Stablecoin Bill Strengthens Dollar Dominance, Tackles Sanction Evasion

Lawmakers in the United States are turning their attention to stablecoins due to their potential benefits and risks. Stablecoins are seen as more suitable for everyday purchases compared to volatile cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. There are concerns that stablecoins are being used by illicit actors, including drug dealers and terrorist groups, for illegal transactions. Lawmakers argue that if stablecoins are not regulated, they could undermine the dominance of the US dollar. Several pieces of legislation, such as the Lummis-Gillibrand Payment Stablecoin Act and the McHenry-Waters stablecoin bill, have been introduced to create a regulatory framework for stablecoins. These initiatives aim to promote the dominance of the US dollar while ensuring responsible digital asset innovation.

Experts believe that regulatory measures are necessary to protect against the misuse of stablecoins. Bringing stablecoin issuers under the Bank Secrecy Act is a step in the right direction, but additional focus on the payment rails is needed to address the full range of risks associated with stablecoins. The regulation of stablecoins would solidify the primacy of the US dollar and encourage innovative developments within the country, according to industry leaders.

Regulating stablecoins could also help maintain the stability of the dollar in the stablecoin market. The European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) is set to provide a safer and stronger ecosystem for stablecoins, potentially posing competition to the US dollar. It has been suggested that a regulatory framework for stablecoins could prevent the market from moving outside the United States to other jurisdictions.

The risk of stablecoins being used to evade US economic sanctions is a significant concern. Unregulated stablecoins have been found to facilitate illicit activities, such as the evasion of law enforcement and sanctions by groups like Hamas. Bringing stablecoins into the regulatory framework is seen as a way to mitigate these risks. The Treasury Department and the House are making progress in terms of stablecoin regulation, but it remains uncertain whether legislation will be passed in 2024.

Despite the challenges, there is growing momentum behind stablecoin legislation. Recent discussions among lawmakers and the introduction of new bills indicate bipartisan interest in passing stablecoin regulations. The shortened legislative calendar in an election year poses a hurdle to the passage of stablecoin legislation. Some believe that the upcoming election and turnover of members could motivate lawmakers to finalize a deal before the end of the year.

If stablecoin legislation is enacted, it could lead to mergers between banks and stablecoin issuers. Banks may seek to take advantage of the benefits of being a stablecoin issuer, while issuers may benefit from the user base of an existing bank. Significant obstacles need to be overcome, including obtaining support from the White House and attaching the legislation to a broader legislative package.

The recognition that regulating stablecoins is preferable to leaving them unregulated is growing. Even without US action, stablecoins could continue to grow as a means for individuals in countries with weak currencies to acquire a substitute for the US dollar. Regulating stablecoins within the US regulatory framework is seen as the better approach.

2 thoughts on “Stablecoin Bill Strengthens Dollar Dominance, Tackles Sanction Evasion

  1. The proposed legislation will only benefit big banks and limit the opportunities for smaller players in the stablecoin market. It’s all about protecting the incumbents. 😠

  2. The idea of banks merging with stablecoin issuers just shows how centralized and controlled the whole system will be. We need decentralized solutions, not more of the same.

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