Are new bitcoin rules coming?
According to The Wall Street Journal, “the Internal Revenue Service is expected to update its 2014 guidance on cryptocurrencies in coming weeks, following an April request from a bipartisan group of 20 lawmakers. It is part of a broader push to boost the nascent cryptocurrency industry.” Not only that, but the newspaper said the U.S. Congress “is considering at least three bills that would resolve some of the murky legal issues surrounding digital money.”
The move comes as U.S. regulators and politicians increase their focus on big tech and associated areas, with recent hearings targeting Facebook and Google. Also, Facebook’s plan to launch its own cryptocurrency, Libra, is among the main issues occupying the minds of digital payments and commerce experts. A congressional hearing on Libra is scheduled for later in July.
The newspaper said “crypto’s backers in Washington say regulatory clarity is vital to the sector’s growth. They also worry the U.S. is falling behind: Japan and Switzerland have developed legal frameworks that have attracted cryptocurrency projects and investment. Facebook chose to incorporate the group that will govern Libra in Switzerland.”
The growth of digital currencies faces more than regulatory challenges, the Journal noted, saying “bitcoin has struggled to gain traction beyond a core group of techies. Drug dealers and scammers attracted to its anonymity have marred its reputation.”
Even so, “regulation remains a stumbling block to cryptocurrency’s wider adoption," the report continued. "Taxation, specifically, is among the sector’s biggest issues.”