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FTX collapse could trigger ‘appetite’ for harsher regulation, says Andrew Yang

Calls for harsher regulations around cryptocurrencies and digital assets will likely grow louder in the aftermath of FTX’s collapse — something former United States presidential candidate Andrew Yang said isn’t conducive to making America a hotbed for blockchain innovation.

Speaking at the Texas Blockchain Summit in Austin on Nov. 18, Yang acknowledged that the bankruptcy of FTX and sister company Alameda Research would make common sense crypto regulation harder to pass in the short term.

“I’ve always been in the camp that some intelligent regulation is a good thing. I think it would help the industry mature and make it more mainstream. But, unfortunately, we missed a beat — like a major beat,” he said, referring to the collective failures of FTX, FTX US and Alameda Research.

“Because of FTX and the problems and the headlines and the real people that got hurt, there’s going to be an appetite for regulation that, in my mind, might not hit the mark,” he said. “Because you want to be able to balance the very real concerns with the need to keep America the home of innovation and development of these tools.”

Yang acknowledged that the path to regulatory clarity on digital assets is more difficult because of the hyper-politicization of the two-party system. As such, the FTX fiasco will only embolden crypto’s biggest opponents to try and squash the industry. Yang said he’s working with the Bipartisan Policy Center, a D.C.-based think tank, to educate congresspeople about blockchain technology and its value proposition:

“[W]e e work with the Bipartisan Policy Center to liaise with members of Congress or their offices or their policy teams and just educate them about what these tools are and what they can do and the problems they can solve and why their constituents actually care and value them. We work with the American Conference of Mayors to have various mayors stand up and say, look, the blockchain is a good thing.”

The widening political chasm between Democrats and Republicans is something Yang has long been concerned about, telling Cointelegraph in May that the U.S. midterm elections further demonstrated the politicization of crypto.

The need to regulate crypto appears to have intensified over the past week as lawmakers continue to dissect the fallout from FTX. On Nov. 10, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Biden administration would “closely monitor” developments in the sector.