The U.S Senate met on February 6th to discuss "virtual currencies" such as Bitcoin. Many interpreted this meeting as bullish for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, primarily off the back of CFTC Chair Giancarlo's testimony and the idea of a "thoughtful regulatory approach."
While many caught onto the theme that ICOs were not liked by anyone, I think many didn't logically take it to the next step. If all ICOs are securities, aren't many altcoins as well? And if they are, what becomes of exchanges that enable the trading of these altcoins? It was mentioned many times at the hearing that exchanges weren't adequately regulated due to state-specific legislation and the idea that money transmitter licenses weren't designed for such secondary market trading.
There were other red flags as well, such as the idea of escalating Bitcoin to FSOC as a systemic risk or that the principle idea behind Bitcoin is to replace the U.S dollar which is NOT how we want regulators to view Bitcoin as they will see it as a much bigger threat.
Another important detail that many seemed to ignore was that the focus of the meeting seemed to be on how blockchain was valuable, but cryptocurrencies weren't. The only people who seemed to argue against this idea was CFTC Chair Giancarlo and Senator Warren.
Instead, the focus was on how blockchain technology could help regulators do their jobs through increased transparency of data. This usually is a fancy way of saying "more power to government and less privacy." It begins with good intentions, but that's usually what it devolves to.
All in all, there were many details most chose to ignore from the hearing that I wish were discussed more. There were obviously some bullish elements to it as well, but they have been discussed to death in media and hence I've chosen not to cover them. I hope that we do see a "thoughtful regulatory approach," but it appears a bumpy road ahead is likely.