably declaring all cryptos to be securities, warning of their dangers while stating they don’t currently pose a risk to the status quo due to their small share of the financial market.
Jeb Hensarling (Chair of the House Financial Services Committee) reflected this attitude but said that they were monitoring innovation closely but did not confirm whether he would bring up a bill on cryptocurrency by the end of the year.
Michael is an English and Creative writing graduate of Liverpool John Moore’s University, a former editor of several magazines, and a crypto-currency enthusiast. He is mostly interested in crypto-legislation and the potential of decentralized technology to change the world.