Former cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried has been convicted for stealing at least $10 billion from customers and investors. This is another blow to the cryptocurrency industry, which has been facing calls for regulation. However, there seems to be little interest in Washington to push through regulation, especially amidst geopolitical tensions and the upcoming 2024 election. Bankman-Fried’s failure and subsequent arrest may have contributed to the stall in regulatory momentum. Federal regulators have taken enforcement actions against the industry, including lawsuits against Coinbase and Binance. Congress has yet to take meaningful action, with some senators skeptical of cryptocurrencies and reluctant to regulate them. A bill in the House to regulate stablecoins has gained no interest from the White House and Senate. President Joe Biden signed an executive order urging the Federal Reserve to explore creating a digital currency but no progress has been made. Consumer advocates argue that existing laws on fraud and securities are sufficient. The implosion of Quadriga in Canada demonstrated the need for regulation, leading to coordinated efforts by provincial securities regulators to set rules for crypto exchanges.
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