Speaking at the Future Fintech conference this week, Mick Mulvaney, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has called for a ‘sweet spot’ in US government oversight of cryptocurrency.
The New York conference is an annual “one-of-a-kind gathering”, focusing on the fintech and blockchain industry and hosted by research and analysis firm CB Insights.
Mulvaney mentioned in his speech that he is pro-bitcoin and was one of the founding members of the Bitcoin and blockchain caucuses. He is also head of the Office of Management and Budget and describes himself as fiscally conservative.
The importance of regulation in the cryptocurrency ecosystem was a key point in his speech, which he stresses is necessary to protect investors. However, he also notes that the government should help encourage potential investors or developers by not implementing laws that are too strict.
Using the example of the $460 million Mt. Gox cryptocurrency theft, he explains that if such occurrences became regular it would undermine confidence in the market and hinder progress. On the flipside, he also recognizes the consequences of over-regulating and discouraging entry into the market.
He says they are looking for a “Goldilocks path in the middle”, presumably referencing the fussy character from the fairytale who couldn’t find satisfaction without perfection.
In conclusion, Mulvaney states the need to avoid ‘perverse or absurd’ results that may arise from looking at cryptocurrency through the lens of a ‘bricks and mortar’ financial institution.
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