The Treasury Department is well aware that cryptocurrency scams and hacks remain a serious problem and is pressuring the rest of the US government to respond. What washington post gradesThe Treasury has issued a report calling on other federal regulators to crack down more heavily on scams and other illegal crypto activities. Officials want agencies to “expand and increase” investigations and enforcement, issue clearer guidance and help crypto users understand both the risks and the reporting tools at their disposal.
In all cases, the Treasury called for more coordination between government agencies. The department also called for more transparency about illegal activities to help spot trends in scams and other crimes.
The tougher stance is necessary given the dangers, according to the report. While proponents argue that cryptocurrencies can democratize financial services by making them more affordable and accessible, Treasury found that there was not much evidence to support the claim. If anything, the department found that low-income households were particularly vulnerable to scams: 29 percent of cryptocurrency investors had an annual income of less than $50,000, according to data from the Federal Reserve Board.
It is not clear that the findings will lead to decisive action. Treasury did not outline a concrete strategy for fighting crypto scams and security breaches, and regulators have their own, sometimes conflicting, views on how to govern digital assets. The Securities Exchange Commission considers most crypto tokens to be securities it can monitor, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, unsurprisingly, wants to treat tokens as commodities. Although the offices may not be at odds, this report does little to establish common ground.
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