Cryptocurrency’s market cap reached $2.7 trillion this month—more than doubling in less than a year. In September, El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender in an effort to increase financial inclusion, innovation, and tourism. And this month, New York City’s next mayor, Eric Adams, pledged to convert his first three mayoral paychecks to Bitcoin, and he wants all New Yorkers to have the option to do the same. As part of his effort to position the city as a cryptocurrency leader, Adams has promised to take a “look at what’s preventing the growth of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in our city.”
Cryptocurrency’s widespread adoption is limited—in part—by an uncertain, still developing regulatory framework surrounding it. A growing number of state and federal regulatory and law enforcement agencies are taking an active role in regulating cryptocurrency, and perhaps even operating at cross-purposes. In particular, in the face of jurisdictional gaps at the federal level, state banking regulators historically played a significant role in regulating crypto. But, more recently, state attorneys general are taking a more active role in the cryptocurrency regulatory and enforcement landscape.