The US government is tightening its banking and AI regulations as cryptocurrencies profit from the recent US banking crisis.
In a March 30 press briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that the president had directed banking agencies to consider a series of reforms to reduce the risk of future banking crises. This announcement comes on the heels of public concern over recent bank failures attributed by experts to the weakening of regulatory measures under the Trump administration.
The proposed reforms include stronger liquidity and capital requirements, more rigorous stress tests, living wills, and enhanced bank supervision. These measures, if implemented, would be a significant departure from the previous administration’s approach to financial regulation.
The vulnerabilities of the traditional financial system are often attributed to fractional reserve banking — in which banks hold only a portion of their customers’ deposits as cash and lend out the rest. This practice, combined with the introduction of fiat money by President Nixon in the 1970s, has raised concerns about the stability of the global economy by exacerbating inflation. Fiat money, in contrast to gold or silver-backed currency, derives its value exclusively from the trust and confidence of the public in the government that issues it and has no real issuance limit.
Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat
Numerous experts suggest that bitcoin (BTC), the world’s first decentralized digital currency, could address the issues associated with the traditional financial system. As a decentralized, peer-to-peer currency, bitcoin can be kept by the end-users as opposed to banks — eliminating a centralized entity that could serve as a centralized point of failure or corruption. Moreover, its finite supply and decentralized structure limit its potential inflation, a feature not present with fiat currencies.
This design also helps mitigate inflation risks, as no single authority can manipulate the money supply or regulate and monitor who and how can spend it. Consequently, bitcoin’s decentralized system provides potential advantages over traditional financial systems by reducing the likelihood of systemic failures and potentially maintaining its value over time better if adoption subdues the volatility.
US government against AI
In the same press briefing, Jean-Pierre addressed the concerns of 1,000 of the world’s leading AI experts about the potential risks artificial intelligence poses to society and humanity. The experts called for the government to regulate AI and ensure its safe and prudent development.
Jean-Pierre referred to the blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, released last October, as part of the ongoing federal government approach to AI-related risks and opportunities. She emphasized the comprehensive process to ensure that AI innovation and deployment proceed with appropriate prudence and safety in mind.
Public concern about AI’s potential impact on human jobs and its threat to humanity has been growing, with some experts calling for an indefinite pause on AI development. Jean-Pierre reiterated the government’s commitment to a comprehensive process in addressing these concerns.
The President’s directive for banking reforms, coupled with the ongoing focus on AI safety, demonstrates the administration’s dedication to addressing the financial system’s fragilities and the potential risks posed by emerging technologies.