Mike Bloomber
Politics,  Regulation

Bloomberg promises clarity for crypto as president

Whether the billionaire’s ‘get tough on Wall Street’ platform will be good or bad for the cryptocurrency industry remains to be seen

Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday rolled out his plan to rein in Wall Street. As part of that, he wants to provide clear but tough regulations for cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings as well.

On the last page of a nine-page proposed financial reform policy, the billionaire noted that oversight in the crypto space remains “fragmented and undeveloped,” leaving the door open to fraud and criminal activity.

Bloomberg wants to put an end to that. He says regulators should provide clearer rules around which agencies have oversight, and when initial coin offerings should be treated as tradable securities rather than as a form of payment. He also wants to clarify how investments in cryptocurrencies will be taxed. And define capital and other requirements for financial institutions holding cryptocurrencies.  

Whether those rules clear the path for innovation in the space, which is what many executives have been calling for, or give institutional investors the confidence they need to invest in the space, remains to be seen. 

Bloomberg isn’t the only presidential candidate to bring crypto into his campaign. Democratic Candidate Andrew Yang proposed modernizing America’s voting system by creating a blockchain-secured, mobile app system. He also proposed new ways to regulate blockchain technologies, before dropping out after the New Hampshire primaries. Similarly, Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) spoke about the space and accepted crypto donations during his run, which ended in July. 

Bloomberg threw his hat into the presidential race in November 2019 and has so far poured $400 million into ad campaigns, according to Kantar Media. As the mayor of New York from 2002 to 2013, Bloomberg showed strong ties with Wall Street during the financial crisis. During that time, he pushed back on proposals to tighten banking oversight.

Now he appears to be shifting gears. “The financial system isn’t working the way it should for most Americans,” the presidential candidate said in a statement.  

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Amy Castor has more than 20 years' experience in journalism. Her work on crypto and blockchain has appeared in consumer and trade publications throughout the U.S., including CoinDesk, Forbes, Bitcoin Magazine, and The Block.