The global crypto market is currently witnessing one of the worst downward trends in its history. Bitcoin has dropped to less than half of its all-time high of $69,000 from November 2021. Ethereum also dipped below the $1,750 mark this week for the first time since July 2021. The effects were felt across the board, and very few, if any coins at all, have walked away unharmed from the sell-off, now being labelled a 'Crypto Winter'.
The Terra crash also sent shockwaves across the industry. A destabilised UST-dollar peg sent the LUNA token plummeting as mass panic and FUD kicked in. LUNA, Terra's native cryptocurrency, went from $80 on 6th May 2022 to $0.02 this morning.
Policymakers have sprung into action following the crypto downturn and are considering a global regulatory body to maintain overwatch.
"Crypto has obviously rocketed up the agenda," said Ashley Alder, who chairs the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), in an online discussion hosted by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) on 12th May 2022.
He believes that a global crypto guardian is the need of the hour, and a joint body could be constituted within the next year to conceptualise befitting regulations. "If you look at the risks we need to address, they are multiple, and there is a wall of worry about
After COVID and Climate Change, Adler mentioned that Crypto is the third 'C' for regulating authorities. He explained that pressing issues such as cybersecurity, stability and resilience, and data transparency needed to be looked into and that regulators have some catching up to do on those fronts.
For investors, crypto regulation could actually be a good thing. A global watchdog could keep events like the Terra UST FUD from happening again and re-instil trust among crypto investors. "Regulations will come up, and they have to come up at some point, which would stabilise the market even further," said Tally Greenberg, Business Development Head at Allnodes, to NextAdvisor in April 2022. "That protects investors, so it's a good thing. It's not a bad thing," she added.
Crypto regulation has always been met with mixed reactions. For some, regulation hinders innovation and development in a decentralised ecosystem designed to work without a governing body. New regulation may also discourage long term investors from joining the crypto bandwagon, as observed in India.
However, it can also protect investors' financial interests while preventing malfeasance. Coins and projects may have to adhere to specific (maybe even stricter) security, privacy and fail-safe frameworks, which may only benefit investors in the long run.
(Edited by : Anand Singha)