Cryptocurrency Regulation Should "Do No Harm" According to US Regulator

In an interview at the annual Singapore Summit, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said that:

When it comes to the oversight of cryptocurrencies, regulators need to avoid inhibiting innovation, yet be vigilant against manipulation.

J. Christopher Giancarlo

From his perspective, a reason the internet succeeded was because the government was not too heavy handed with its regulatory approach, particularly in its nascent stages. Instead, it took a simple “do-no-harm” approach.

He suggested that the CFTC - which is responsible for crypto regulation in the United States, where cryptocurrencies are classified as commodities - should take the same approach for cryptocurrencies.

Still, Giancarlo himself recognized that a challenge to this approach is the risk of corruption and fraud, which are rampant in the crypto community. He thus emphasized the importance of being “slow and well-informed” while creating regulatory policies for cryptocurrencies.

Giancarlo is a strong believer in the potential of cryptocurrencies. In a written statement to the US Senate Banking Committee, he highlighted the potential of blockchain to:

enhance economic efficiency, mitigate centralized systemic risk, defend against fraudulent activity and improve data quality and governance.

J. Christopher Giancarlo

It appears that it is the promise of this frontier technology that encourages him to take a less aggressive approach to its regulation, allowing significant room for innovation and creativity. Advocates of the “do-no-harm” approach cite the unsuccessful New York ‘BitLicense’ which ultimately led to crypto talent leaving the state to seek stats with less regulatory friction.

This should be reassuring for those who worry that over-regulation could hinder cryptocurrency technologies from reaching their full potential.

Israeli Intelligence Alleges Hamas is Using Bitcoin for Funding

Michael LaVere
  • Israel's International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) has alleged that Hamas is using bitcoin for funding.
  • ICT specialists discovered a bitcoin address tied to the Islamic National Bank. 

An Israeli counter-terrorism group has alleged that the Palestinian Sunni militant movement Hamas is using cryptocurrency for funding. 

According to a report by the Jerusalem Post on Sunday, the Interdisciplinary Centre’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) has alleged that Hamas is using bitcoin as a new form of fund-raising. 

Specialists from the ICT, based out of the Israeli city of Herzliya, found a particular bitcoin address revealing irregular activity that was linked to a legitimate financial website by the name of “cash4ps”.

According to the report, 

A website called “cash4ps” enables Hamas to send and receive money out of Gaza for operational terror purposes while simultaneously providing a measure of anonymity to either donors or beneficiaries of the funds.

The report continues, 

While monitoring Bitcoin address 1LaNXgq2ctDEa4fTha6PTo8sucqzieQctq, ICT’s cyber desk noted “an irregular increase in the scope of activity,” and a “deeper review showed that the same address served a seemingly legitimate financial website by the name of cash4ps.

The report also states the bitcoin address has been linked to a company operating an account in a banned bank. The Islamic National Bank, which was designated as a terrorist entity by the U.S. government for its connections to Hamas, was linked to the financial scheme. 

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