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WEF’s Sheila Warren says the US will be ‘the big elephant in the room in 2022’


  • China was at the forefront of a crackdown on Bitcoin mining and crypto trading
  • Sheila Warren predicts that the US will take the lead in crypto matters in 2022, pointing to this year’s Capitol Hill hearings involving lawmakers and crypto executives as the harbinger of what’s to come.

The head of data, blockchain and digital assets at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Sheila Warren says 2022 could be the year that the US becomes the “big elephant in the room,” with regard to crypto regulation.

In 2021, China has enforced a serious crackdown on Bitcoin mining and crypto trading, forcing thousands of miners and multiple crypto providers to seek friendlier destinations for their operations. The US emerged as one of those places, with miners drawn to locations such as Texas for the cheap and abundant renewable power.

While the US Federal Reserve chair has previously said that the US will not ban cryptocurrencies, a call also made by US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) chief Gary Gensler, Warren believes recent events on Capitol Hill could just be the beginning of even more hearings and tougher regulatory approaches.

Giving her market prediction for 2022, the Money Reimagined podcast co-host said in a recent interview that she foresees the US making big moves in policymaking.

If I predicted last year that China was going to be the big elephant in the room making some big moves, I think this year, it’s actually going to be the US,” she noted.

She acknowledges that actual policymaking is a process that can take a very long time, which means one cannot just say with certainty that a lot of policies will be enacted in 2022. However, she believes that the year could see a surge in hearings and other regulatory activity, with the government and regulators taking a closer look at the crypto industry.

CBDCs, NFTs, and overall crypto adoption

Warren also talked about central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in the EU and the US, noting that the world will likely keenly watch China’s focus on expanding use of the digital yuan. In terms of issuing digital coins, she thinks the EU might just beat the United States to the finish line.

During the interview, the WEF exec member was also positive about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and believes the crypto and blockchain space as a whole is set for further institutional adoption. 

According to her, adoption across companies could positively impact the job market, with crypto’s valuation likely to spike as the labour market moves into the industry.

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