Though recently concluded, the longest ever US government shutdown hitherto has impacted substantially in almost every aspect of development. And while the looming has not yet found permanent closure, the cryptocurrency community is already feeling the heat.
The shutdown which took effect from 22nd December 2018 through to the 25th of January 2019 saw multiple federal agencies stall their operations. The Common Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were likewise unavailable for service which included offering guidance and approvals.
The consequence of this meant delayed crypto projects approvals and launches thereof, which saw a number of crypto startups call back their proposals. This is conspicuously evident in the delayed launch of Bitcoin futures trading and custody platform -Bakkt following the inability of the firm to secure approvals from the US CFTC before 22nd December 2018 when the shutdown began. The platform which is a creation of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) -(the firm underpinning the New York Stock Exchange) was initially set for launch back in 12th December but later postponed to the 24th of January 2019. The launch has ,however, not been effected to date owing to the delays. And though the firm has been polishing the system during the period, we will ideally have to wait a bit longer as the regulator continues to drag the process.
According to Blockchain association member Kristin Smith, it will take a bit of time before the agencies are up and running in full mode citing they already have five weeks worth of work to catch up with.
“Everything still works but you need to give it time to warm up. It’s been frustrating, but I think at worst you’ve seen companies delay rather than cancel plans and now folks are eager to pick up where they left from,” Smith noted.
The crypto space fate remains at crossroads until a lasting solution to the stalemate is sought. According to the chief operating officer at Wall Street Blockchain Alliance Steve Ehrlich, the previous shutdown was like a trailer of what the future e holds should the two parties fail to reach a lasting agreement with respect to the disputed border wall.
“I can’t imagine any company trusting that government will not be shut down again following the 21-day reprieve,” Ehrlich said adding that until the matter finds permanent closure, federal agencies will focus their energies towards “serving the broadest segment of the population and addressing the highest priorities” as opposed to crypto related concerned.