Blockchain Association CEO Kristin Smith weighs where the digital asset industry may be in the next half decade, on the organization’s five-year anniversary.
- Money laundering pain points
The first, and perhaps biggest, long term issue relates to anti-money laundering (AML) efforts. While federal law enforcement agencies have become quite adept at tracking illicit transactions on blockchain networks, high profile cases such as the ongoing action against the developers of Tornado Cash demonstrate the salience this issue has across the government.
- Regulatory sea change
Lastly, with a major election on the horizon, we address the known unknown of federal regulatory personnel. Depending on the outcome of the 2024 presidential election, there could be a sea change at the relevant regulatory agencies, bringing in fresh faces that may have more enlightened perspectives on the development, use and proliferation of digital assets.
Even if the White House does not change hands, recent legal losses at some of those agencies – most notably the SEC – may turn the tide and persuade those crypto antagonists that a different approach is needed as it attempts to corral the domestic industry.
- Crypto-specific bills, pro-crypto politicians
The second issue is the most likely path to pass legislation through both the House and Senate, and into law. While crypto advocates were right to celebrate the milestone this past summer of multiple crypto-specific bills being voted out of their respective House committees, the now-pressing question of the fate of those bills in the House and then the Senate must be considered.