Andrew Yang, who recently dropped out of the race to be the Democratic Presidential candidate, was an outspoken supporter of technology during his campaign, blockchain being something he thought was an important development for humanity.
Yang, along with another candidate, Eric Swalwell, both accepted cryptocurrency donations during their campaigns. Yang also called for a national level framework to address questions surrounding how the government would approach blockchain and cryptocurrency and supersede the state-level regulations that are potentially contradictory.
With both aforementioned candidates dropping out of the race, Mike Bloomberg has picked up from where they left off. The former New York City mayor and founder of Bloomberg L.P., the company behind the Bloomberg Terminal that everyone who deals with finance will know about, entered the presidential race in November 2019, missing the first primary and caucus. Despite his late arrival, Bloomberg’s billionaire status has allowed him to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into ad campaigns and he has quickly become the challenger to Bernie Sanders.
Bloomberg’s campaign published their financial reform plan on Tuesday, February 18, with a proposal for creating a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies included. This will likely force other candidates to offer their policies towards blockchain and cryptocurrency as well.
Bloomberg’s Plans for Cryptocurrency
Bloomberg’s financial reform plan says this of cryptocurrency:
“Cryptocurrencies have become an asset class worth hundreds of billions of dollars, yet regulatory oversight remains fragmented and underdeveloped. For all the promise of the blockchain, Bitcoin and initial coin offerings, there’s also plenty of hype, fraud and criminal activity.”
Bloomberg seems aware of the potential that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies provide, whether from a humanitarian point of view or a financial one. He is also correct to note the potential issues which arise from blockchain technology, as history has shown cryptocurrency to be anything but stable.
As a solution to these issues his 2020 Financial Reform Policy includes five main objectives for cryptocurrency:
- Clarifying responsibility for overseeing cryptocurrencies.
- Providing a framework for initial coin offerings, by defining when tokens are and are not
- Protecting consumers from cryptocurrency-related fraud.
- Clarifying how investments in cryptocurrencies will be taxed.
- Defining capital and other requirements for financial institutions holding cryptocurrencies.
While the cryptocurrency aspect of Bloomberg’s financial plan is literally the last section to be included in the reform, the fact that it is being addressed should give die-hard crypto enthusiasts hope. Congress has already begun evaluating some of the concepts related to cryptocurrency, especially in light of Facebook introducing Libra. The attention that project created caused many in office to start looking into the basics of cryptocurrencies, such as who oversees them, consumer protections, and outlining a framework for the safety and soundness of all financial institutions that hold cryptocurrencies.