Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are headed for regulation

Cryptocurrency regulations may soon become codified in law as a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators is preparing to introduce legislation that would treat most digital assets as commodities under CFTC oversight.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced the first major bipartisan legislation that intends to tame the “Wild West” crypto market on Tuesday. This legislation would treat digital assets like commodities, similar to how wheat or oil are regulated, and empower the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to rein in the burgeoning digital currency industry.

Gillibrand, a progressive Democrat who sits on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Lummis, a first-term Republican serving on the Banking Committee, both articulated their appreciation that the Responsible Financial Innovation Act is the culmination of several months of bipartisan collaboration in both chambers of Congress.

The senators said that this legislation represents a critical first attempt to structure the markets for digital assets with long-awaited legal definitions, CNBC reported.

The senators’ office touted the bill as “landmark bipartisan legislation that will create a complete regulatory framework for digital assets that encourages responsible financial innovation, flexibility, transparency and robust consumer protections while integrating digital assets into existing law.”

The legislation’s cornerstone is the way in which it defines the vast number of digital assets that are available to American investors and consumers.

With very few exceptions, the bill defines digital currencies as “ancillary assets,” or intangible, fungible assets that are offered or sold in tandem with a purchase and sale of a security.

People close to Gillibrand and Lummis said that this proposed legislation will treat all digital assets as “ancillary” unless they behave like a security that a corporation would issue to investors to build further capital.

This legislation also makes it so that cryptocurrencies and other digital tokens won’t be treated like traditional securities under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s scrutiny unless the individual holding cryptocurrency is entitled to the privileges and benefits that are granted to corporate investors such as dividends, liquidation rights, or a financial interest in the issuing entity.

In a press release, Lummis said, “My home state of Wyoming has gone to great lengths to lead the nation in digital asset regulation, and I want to bring that success to the federal level. As this industry continues to grow, it is critical that Congress carefully crafts legislation that promotes innovation while protecting the consumer against bad actors.”

Gillibrand said that the bill would “provide clarity to both industry and regulators, while also maintaining the flexibility to account for the ongoing evolution of the digital assets market.”

Great Britain announces a plan to mint NFTs through the Royal Mint in a bid to 'lead the way' in the increasingly digital economy

On Monday, the British government announced its plans to move forward with minting its own non-fungible tokens (NFT) as it attempts to become a "world leader" in the cryptocurrency space in the global economy.

British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak asked the Royal Mint — the entity responsible for the manufacture of the United Kingdom's currency — to create and issue the NFT "by the summer," CNBC reported.

The United Kingdom's NFT initiative is the British government's attempt to "lead the way" in crypto, according to City Minister John Glen.

Glen stated that there are a number of regulatory steps the U.K. plans to introduce to bring digital assets — like NFTs and Bitcoin — scrutiny.

These include:

  • Regulate stablecoins with existing regulations on electronic payments;
  • Strategizing on a "world-leading regime" for regulating trade in other cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum;
  • Asking the British Law Commission to consider the legal status of blockchain-based communities;
  • Examine the taxability of decentralized finance loans and interest gaining services;
  • Establishing a Cryptoasset Engagement Group that will be an official government body and will engage with British regulators and cryptocurrency-oriented businesses;
  • Explore the possibility of using blockchain technology in regulating debt instruments.

Glen said, "We shouldn't be thinking of regulation as a static, rigid thing. Instead, we should be thinking in terms of regulatory 'code' — like computer code — which we refine and rewrite when we need to."

He also said that the British government was "widening" its gaze to look at introducing more diverse regulations on the ever-expanding world of cryptocurrency, including the burgeoning Web3 movement, which would establish a more decentralized global internet that is powered and regulated through blockchain technology.

"No one knows for sure yet how Web3 is going to look," Glen said. "But there's every chance that blockchain is going to be integral to its development. We want this country to be there leading from the front, seeking out the greatest economic opportunities."

Similarly, across the pond, the American federal government is continuing to move forward with the development of a central bank digital currency — fully digitizing the U.S. dollar — and preparing to regulate the cryptocurrency holdings of the American public.

In an era with historic levels of regulation, the wages and savings of the American people are constantly losing value, and storing money in a savings account with a sub-1% interest rate is becoming less appealing to more and more people. So naturally, they're looking for a more secure alternative other than storing cash under their mattresses.

There are currently trillions of dollars invested in cryptocurrencies for these very reasons, and the more that government tries to regulate them, the less appealing they become to potential investors.

Elon Musk has become the largest shareholder of Twitter after purchasing a 9% stake in the company

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has become the largest individual shareholder of Twitter.

The iconic tech mogul purchased a 9% stake in Twitter, Inc. to become the company's largest shareholder after previously raising questions about the company's adherence and dedication to the principle of free speech.

Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.\n\nDo you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk) 1648193692

Musk purchased 73.5 million shares valued at just under $3 billion, the Associated Press reported.

Musk’s ultimate aim with his newly obtained influence in the company is unclear, but in recent days he acknowledged that he was “giving serious thought” to building his own social media platform.

A regulatory report released after Musk’s purchase of the shares indicated that the billionaire’s investment is long-term and that he was looking to minimize his buying and shelling of shares.

In a note to investors, Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities said that he expects Musk’s considerable — albeit passive — stake in the company to be the first step in Musk acquiring more of the company so that he can exert his influence over it.

He said, “We would expect this passive stake as just the start of broader conversations with the Twitter board/management that could ultimately lead to an active stake and a potential more aggressive ownership role of Twitter.”

Aside from his purported dedication to free speech as a concept, Musk’s interest in Twitter could also be inspired by U.S. securities regulators restricting his ability to freely post his thoughts on Twitter.

In early March, Musk asked a federal judge to nullify a subpoena from SEC regulators and throw out a 2018 agreement that required Musk to have a third party prescreen his Tweets before posting them.

The Associated Press reported that Musk’s legal team is arguing that the SEC’s subpoena has “no basis in law” and that the SEC has used the court agreement “to trample on Mr. Musk’s First Amendment rights and to impose prior restraints on his speech.”

The SEC responded in a court motion arguing that it has the legal authority to subpoena Tesla and its leadership over Musk’s tweets.

Musk’s recent purchase of Twitter was celebrated among conservative figures online who have been highly critical of Twitter’s manipulative enforcement of its rules regarding speech.

Now that @ElonMusk is Twitter\u2019s largest shareholder, it\u2019s time to lift the political censorship.\n\nOh\u2026 and BRING BACK TRUMP!
— Lauren Boebert (@Lauren Boebert) 1649074221
Elon Musk and like-minded, free speech supporting billionaires buying a controlling stake in Twitter is the only plausible "market-based" solution to censorship on the platform
— Will Chamberlain (@Will Chamberlain) 1649078802

What if @elonmusk bought 9.2% in Twitter not to fix it, but rather to expose the insane ways the algorithm and activist employees have been manipulating us? (Shadowbans, de-bosting, reading our DM\u2019s, etc.)\n\nMaybe he can find out who at Twitter censored the Hunter Biden story?
— Dave Rubin (@Dave Rubin) 1649074298

Twitter’s stock surged by 20% before the market opened on Monday as news of Musk’s acquisition broke.

Musk’s venture into social media comes as Truth Social, a social media outlet created and pushed by former President Donald Trump, saw the exodus of its joint chiefs of technology and product development, per CNBC.

Ethereum's founder is worried about its future, says he wants blockchain to serve as a 'counterweight to authoritarian governments'

Vitalik Buterin, the founder of the Ethereum Network, which houses the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum, is unfathomably wealthy and successful.

Despite his unprecedented success, the 28-year-old financial tech guru is not exactly optimistic about the future of cryptocurrency.

He told Time Magazine that “Crypto itself has a lot of dystopian potential if implemented wrong.”

Time reported that the Buterin’s creation, the Ethereum Network, is a trillion-dollar financial “ecosystem that rivals Visa in terms of the money it moves” and that “Ethereum has brought thousands of unbanked people around the world into financial systems, allowed capital to flow unencumbered across borders, and provided the infrastructure for entrepreneurs to build all sorts of new products.”

Buterin is worried that people who are overeager to invest their money in cryptocurrency underestimate the risks associated with doing so and expressed a general distaste for people who treat cryptocurrency as a sort of get-rich-quick scheme.

Referencing the infamous line of Bored Ape NFTs he said, “The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys and it becomes a different kind of gambling.”

Buterin also dislikes the glitz and glamor that often accompanies the newfound wealth by people who invest in cryptocurrency; he said, “There definitely are lots of people that are just buying yachts and Lambos.”

The encrypted blockchain technology that Ethereum runs on, like Bitcoin, gives Buterin hope that his creation will eventually become more than a financial asset.

Reportedly, Buterin hopes that “Ethereum will become the launchpad for all sorts of sociopolitical experimentation: fairer voting systems, urban planning, universal basic income, public-works projects” and more.

Most important to him however is a desire for Ethereum to serve as a “counterweight to authoritarian governments and to upend Silicon Valley’s stranglehold over our digital lives.”

Put simply, Buterin hopes to see his creation be used for more than financial investing.

He said, “If we don’t exercise our voice, the only things that get built are the things that are immediately profitable and those are often far from what’s actually the best for the world.”

Buterin’s vision, however, may not come to pass as he is far from the formal leader of the Ethereum Network.

