Cryptocurrency companies could look towards overseas financial hubs as the U.S. crypto crackdown intensifies. Soon, the country may no longer be an industry leader.
More attractive offers beyond the US
Countries like Dubai, Europe, Hong Kong, and Singapore are becoming more attractive for crypto companies. These companies are escaping the strict regulatory efforts in the U.S., calling it “regulation by enforcement” as they are more focused on rule-bending than new digital asset laws.
In addition, companies are finding better-taxing regimes and governments that are friendlier.
Crypto companies have been pushing for clear and even strict regulations. So far, regulatory bodies have only created a shifting environment for crypto rules, hindering maximal business growth. At the moment, the issue seems unlikely to face clarity soon as there are yet to be any agreements on the bills proposed to handle the issue.
Investors have begun talks with RockX to expand beyond the U.S. and diversify their regulatory risks. Hong Kong regulators announced last year their plans to create a mandatory exchange-licensing regime starting in June 2023.
Dubai also finalized its crypto rules this month, giving them a full regulatory license in the city. Jurisdictions like Singapore and Dubai provide advantageous tax rates on investors’ minds when searching for new locations.
Arca’s chief investment officer, Jeff Dorman, mentioned that the new companies his firm is talking to or has invested in are non-bothered with the U.S. Sheila Warren, CEO of the advocacy group Crypto Council for Innovation, describes the regulation situation related to digital assets as essentially a guessing game of what is next.
Rigorous SEC enforcement
Over the past week, the SEC has been vigilant in enforcing rules on digital asset companies. On Feb 9, Kraken, a crypto exchange, got into a $30 million settlement with the regulator and its stacking services suspended. Days later, Paxos Trust Co. halted its stablecoin issuance after notice from the SEC to sue the company.
The highlight was the SEC suing Do Kwon and his company Terra Labs over alleged fraud that saw its stablecoin fall last year and take down $40 billion of market value. Around that time, the regulatory body also proposed changes to crypto custody rules, making it harder for hedge funds to locate companies that would hold their digital assets.
The crypto market was not blind to the enforcement. Bitcoin, the top crypto by market cap, began to fall on Feb. 16. It is now trading at $24,130, a 4% lower over the past 24 hours.