MIAMI BEACH (Fla.) – Uncertainty over how cryptocurrency regulation will be implemented in the future, especially in the U.S. remains a major barrier to wider adoption of digital assets like bitcoin, according to panelists Wednesday at one the biggest bitcoin conferences of the year.

However, speakers at the Bitcoin 2022 conference held in Miami Beach, Fla. were optimistic that regulators and policy makers would be more interested in understanding the technology and supporting innovation in the sector.

Many in the industry see consumers being able pay for services and products with crypto as a way to increase acceptance of digital currencies. According to a report, regulatory uncertainty is the main reason merchants have not started offering crypto as a payment option. Based on a survey of more than 3,000 businesses in 10 countries, most of which are online marketplaces and financial technology, the report found that regulatory uncertainty will continue as national legal frameworks have been slow and inconsistent in creating crypto regulations.

Mike Novogratz is the chief executive of investment company Galaxy Digital. He stated that Washington’s attitude towards cryptocurrency crackdowns has changed.

“The tone of the president’s executive orders has changed recently.” It was a shift in tone from being negative towards being balanced,” Mr. Novogratz stated Wednesday.

Last month, President Biden signed an executive directive directing federal agencies to report on digital currency and consider new regulations. The order highlighted the potential risks that cryptocurrencies pose for the economy, climate and national security, but it also pointed out the economic benefits of the currency, which is not the case with previous government pronouncements.

Bitcoin prices surged after the announcement of the executive order, indicating that the industry welcomed the government’s change of tone.

Novogratz is a former manager at Fortress Investment Group and an early investor of bitcoin. He said that he doesn’t expect any new crypto legislation to be released this year. He stated that despite the fact that politics is set up in a way that makes it seem like we will be in gridlock, the likelihood of them actually damaging things has decreased.

He stated that the shift in Washington’s tone was due to when the crypto community mobilized for the infrastructure bill, which was passed last year and aimed to increase tax enforcement on crypto transactions. Although the crypto industry was unable to amend the legislation, the united effort showed Washington’s growing influence and financial industry.

According to Mr. Novogratz, he called every senator he knew at that time. He said that it was a wake-up call because of the number of calls made against the provision by cryptocurrency advocates. They realize that this is a powerful voting bloc and often a single-issue bloc. Don’t mess with my bitcode.

Panelists also emphasized the importance regulators providing standards for cryptocurrency asset custodians. Henson Orser is the president of Komainu Holdings Ltd. He said that there has not yet been a framework for issues such as data entry and segregation fees.

Michael Shaulov is the chief executive officer of Fireblocks Inc., which builds tools to secure the storage and transfer bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. He also stated that the industry was using best practices despite a lack standard regulations.

“I believe that most regulators…they are somewhat behind getting the point where they’ll actually create a standardization around it,” Mr. Shaulov stated.

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