US Cybersecurity Czar Says We’re Not Even Close to Regulating Bitcoin

White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce told CNBC that the US government still has a long way to go before it begins drafting regulations on the cryptocurrency market.

While countries like Japan and South Korea have the foresight to regulate cryptocurrencies, the United States is moving slowly when it comes to preparing regulation at a national level. According to White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce, the government has yet to analyse the market sufficiently to understand the risks involved in cryptocurrencies before considering appropriate regulation.

While speaking to CNBC he said:

“I think we’re still absolutely studying and understanding what the good ideas and bad ideas in that space are. So, I don’t think it’s close,”

It is common for governments to regulate Bitcoin at the exchange level, but it remains challenging to clamp down on the cryptocurrency because its blockchain denies authorities the tools that they need to easily identify criminal transactions.

It is also exceedingly difficult in some cases for government officials to shut down an account or confiscate the wealth of any individual in criminal cases.

Joyce said:

“We are worried. There are benefits to the bitcoin concept — digital cash, digital currencies. But at the same time, if you look at the way bitcoin works after there is a criminal act that takes place, you can’t rewind the clock and take back that currency,”

It appears that the US government—at least as far as the White House is concerned—wishes to address the more criminal aspects of cryptocurrencies without any intent of a total clampdown. Joyce’s comments echoed those of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has said that his number one concern on bitcoin was its use in criminal activity.

Cryptocurrencies appear to be hitting US politics more than previously seeing as the White House and other administrative bodies are getting more questions on the subject.

Recently, a new Congressional candidate who advocates cryptocurrency use jumped into the fray just in time for the midterms. Brian Forde, a 37-year-old programmer, received donations for his campaign from some established cryptocurrency investors, among them the Winklevoss twins.

Business and political leaders are divided over the future of bitcoin. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it will have to be regulated. France and Germany are said to be working on their own regulatory structure, as European Union lawmakers call for some sort of control over cryptocurrencies and crypto assets. There have been many calls for the subject to be debated at the global level at the upcoming G20 meeting in March.