November was a tough month for cryptocurrency investors, but there were some positive developments in terms of adoption and clarification of laws. The United States government may take a long time to take official positions on Bitcoin and altcoins, but states and cities can act on their own and have begun to accelerate policymaking efforts in regards to cryptocurrencies.
Ohio became the first state to allow citizens to pay their taxes in cryptocurrency, Wyoming is taking steps to attract blockchain startups and the city of Berkeley is working on developing a cryptocurrency for investors to purchase municipal bonds. Lafayette,
Louisiana has a similar idea of using a city-issued cryptocurrency to church social good by making public funds more transparent and democratic.
While any inching forward in cryptocurrency policy might ultimately aid in its adoption, not all the laws and policies that are created will be seen as immediately positive for investors, traders or miners. In New York, for example, several jurisdictions have enforced restrictions on miners who were claimed to be sucking resources from the city with no return benefit to the community.
The wide lack of understanding of cryptocurrency and what it’s intended to do has been a deterrent to its acceptance by governments from the local to the federal level and crypto expert and board member of bitcoin wallet provider BRD, Aaron Lasher thinks government leaders need to be more equipped to make the right decisions surrounding blockchain.
“This is a super complex industry. To actually understand it at a fundamental level, you need expertise in economics, in monetary theory, and you also have to be a software engineer to understand how all the cryptography and the validation work.”
Joe Rotunda, director of enforcement for the Texas State Securities Board knows that cryptocurrency is here to stay but wants to ensure a safe and fair market.
“Whenever new markets for investments develop or new types of products get hyped in the headlines, white-collar criminals and scam artists will capitalize on that. We wanted to see if bad actors were trying to leverage the hype to defraud investors.”
Ultimately Rotunda says demand by the people and a maturation of the market will not only help ease the roller coaster ride but also lead to common sense laws.
“The public is really interested in this and we have an obligation to protect those investors,” he concludes. “As the legitimate markets develop, things will tend to settle down.”