Bloomberg woos crypto community with regulation plans

Democratic presidential hopeful releases financial reform plan with crypto plank


US Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg has come out in support of crypto regulation in a move likely to force Bitcoin and blockchain onto the election agenda.

Bloomberg’s proposals to clarify the status of crypto assets came in a just-released plan to reform the US financial system.

Bloomberg’s statements on crypto carry weight because of his background in the financial services sector. Bloomberg founded the financial, data and media company that carries his name in 1981.

The plan states that, while cryptocurrencies have become an asset class worth hundreds of billions of dollars, “regulatory oversight remains fragmented and undeveloped”.

“For all the promise of the blockchain, Bitcoin and initial coin offerings, there’s also plenty of hype, fraud and criminal activity,” the document continues. Bloomberg would “work with regulators to provide clearer rules of the game”.

His plan, albeit brief at this stage, includes elements designed to protect consumers from cryptocurrency-related fraud. It also clarifies responsibilities for overseeing cryptocurrencies.

Bloomberg’s acceptance of the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies and blockchain has been interpreted as an attempt to woo the crypto community.

Rival Democrats still in the race have been silent on the issue, while President Trump has been openly hostile to crypto in a number of tweets on the subject.

Bloomberg’s interest is likely to force other candidates to address the issue, especially as the former New York mayor has enjoyed a recent surge in the polls. These have pushed him to second place in the race for the Democratic nomination behind Bernie Sanders.

It is estimated that Bloomberg has an election war chest of more than $60bn (£46bn, €55.5bn).

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