Regulation — simply the word was once enough to send a shudder down the spine of the crypto community. One of the primary drivers behind the success of blockchain is a libertarian, anti-establishment set of beliefs, and conceding to regulatory bodies in an attempt to fit into the existing financial framework seems to go against the beliefs upon which the blockchain ecosystem was built. Yet it has become abundantly clear in the past year that in order for blockchain to succeed, there will need to be some degree of assimilation with the traditional way of doing things. Sure, blockchain as a technology has given rise to true peer-to-peer borderless transfer of value, and innovative ways to raise capital or invest in promising projects, but we have also seen the other side of the coin: cryptocurrency being used as the primary exchange of value for illicit activities, and people taking advantage of the uneducated investor through scam ICOs. As nefarious and anti-crypto as regulation once seemed, some in the crypto community are slowly warming to, or even welcoming the impending increase in the regulation of the blockchain ecosystem.
So what are we all afraid of? What does “regulation” even mean in the context of cryptocurrency?