The inauguration of Joe Biden took place on January 20, 2021, and he has officially become the 46th president of the United States of America. He has frozen all federal regulatory processes during his first day in the Oval Office of the White House. This order halts the controversial regulations on cryptocurrency owners and wallets proposed by Steven Mnuchin, the former Treasury Secretary.
The former US Treasury Department proposed strict regulations in December 2020, requiring cryptocurrency exchanges to verify the identity of crypto wallet owners if the transaction exceeds $3,000 per day. It also requires exchanges to file currency transaction reports (CTRs) for users transferring over $10,000 per day.
Critics of the regulations acknowledged that it would be technically impossible in many cases to comply with the rules because, in projects based on smart contracts, there are is identity information to provide.
Now, the new US administration wants to review the regulations and avoid the initial attempt by the previous administration to rush it through. In a memorandum sent to the heads of executive departments and agencies, Biden ordered to postpone the rules’ effective dates for at least 60 days starting from January 20, 2021. Although it is not clear what the results of the review would be, this halt is already being praised by critics. “We fought hard & earned the right to take a breath & reset. [Treasury Secretary nominee] Janet Yellen isn’t Steve Mnuchin. I’m optimistic,” tweeted Jake Chervinsky, general counsel of Compound Finance and DeFi group co-chain at the Blockchain Association.
It should be noted that Janet Yellen is not a crypto enthusiast. She has already criticized the usage of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in illegal financing such as terrorism, but she also has acknowledged the benefits of cryptocurrencies. “I think we need to look closely at how to encourage their use for legitimate activities while curtailing their use for malign and illegal activities,” in a written response to the US Senate Finance Committee.
Such an open-minded approach has lifted cryptocurrency advocates’ hopes for the future.