A few weeks ago, the US Department of the Treasury released its bitcoin regulatory guidance.
In addition to setting the stage for an expected flood of new bitcoin trading volume, the guidance also gives us a clear understanding of what to expect when bitcoin trading will finally become legal in the US.
“We are moving forward with this process, but the guidance will not be complete until the Treasury is able to complete a final rule on the issue,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a press release.
This has led to a flurry of speculation about what is currently going on with the US bitcoin market.
While some have argued that the US government has no real plan for bitcoin, other analysts are more skeptical.
For one thing, there is no clear understanding what exactly is happening in the bitcoin world at this point.
The US Department for Financial Services (DFS) has said in the past that the federal government does not plan to regulate bitcoin.
However, in a recent press release, the department said that the agency “will continue to assess the potential for new forms of electronic payment to support our financial stability obligations.”
The department has not said exactly what the new forms will be, but it has said that they will likely include “new ways of transferring funds between banks, including virtual currencies, which are used to fund remittances and other international payments.”
The announcement that the DFS was considering new ways of funding remittance to the United States is not exactly reassuring, as the agency’s recent press conference was more focused on other things than bitcoin.
While the US Treasury has stated that it will issue a final regulation on bitcoin at some point in the future, the Dfs has also said that it is not certain when that will be.
While it is possible that bitcoin is expected to be officially legalized in the United State before the end of the year, it is likely that the final regulation is more delayed than expected.
The last time the Dfts issued a final bitcoin regulatory rule was in March, and the last time it issued a guidance document on the topic was in December.
So how did we get here?
A number of factors may have contributed to the delay in the final rule.
Firstly, it was not always clear what would be regulated in the first place.
The DFS has issued guidance on other forms of digital currencies, including bitcoin, before, and in 2015, the agency said that “virtual currencies” were “the most likely category to be regulated by the Department of Treasury.”
While the DFT did not specify what the Department meant by virtual currencies in 2015 and 2016, the first draft of the guidance was vague enough to suggest that they could include bitcoin.
However, bitcoin was a different subject altogether at the time, and it is unclear how that guidance would have influenced the Ds guidance on virtual currencies.
Secondly, it has been argued that it was a bit too early to make a decision on bitcoin.
According to bitcoin-watcher Roger Ver, the cryptocurrency’s popularity was at its peak at the end.
Ver said that he was surprised that the bitcoin bubble had burst.
However, he noted that the cryptocurrency was still going strong.
He said:”Bitcoin is still very much a novelty, but people are buying in.
There is a lot of demand for it.”
While this may not be a very strong argument for the US to regulate virtual currencies as they were at the peak of their popularity, it still suggests that the government will be making decisions on bitcoin before the first bitcoin regulations are issued.