Mark Wetjen Wants Regulation to Encourage Bitcoin Innovators to Remain in U.S.

On November 4, Mark Wetjen wrote an oped in the Wall Street Journal asking regulators to steer clear of harming Bitcoin. Wetjen is a commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and a Democrat.

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Mark Wetjen Wants Regulation to Encourage Bitcoin Innovators to Remain in U.S.

On November 4, Mark Wetjen wrote an oped in the Wall Street Journal asking regulators to steer clear of harming Bitcoin. Wetjen is a commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and a Democrat.

As reportedin The Hill, he said the goal should be to "lay the groundwork for future innovation" and to "build confidence in consumers currently leery of embracing the new technology." Events such as Mt. Gox, Silk Road, and today's seizure of Silk Road 2, along with the shutdown of other dark markets, “shake the public’s confidence in Bitcoin.”

Other regulators have spoken about their own lack of confidence and have advocated a complete ban of Bitcoin. Earlier this year, CT reported that Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) wrote a letter addressed to Wetjen and other financial regulators, determined to wipe the currency from use in the United States because, he said, it poses “a massive threat” and is “disruptive” to the U.S. economy.

Charles Schumer (D-NY), who called for the shutdown of the original Silk Road two years before it happened, sent out a press release just last week asking for a greater targeting of illegal sales on the dark web. Is it a coincidence that today, he got exactly that?

Regulatory framework should be "flexible and rational," Wetjen said on Tuesday. He stated his desire for "serious [Bitcoin] innovators to choose to work within the US rather than avoid it.” He advised that “creating a flexible and rational regulatory framework is the best way for regulators to respond” to illegal incidents.

In other words, prevention in the form of Bitcoin-supportive regulation might provide better support to the overall U.S. economy, rather than reaction, like we’ve seen more of today. 


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