Yahoo Finance’s Dan Roberts joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss how President Biden has impacted cyrptocurrency and what his election means for Bitcoin’s wild ride.
SEANA SMITH: Crypto has certainly had a huge run. But of course, now the question is, what does a Biden administration mean for the future of the space? We want to bring in Dan Roberts, who, as always, follows the latest on this for us.
And Dan, we heard from Janet Yellen earlier today, flagging some worries about crypto. But what do you think– I guess, how do you think a Biden administration will likely approach crypto?
DAN ROBERTS: Yeah, well, let’s start with Janet Yellen, Seana. She mentioned today that she doesn’t like that cryptocurrency is used for illicit financing. She has said that in the past. But of course, right now, given the price surge we’ve seen with crypto, there’s going to be more attention than ever on her remarks.
She has referenced the fact that it’s used for crime. Of course, the US dollar is sometimes also used for crime. She has said in the pas, Janet Yellen has, that she’s just not a fan of cryptocurrency. She doesn’t see it as legal tender or as a store of value. And that was a few years ago. Maybe that will change.
Separately from Yellen, which you might think she and her views would be bearish for how the Biden administration might deal with crypto, you’ve got Gary Gensler, who is Joe Biden’s pick for the SEC chair. And Gary Gensler is very friendly to cryptocurrency.
He’s the former chair of the CFTC, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. And he has testified before Congress a number of times about crypto and has said positive things. He has told Congress not to be hasty with over-regulating cryptocurrency and not to be hasty with rules that govern that space.
He and some of his associates now– some of the people who are on Biden’s transition team– have also said that they have encouraged the kind of regulation of Facebook’s Libra token as a security. Now, crypto people won’t like the idea that it might be labeled a security. But Gary Gensler and others have said that Libra should kind of be fostered and encouraged and that regulators should allow that to be developed.
So you know, on the SEC side, that could be very good. And that’s going to come into play with two key things. First of all, you’ve got the Coinbase IPO coming. Might regulators hold that up? We’ll see. And then, of course, you’ve got the SEC charges just dropped on the second to last day of former SEC Jay Clayton’s administration against the company Ripple.
The SEC saying that it was an unregistered securities offering. Well, once Gary Gensler takes over, might that change. Might the SEC come to some kind of settlement with Ripple regarding XRP token.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Hey, Dan, real quick with just a minute left, Ether has actually been breaking out today, not so much Bitcoin. What’s that about? Is it just everyone wants crypto?
DAN ROBERTS: Well, there’s a couple of things there, Adam. I’m glad you asked. Yes, earlier this morning, Ether hit its all-time high around 1,400. You know, if you at trading volume recently, the actual trading volume, in terms of dollars running through transactions on Ethereum– that Ethereum blockchain, which is separate from the Bitcoin blockchain– it’s really heated up in the last few weeks. And it’s neck and neck with the number of dollars transacted on the Bitcoin blockchain in terms of daily average.
Now, of course, the Bitcoin, you’ve got much more of a high price there and a price surge in recent weeks. But look, I think that whenever you see a huge spike in Bitcoin, you’re going to see big activity with the number two cryptocurrency. And that’s Ether.
You know, one thing I like to say is, as we know, there’s tens of thousands of these altcoins. But for now, the way things have gone, the way businesses are acting, there’s sort of Bitcoin and there’s Ethereum and then there’s everything else. Those are the one and two. And those are the only two coins I would say with absolute certainty are going to stick around for years to come. They’re not going anywhere.
SEANA SMITH: All right, Dan Roberts, thanks so much for breaking that down for us.