The White House reports that 16 percent of Americans have purchased digital assets, resulting in a great deal of discussion about whether the U.S. government will take steps to regulate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Here's what you need to know.
Is Bitcoin Currently Regulated?
No. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that is not subject to government regulation. However, it is important to note that this aspect of Bitcoin is part of its appeal to many investors. Unlike traditional currencies, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not regulated by any government or central banking system. Instead, they are managed by a network of users and computer algorithms, making them distinct from other forms of currency in both their regulation and liquidity.
What Is FDIC-Insured?
The FDIC, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, is a government agency that oversees the banking industry. It was created in 1933 after the collapse of the banking industry to protect individuals from future loss. When a bank boasts that it is FDIC-insured, it means that funds deposited with that bank are protected, up to "$250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category."
This insurance protects customers if a bank or credit union fails. However, the FDIC does not insure investments, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. However, there is a possibility that this could change in the future.
What Would FDIC-Insured Mean for Bitcoin Investors?
Currently, there is no federal law that specifically addresses cryptocurrencies. However, this could change in the future as the use of Bitcoin becomes more widespread.
If the government regulates cryptocurrencies, it is possible that they could be subject to FDIC insurance. While many people who buy Bitcoin prefer the freedom of an unregulated cryptocurrency, FDIC insurance would provide protection for investors if a cryptocurrency exchange were to fail, offering anyone who invests in cryptocurrency a level of protection.
How Should This Affect Your Decision to Buy Bitcoin?
There is an inherent amount of risk in any investment, from blue chip to crypto. While cryptocurrencies are volatile, meaning their prices can fluctuate rapidly, the current stock market is no different. The prospect of FDIC insurance may even encourage more investors to take a closer look at Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Investing is always risky whether you buy Bitcoin, Boeing, or Bristol-Myers Squibb, but FDIC insurance can help mitigate some of the risks if and when it becomes available.