Guest post by Cal Evans from Gresham International
Cal is the Managing Consultant of Gresham International.
Cryptocurrency exchanges represent one of the most diverse service offerings within the crypto industry.
You only have to stack a handful of exchanges up, side by side, to see the differences between them. These differences can be found in a multitude of areas. Some differences relate to the actual user interface (UX) experience of the platform and how users interact with the services. Other differences can be found in the technical side of the trading offered by the exchange. This list is almost endless.
In a market that is now so big, this diversity allows crypto users to move to whichever exchange best suits their needs — a real win for those who are trading in the community.
To date, crypto exchanges have had a fairly easy life with respect to regulation and the amount of paperwork they have to do. Considering the amount of cash that flows through some exchanges, it is quite astonishing that so far they have had minimal regulation. In hindsight, this might not be such a great thing.
Regardless of your thoughts on the balance between privacy/freedom and control/monitoring, the simple fact is that most countries do not allow free flow of assets of any kind. Monitoring them kills factors such as financing terrorism and money laundering from crime. Two things which, in the early days of Bitcoin, gave the whole industry a bad name. One which we are still trying to recover from.
In order to counter this, 2019 saw a raft of new laws passed in various international jurisdictions. Most of which, aimed at exchanges. Essentially, there has been no headway into actually legislating cryptocurrencies themselves.