Trump Official Argues for 'Sweet Spot' in Crypto Regulation

The U.S. government needs to develop reasonable regulations around the nascent cryptocurrency space, said OMB director Mick Mulvaney.

AccessTimeIconJun 20, 2018 at 8:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 10, 2022 at 8:35 p.m. UTC
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.

The U.S. government needs to find the "sweet spot" in its oversight of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Future of Fintech conference hosted by research and analysis firm CB Insights, Mulvaney, who also heads the Office of Management and Budget, touted his pro-bitcoin credentials, noting that he is fiscally conservative and "was one of the founding members of the bitcoin caucus and blockchain caucus."

Sympathies aside, he argued that regulation is important to protect investors – but the government should not discourage potential investors or developers from entering the market through burdensome laws or regulations.

Mulvaney explained:

"We knew at an early point in bitcoin that as with any developing financial technology we needed to find that sweet spot … if Mt. Gox became a regular occurrence it dramatically undermines confidence in the markets and prevents innovation. And if we over-regulate and discourage people from entering the marketplace, that has bad consequences too."

In other words, Mulvaney said, "we're looking for that Goldilocks [path] in the middle."

He explained the concerns that might arise with a lack of investor protection, saying: "It's a new and innovative technology, it's a nonbanking system, it's whatever. If people still can't get access to their own money, that's a problem. So the law's functioning correctly there."

What Mulvaney is trying to accomplish now, he argued, is ensuring that the application of an existing law doesn't lead to unintended consequences.

"If for some reason we're looking at you and the only way we can look at you is through the lens of the bricks and mortar financial institution, and because we do that it has this perverse or absurd result, that's what we're trying to identify and to prevent," he said.

Mick Mulvaney image via CB Insights


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.