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Each day seems to carry with it a new, ominous headline propounding the imminent demise of cryptocurrency. The death of Bitcoin has been predicted more than 450 times as of this writing. And yet, it seems to have staying power: more than $23 billion of Bitcoin has changed hands in the last 24 hours. Seasoned crypto investors — and their detractors — have weathered ups and downs, and there are doubtlessly more to come. But with each crash (and subsequent boom), the war drum of federal regulation increases in fervor and proximity.
In November, following the well-publicized collapse of FTX, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen chastised the crypto world in a threat that sent markets in a steep plunge: “The recent failure of a major cryptocurrency exchange and the unfortunate impact that has resulted for holders and investors of crypto assets demonstrate the need for more effective oversight of cryptocurrency markets.” The specific areas of concern she identified included “comingling of customer assets, lack of transparency and conflicts of interest,” which she claimed “was at the center of the crypto market stresses observed over the past week.”