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Could the U.S. become crypto global leader in 2022?

U.S. regulators have taken extraordinary measures in 2021 in voicing their concerns around the cryptocurrency industry along with passing critical regulation that will bring more clarity for crypto companies and how they can operate in the jurisdiction.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Gary Gensler said recently that the government’s focus is on ensuring that the industry follows investor and consumer protection rules, anti-money laundering regulations and tax laws.

Gensler’s comments mirror those of Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, who said during a September 30 congressional hearing that he had “no intention” of banning cryptocurrencies.

The U.S. government has also shown that it is keen on finding ways in regulating stable coins along with looking into how it can approach regulating different areas in the decentralized finance industry. And most importantly, the U.S. government turned into law its $1 trillion infrastructure bill that included a crypto provision that brings some clarity to the industry. 

There is no doubt that 2021 has been an exciting and interesting year in the crypto space in the U.S., but I think this is just the very beginning of what is yet to unfold in 2022.

I believe that the adoption of cryptocurrencies will accelerate across the U.S., along with regulators stepping in to help create a safe and sustainable industry.

Below are three main trends I see in the crypto space in the U.S. for 2022.

The U.S. to regulate stable coins

Stable coins backed by U.S. dollar assets have now grown so large that they could pose a systemic short-term threat to the broader financial system if something goes wrong.

Although stable coins have a relatively small market value of around $127 billion, the significant growth of the market - 500% over the past 12 months - has policymakers nervous. The potential for an individual stable coin to grow rapidly raises the idea that if one could fall into distress, like a major U.S. bank, it could pose major risk to the financial system.

U.S. regulators have already made it public that they will find ways to ensure that the industry grows safely and is transparent and accountable.

In November, the Biden Administration’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released a report (PWG Report) calling for legislation to limit the issuance of stable coins to insured depository institutions to allow serious regulation of stable coins to address the systemic risk the may pose to the economy and financial system.

In 2022, we could see congress taking significant  action in bringing stable coins into its traditional  financial system by enforcing audits and other measures to ensure transparency and the protection of users.

More Americans to jump on the crypto train

Last year, we saw more Americans than ever buying cryptocurrency. Digital asset marketplace Bakkt found in its U.S. Consumer Crypto Survey that 48% of American investors invested money in cryptocurrency during the first half of 2021.

It is incredible that over half of Americans who own crypto bought for the first time within the last year, demonstrating American’s appetite and joining the fast-growing crypto community.

According to a survey, another 32% of respondents who haven't invested in virtual currency yet plan to do so in the next six months. All this means is that Americans are embracing cryptocurrency faster than ever before and the crypto industry must be there to ensure that American consumers have access to the best crypto products and services we possibly can. 

By working with U.S. regulators in 2022, crypto companies can lead the way in creating sustainable and attractive services for not just customers in America, but also across the world.

Crypto savings platforms to become the norm

As more Americans continue to embrace cryptocurrency and make it part of their daily lives, I believe that they will begin to find ways to use their digital assets, especially as payments for goods and services. With crypto credit and debit cards becoming more popular, next year more Americans will use crypto cards to spend their stable coins and earn rewards in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other tokens of their liking.

Outside of using crypto for purchases, I believe that new cryptocurrency investors in America will realize that they can deposit their cryptocurrency in crypto savings accounts, which are like timed deposits that you can acquire at your local bank branch.

There is one notable difference between crypto savings accounts and banking savings accounts. While your cash in your bank account in the U.S. may be earning you around 0.006% a year, certain crypto savings platforms can earn up to 8-12% a year from their USDT, along with earning high yields from other major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. If U.S. authorities continue to regulate the crypto industry in a sustainable way that doesn’t stifle innovation, the North American country could very well become the global leader in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.

 

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