In fact, the network was created so that there could be no central figure that directs its trajectory. It is a decentralized platform that is responsive to the whims of whoever is using it the most effectively.

This decentralization leaves Buterin trying to guide Ethereum’s legion of devotees by writing blog posts, giving interviews and speaking at conventions, and conducting independent research on blockchain technology.

The Biden administration is preparing to regulate Bitcoin, citing national security concerns

The Biden administration is preparing to draft Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency regulations.

“The Biden administration is preparing to release an initial government-wide strategy for digital assets as soon as next month and task federal agencies with assessing the risks and opportunities that they pose,” Bloomberg reported.

President Joe Biden’s approach could potentially enable the entirety of the federal government’s administrative apparatus to regulate cryptocurrency under the guise of national security.

Bloomberg said, “The late-stage draft of the executive order details economic, regulatory and national security challenges posed by cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, the directive would also require other agencies to weigh in — carving out roles for everyone from the State Department to the Commerce Department.”

Globally, there are hundreds of millions of people who use cryptocurrency to store and grow their wealth and to make transactions. Largely, the appeal of cryptocurrency is that it is unregulated and not connected to global financial institutions. There are trillions of dollars invested in cryptocurrencies; this asset class was able to grow so rapidly and robustly precisely because there was minimal regulation restricting its growth and use.

In an era with historic levels of inflation, the wages and savings of the American people are constantly losing value. Storing money in a savings account with a sub-1% interest rate is becoming less appealing to more and more people, so they opt to store their wealth in Bitcoin as its growth tends to outpace inflation.

And with nearly seven in 10 Americans living paycheck to paycheck, storing money in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum may help them achieve some financial stability.

The recently passed bipartisan infrastructure deal requires cryptocurrency brokers — Coinbase,, Gemini, etc. — to disclose the names and addresses of their customers. In order to coerce compliance with tax laws, the bipartisan infrastructure deal also required cryptocurrency brokers to provide the IRS, and each customer, with a Form 1099-B detailing exchanges, withdrawals, and holdings.

Earlier this month, the Russian central bank proposed an outright ban of cryptocurrencies and last September the Chinese Communist Party declared all cryptocurrency transactions to be illegal. On the other end of the spectrum, El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. In El Salvador, people may use Bitcoin for buying a cup of coffee or a house, or even use it to pay their taxes.

The U.S. government has been preparing to regulate the cryptocurrency market for a while now. Prior to the Biden administration endorsing the idea of regulating crypto, there was a bipartisan coalition in the U.S. Senate pushing for it to be regulated.

For the time being, however, people may continue to pose a threat to national security by purchasing NFTs and buying shares of Dogecoin for less than a dollar.

Cryptocurrency catastrophe: $130 billion disappears as global tensions rise

In the last 24 hours, the cryptocurrency market lost around $130 billion.

The two most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, continued their multi-day sell-off, dropping prices to levels not seen since July 2021. Currently selling for $34,300, Bitcoin was listed for nearly $70,000 in early November 2021. Similarly, Ethereum is currently listed at just over $2,200 per unit, when it sold for more than double that early last November.

The cryptocurrency market is believed to be moving in tandem with stocks that have been falling since the beginning of 2022. In fact, last week, the Nasdaq had its worst week since March 2020, which marked the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nasdaq and cryptocurrency markets are hemorrhaging money, as tech stocks continue to slide downward and investors prepare for tighter monetary policy from the U.S. Federal Reserve, CNBC reported.

Investors in cryptocurrency are also taking a hit as the Russian central bank proposed an outright ban on the use and mining of cryptocurrencies in all Russian territories. And Russia isn’t the only country in recent weeks to consider cracking down on crypto. Many American crypto-enthusiasts are anticipating incoming regulatory scrutiny from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Rapidly increasing global tensions and the ongoing spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 dampen market prospects. As Russian President Vladmir Putin continues to send troops to the border of the Ukraine, European markets prepare for the worst.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC markets, told CNN Business that the “tipping point” occurred when the United States and United Kingdom announced they would be withdrawing staff from their Ukrainian embassies.

Hewson continued to say that this diplomatic withdrawal gave the “European markets a nudge lower” despite the U.S. State Department claiming it was done out of an “abundance of caution.”

While people may feel uncomfortable at the prospect of their diminishing returns, CNBC’s Jim Cramer instructed U.S. investors not to panic as he urged people to “do some buying.”

And, as the Omicron variant continues to spread during the winter months, more and more people continue to miss work. Further disruptions in supply chains can also be attributed to the perpetually mutating virus. However, an abundance of mild Omicron cases now means there is potential for widespread immunity in the near future.

Investors in cryptocurrency may be hemorrhaging money as the global marketplace reacts to a potential war, but they may find solace in the fact that their volatile investments often recover and strengthen with time.