The president of Fidelity Digital Assets believes the new US administration will take a more constructive approach to the crypto industry.
Referring to crypto-literate Gary Gensler, President Joe Biden’s pick for head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Tom Jessop tells CNBC, “Given Gensler’s experience in the space and what he’s been doing in recent years, I think it paints a more generally constructive attitude or picture in terms of what we might expect going forward. I would note that we saw some fairly interesting and good regulatory developments last year.”
He adds, “You look at the [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and some of the guidance they’ve given banks around access to the asset class where you are participating in some of these networks and more recently and perhaps less publicized, some requests for comment from the SEC around a better definition around what it means to be a custodian in this space and even some questions about what it would mean for broker-dealers to transact in tokenized securities. So even predating this news, we’ve started to see more constructive engagement with regulators and we think that will persist into the new year.”
When asked if the recent wave of investment in crypto by institutional players could stabilize the market enough to prevent the kind of 80% crash and two-year bear market witnessed at the end of 2017’s epic bull run, Jessop is cautiously optimistic.
He says, “I wouldn’t rule [a major crash and bear market] out, but I think we’re in a very different market now than the one we experienced in 2017. I think the composition of investor interest has changed dramatically. We’ve moved from 2017, a very retail-driven frenzy into the final weeks of that year, and now we’re seeing much broader-based institutional adoption.”