back to article US floats framework for international crypto regulations that cement its power

The US Treasury has delivered a framework that responds to President Biden's Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets, which signaled the administration's desire to ensure that cryptocurrency doesn't introduce risks that could harm either individual investors or the wider economy at home and abroad …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All your Crypto and NFTs

    are belong to US.

    1. Clausewitz4.0
      Devil

      Re: All your Crypto and NFTs

      No, they are not.

      USA / other countries cannot regulate cryptocurrency, they can just TRY within its own borders - but cryptocurrencies are borderless.

    2. Blackjack Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: All your Crypto and NFTs

      So.. we should sue the USA for every crypto scam then?

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Crypto?

    Ah, I see - you mean cryptocurrencies, not cryptography. Odd how the term has become indicative of just one narrow specific use of cryptography rather than the entire subject area.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Crypto?

      That reminds me of another term that had a similar fate.

      Could we use "cybercrypto" to designate all those scammy crapcoins things?

    2. Loyal Commenter
      Headmaster

      Re: Crypto?

      κρυπτός (kryptos) means hidden. The prefix crypto- just means something that is hidden; cryptography literally means "hidden writing", and there are plenty of other words that start with "crypto", such as in the phrase "Donald Trump is a cryptofascist", so the colloquial use of "crypto" to mean cryptography is just as wrong as using it to mean cryptocurrency. It's arguable that the latter terminology is not even derived from the former, and just means "hidden currency", referring to the anonymity (or more strictly the pseudonymity) of the blockchain transactions.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Crypto?

        I thought it meant "hidden value". So well hidden as to be undiscoverable.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Crypto?

        True, so far as it goes – though I think it highly unlikely that any significant number of people who use "crypto" to mean "cryptocurrency" have the sense "hidden currency" in mind.

        But perhaps more importantly, the colloquial use of "crypto" regardless of meaning is obnoxious, and should be avoided by writers who take any pride in their use of the English language.

        Descriptivism is correct in evaluating what uses of language are "correct" (i.e., all of the successful ones). But it says nothing about diction or style.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Crypto?

      When words get popularized in one niche they take over the previous meaning. Sort of like what "hacker" means today and what it meant in the 80s.

  3. UCAP Silver badge

    ... it will create "opportunities for US companies to lead in the development of these technical systems."

    Well, that has killed that idea for the rest of the world.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Good for the rest of the world.

  4. aks

    I'm with the Chinese and many other people who argue that cryptocurrencies and NFT's are simply new Ponzi schemes.

    1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      A Ponzi scheme is a situation where the schemer promises guaranteed outsized returns in some other business with the intent to generate those returns primarily by attracting new investors. Ponzi himself claimed to generate money by investing in land deals.

      Very few of these ventures meet that definition. In particular, there is not promise of any particular return & there is no other business involved.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Right. It's past time for people to stop using "Ponzi scheme" to mean any sort of fraud, investment bubble, or other unsound scheme. Better to use those terms precisely.

        There's a vast range of economic activity around cryptocurrencies of various sorts and other applications of the underlying technologies, such as "smart contracts" and NFTs. All of that activity may be risky and foolish, but it's not all Ponzi schemes.

        (It might also be worth noting, once again, that Charles Ponzi himself ran what was structurally a Ponzi scheme, but all evidence suggests he didn't intend to. His original scheme – arbitrage on international postal coupons – was a legitimate investment, albeit one with far lower returns than he thought. He was innumerate and terrible at record-keeping, and simply had a room full of cash that he would dip into when someone wanted to cash out. Later, managing his "fund" was taken over by others who were aware it was fraudulent. See Bulgatz for an extended discussion.)

  5. Loyal Commenter

    The policy notes that cryptocurrency is not a publicly traded security and is therefore not exempt from exemptions that allow US government staff to hold securities and work on related regulations

    Nope, read that three times, and all I'm getting is white noise.

    Does this mean US government staff are, or are not, allowed to own "crypto-assets"?

    1. Snowy Silver badge
      Coat

      Looking at it I broken it down this way.

      1) cryptocurrency is not a publicly traded security

      2) publicly traded security are exempt from exemptions that allow US government staff to hold securities and work on related regulations

      Which leads me to think no they are not allowed to directly hold cryptocurrency.

      However the next part means they can hold up to $50,000 in a fund that do invest in cryptos,

      But government employees are allowed to invest in mutual funds that concentrate on cryptos, provided they have invested no more than $50,000.

    2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Atrocious writing

      Try "not exempt from exemptions" --> "included in exemptions".

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      It's unclear writing, but here's what it means:

      1. People who write regulations for financial things are usually prohibited from investing in the things they're regulating to avoid conflicts of interest.

