Mistertango: Cryptocurrency Exchanges Increasingly Want Regulation Themselves

August 1, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

It’s not every day you hear about an industry wishing that the government would just step in already, but that seem to be at least a summary version of the word out of Mistertango, the first “crypto-friendly payment company”. Mistertango dropped word our way about a study it had conducted, in which it found that 88 percent of crypto exchanges wanted some kind of industry regulation brought in, before something potentially disastrous happened.

Mistertango’s study not only revealed an industry crying out for regulation, but it wanted that regulation ahead of a real disaster. Almost a third of studied exchanges were genuinely terrified about an upcoming potential market crash along with “sudden devaluation of assets.”

The rest of the study gets interesting from there. While 88 percent of crypto exchanges wanted regulation, 17 percent believe that the biggest overall threat to cryptocurrency is too much regulation. That means that at least some of the exchanges that want regulation—potentially all of them—believe that regulation is necessary to their survival, but too much will kill them. That may seem like a strange dichotomy, but it’s possible to have just enough regulation.

Those exchanges also believe, in 30 percent of cases, that the biggest threat to cryptocurrency is a major crypto crash, apparently unlike those we’ve already seen in which bitcoin lost over half its value in the space of about a month. However, even as regulation is practically pleaded for, 40 percent want barriers reduced for banks so that acceptance will increased, and only 55 percent believe customers should be subject to both Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering operations like normal financial services.

It seems like the crypto exchanges know, almost too well, what they’re asking for. They know that a well-regulated environment will peel away the “Wild West” patina the crypto market operates under right now, and thus encourage use from all those users who believe that cryptocurrencies are strictly for criminals. Yet they also know that excessive regulation will make the market inaccessible, and will kill it as surely as not enough regulation.

Hitting that sweet spot, therefore, will prove a challenge. It’s likely one the crypto markets will have to take on, though, to keep their market alive.