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As global regulators are looking to have control over crypto, blockchain analysts say that lawmakers need research and data to develop fair crypto regulations.
“There are real-time transaction data that are forever available on the blockchain,” Kim Grauer, director of research at Chainalysis, said during a panel discussion at a conference in New York Friday. “Even if you wanted to investigate something from 10 years ago, you can. This is a really powerful data set.”
“There has been a big change in the way regulatory participants are involved in the space,” Turner said. “Now, it’s like every regulator wants to get a piece of what’s going on.”
The importance of data is obvious as lawmakers are showing concerns about Russian sanctions and how criminal entities may use virtual currencies to launder the proceeds of crime.
“Elizabeth Warren asked, ‘Are oligarchs going to send billions of dollars into cryptocurrency?’” Grauer said. “That’s an interesting idea. Let’s look at what the data says.”
According to the news source, Grauer and her team found that high-risk Russian exchanges marked stable inflows and outflows — not the big-money transactions many high-profile industry types were expecting.
“Crypto crime isn’t different from regular crime — it’s just a new tool in the toolkit for criminals to use,” Grauer said. “Data is highly, highly important, especially for myth-busting.”
In addition to research, Turner said, the industry needs to take a more active role in engaging regulators.
“The crypto industry as a whole has done a terrible job of interacting with regulators historically,” he said. “Up until a couple of years ago, we largely ignored the actual impacts regulators have on the space.”
Education is key for winding up with fair, comprehensive regulation, which ought to bring millions more regular, retail investors into the space, according to both researchers.
“You want to encourage people to get into the space, and people want to do it safely,” Grauer said. “I see a lot of really good intentions and as a researcher, all I can do is give you all the data that you could possibly need to inform your decisions to debunk myths.”