      2. Some securities that people invest in are so common that many will invest in them routinely. These are specifically excluded from the previous requirement, meaning that people working on regulations for them can still invest in them.

      3. Cryptocurrencies are not in that list, so point 1 applies to people regulating them.

      4. They're allowed to invest up to $50k in them, but only indirectly through a fund they don't control. Owning them directly would disqualify them. Owning more of a fund would also disqualify them.

      5. People who don't regulate cryptocurrencies don't have to care about these restrictions unless they're trying to transfer into that role.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Coat

    I'll just leave this here

    DeFlocked

    1. Def Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: I'll just leave this here

      Why does that website need javascript enabled to display a static image?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I'll just leave this here

        What? Do you mean you can display images without JavaScript?

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: I'll just leave this here

          It's even possible to have a site that displays images without CSS! Though the secret techniques for achieving that are known only to a tiny fraction of web developers.

          Hell, if all you want to do is display a single image, no need for HTML. Just return the image with the appropriate content-type. (Or you can let the browser sniff it, but content-sniffing is the work of the Adversary.)

  7. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

    Hegemony

    The real unstated goal is to assure the hegemony of the US$ as the de facto currency for all commodity trading.

    I do, however, think this ship has sailed since we used the financial system to inflict harm on Russia, Iran and North-Korea. Russia's demand that it's oil must be paid in Rubles has pumped up the latter's value enormously and there's no doubt China and other unfriendly nations will travel the same route in the near future.

    Even our allies, like Saudi Arabia, may opt to go this way simply to put some distance between them and Washington's long arm.

    1. Tron

      Re: Hegemony

      Agreed.

      The moment you weaponise something it becomes, well, a weapon, not a tool or a standard. So it is no longer shared. It is a quick way to deglobalise, but a very, very expensive one with bags of self-harm built in. Note the way the EU weaponised Russian energy, whilst they were still dependent upon it. Rather like undertaking an insurance fraud by standing in your property and setting fires at the exits. Notable lack of planning ahead.

      1. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

        Re: Hegemony

        The Ukraine war will conclude before the end of the year and the day after Germany and the rest of the EU will be lining up to ask Moscow to turn the tap back on.

        I'm betting the EU and US have privately communicated that Ukraine has until January 1st to reclaim the territory it has lost but to sign a peace agreement before the winter sets in, no matter how much land it loses in the deal. Europe, and especially Germany, CANNOT live without Russian fossil fuel supplies. It's industry and economy would be completely crippled if the taps don't get turned on before the end of the year.

  8. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    OK but...

    I'm no fan of cryptocurrencies, but isn't this the exact thing the cryptocurrencies were built to work around - centralized control by governmental bodies? Or did I misunderstand something along the way? I thought the point of crypto-monies was that it would always be the wild, wild west only controllable by the uber-nerds who built it.

    1. Marty McFly Silver badge

      Re: OK but...

      Spot on & accurate. And since they cannot control them, they are building their own crypto currency that they can control. This is not about controlling Bitcoin - that cannot be done. This is creating so-called "Stable" coins, backed by faith & goodwill of the government. Then trying to sell the public on why their government money is better.

      And if you believe government backed money is better, allow me to direct you to the current status of our global economy.....

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: OK but...

      The early ones did have the decentralized and uncontrollable aspects as goals, but newer ones, including anything a government comes up with, have dropped it. It's likely that governments wishing to maintain control over their monetary system will attempt to regulate or prohibit those cryptocurrencies that don't continue to have them at the helm. I don't know how successful that will end up being, but I'm in the position of disliking every side of it. I don't much like the cryptocurrencies, but I also oppose governments thinking that they should have a monopoly on exchanging value.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: OK but...

        In a conflict where one side wields a theorem & the other wields a gun, bet on physics to win.

  9. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Another Angle

    I realized that holding a cryptocoin is holding stock--in a company with no income, assets, sales, employees, or liabilities, and with novel rules regarding stock issuance and the structure of the board.

    I really think that, from the standpoint of consumer protection, coin regulation ought to start there. There is absolutely NO reason for governments to take seriously the notion that this stock is a currency. It clearly is not, and anyone with any sense of history or politics knows that if it ever were to reach such status, it would be attacked and destroyed almost immediately.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Another Angle

      No, it's really not like stock. Someone controls a company which moves around the value of stock. There is a person or group of people to be regulated, and you can find them, take their company off them, fine them, etc as needed to enforce regulations. Many successful cryptocurrencies don't work like that. They are a lot like commodities: something you can have that might be of value to someone, but maybe not. Whether they're valuable as gold or cheap as sand, they have similar levels of ability to regulate. You can easily regulate those places that buy, sell, or hold gold, but you can't pass a law instructing that gold file papers like you can with a company issuing stock.

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