Senior officials at a handful of U.S. financial regulatory agencies are exploring new ways to regulate the cryptocurrency market but have yet to decide how to do so, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Sunday (May 30).
FT put the size of the cryptocurrency market at $1.5 trillion and reported that any effort to increase regulation of the sector would represent something of a reversal of policies advanced by the Trump administration.
FT based its report on an interview with Michael Hsu, acting comptroller of the currency, who said per the report that he would like to see U.S. regulatory agencies establish a “regulatory perimeter” around cryptocurrencies.
“It really comes down to co-ordinating across the agencies,” said Hsu, the top regulator of domestic banks in the Treasury Department. “Just in talking to some of my peers, there is interest in co-ordinating a lot more of these things.”
Any additional steps the agencies take will come as investors continue to weather what has been a wild year for the sector.
Bitcoin, for example, started the year at $29,413.29, according to the Coinbase exchange, rising to $64,899.00 on April 13 and sitting at $37,052.66 as of 7:15 p.m. EST on May 31. Experts attributed the cryptocurrency’s rise to purchases of large quantities by Elon Musk’s Tesla and its fall to the imposition of new restrictions on it by regulators in China.
Another major cryptocurrency, Ethereum, started the year at $730.97 on the Coinbase exchange, rising to $4,384.43 on May 11 and falling to $2,677.57 as of 7:20 p.m. on May 31.
FT reported that another sign of a new approach to cryptocurrency regulation in the United States came earlier this month when officials from the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation met for what Hsu reportedly told the paper was a session to “put some ideas in front of the agencies to consider” as they respond to the growth of cryptocurrencies.
“It’s small and it’s senior,” Hsu reportedly said, describing the group. “The idea is that time is of the essence and if it’s too big that gets harder.”