How could the Biden administration handle crypto regulation

Dan Roberts of Yahoo Finance joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss how President Biden has impacted Cyrptocurrency and what his election means for Bitcoin’s wild ride.

Video Transcript


SEANA SMITH: Crypto has certainly had a huge run. But of course, now the question is, what does the Biden administration mean for the future of space? We want to bring in Dan Roberts, who, as always, is keeping us updated on this.

And Dan, we heard from Janet Yellen earlier today, highlighting some concerns about crypto. But what do you think – I guess, how do you think the Biden administration will probably approach crypto?

UNDER ROBERTS: Yes, well, let’s start with Janet Yellen, Seana. She mentioned today that she does not like cryptocurrency being used for illegal financing. She has said that in the past. But, of course, at the moment, given the price surge we’ve seen with crypto, his comments will get more attention than ever.

She has referred to the fact that it is used for crime. Of course, sometimes the US dollar is used for crime. She has said in the pass, which Janet Yellen has, that she is not a fan of cryptocurrency. She does not regard it as a legal tender or a store of value. And that was a few years ago. That may change.

Aside from Yellen, whom you think she and her opinion would be bearish on how the Biden administration might deal with crypto, you have Gary Gensler, who is Joe Biden’s choice for SEC chairman. And Gary Gensler is very cryptocurrency friendly.

He is the former chairman of the CFTC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. And he has testified before Congress numerous times about crypto and said positive things. He has told Congress not to rush with cryptocurrency over-regulation and not to rush with rules governing that space.

He and some of his associates now – some of the people on Biden’s transition team – have also said they encouraged the kind of regulation of the Libra ticket on Facebook as security. Now, crypto people will not like the idea that it might be labeled security. But Gary Gensler and others have said that Libra should be nurtured and encouraged and that regulators should allow that to be developed.

So you know, on the SEC side, that could very well be. And that’s going to come into play with two key things. First of all, you have the Coinbase IPO coming. Could regulators catch that? We’ll see. And then, of course, you have new SEC charges dropped on the second to last day of former SEC administration Jay Clayton against the Ripple company.

SEC says it is an unregistered securities offering. Well, once Gary Gensler takes over, could that change. Could the SEC come to some sort of settlement with Ripple regarding an XRP token.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Hey, Dan, very fast with only a minute left, Ether has been breaking out today, not so much Bitcoin. What is it for? Is it just everyone who wants crypto?

UNDER ROBERTS: Well, there’s a couple things in there, Adam. I’m glad you asked. Yes, earlier this morning, Ether hit its all-time highest at around 1,400. You know, if you’re on a recent trading volume, the actual trading volume, in terms of dollars running through transactions on Ethereum– that Ethereum blockchain, which is apart of the Bitcoin blockchain – has warmed up in the last few weeks. And it’s neck and neck with the number of dollars discussed on the Bitcoin blockchain in terms of daily average.

Now, of course, the Bitcoin, you’ve got a lot more high price there and a price surge in recent weeks. But look, I think, whenever you see a huge spike in Bitcoin, you’re going to see big activity with the number two cryptocurrency. And that’s Ether.

You know, one thing I like to say is, as we know, there are tens of thousands of these altcoins. But for the time being, the way things have gone, the way businesses operate, there’s a kind of Bitcoin and there’s Ethereum and then there’s everything else. That’s the one and the two. And those are the only two coins I would say with absolute certainty that are going to stay around for years to come. They don’t go anywhere.

SEANA SMITH: Alright, Dan Roberts, thank you so much for breaking that down for us.