Cryptocurrency regulation - which authorities and how they participate in it

Regulation is the real Achilles heel of the cryptocurrency, which has been actively worked on by governments and supervisory authorities of many countries. Digital currencies are increasingly used by large businesses and even at the state level, and their total turnover reaches astronomical figures. Therefore, it is not surprising that the regulatory structures no longer want and cannot let the situation take its course.

Next, let's talk about which authorities in which countries have joined the control of crypto assets.

In the United States, in addition to the well-known Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the main regulatory authorities for cryptocurrencies include:

-                Agency for Combating Financial Crimes, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Its key task is quite clear from the name - it fights the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of legalizing proceeds from crime. The agency focuses on financial service providers (Money Services Businesses, MSB), that is, cryptocurrency exchangers and a centralized repository of virtual currencies that has the right to issue and buy cryptocurrencies;

-                Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). This independent body regulates the turnover of commodity futures and the OTC market. Cryptocurrencies are of interest to the commission if, in accordance with the structure and features of transactions with them, they can be recognized as a commodity in respect of which futures transactions can be concluded. For example, one of these cryptocurrencies is bitcoin.

-                Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Officer of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The main purpose of the work of this body is the integration of the banking sector into the crypto turnover. In particular, they issued explanatory letters and guidelines for banks concerning the provision of depository services for storing cryptocurrencies (including stablecoins) and the specifics of conducting transactions with them.

Separately, it is worth highlighting that the Fed and the FBI take part in monitoring the turnover of cryptocurrencies and the legality of transactions carried out with them.

As for the European Union, the European Council and the European Parliament took part in the adoption of the resolution on crypto asset markets (MiCA). This document establishes for the first time a single regime for crypto asset service providers in the EU member states.

In the Russian Federation, the main regulators are the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia, which have many disagreements in their views on cryptocurrency and its circulation. At the moment, the entire legal framework on this issue consists of Federal Law No. 259-FZ of July 31, 2020 "On Digital Financial Assets, Digital Currency and Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation", which entered into force on January 1, 2021. However, it contains only general guidelines for the regulation of digital currency and refers to other federal laws that only need to be adopted in order to develop the basic legislative norms.

As can be seen from the above, cryptocurrency regulation is still in its infancy, and there is no unified global practice at all - each state takes its own measures to pacify the spontaneity of crypto assets and make transactions with them more transparent, controlled and predictable.

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