Stock market mania has made the headlines in recent days, but recall that a run-up in crypto prices to new highs a few weeks ago raised all of the questions about investor protections and regulations now vexing policymakers coming to grips with GameStop.
In fact, crypto prices are starting to go haywire again. Yesterday, Robinhood imposed restrictions on crypto trading, as it did for the stocks at the center of the market mayhem.
The crypto world has been ahead of the curve when it comes to platform outages, outsize volatility and trading based on memes. Tension between the establishment and the masses is at the core of cryptocurrency, which was born from a desire for decentralization.
Rules for renegades
There is a lot going on in crypto right now. Some say too much, too fast. Others complain that the United States is too slow, falling behind because its rules are outdated and unfit to address the inventions that blockchain technology has created.
But markets and regulators have been here before. "The basic, overarching issue is that digital asset innovation has outpaced our regulatory framework," said Timothy Massad of Harvard, who is formerly the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and has written extensively about crypto asset oversight. "That's not unusual. There's always a tension between innovation and regulation."