It is that time of the year: Singular events must be abandoned in favor of end-of-year, big-picture narratives and yearly lessons learned. As many governments across the globe finally had to face the rapidly mainstreaming realm of digital finance, the year is packed with developments in crypto policy and regulation that are impossible to fit into a neat little summary. However, it is possible to try and distill several major trends that have come to the fore during the past 12 months, and that will keep shaping the relationship among societies, state power and the crypto space as we roll into 2022.

Below is the concise version of the latest “Law Decoded” newsletter. For the full breakdown of policy developments over the last week, register for the full newsletter below.

U.S. Congress notices crypto

In 2021, crypto regulation in the United States ceased to be mostly the domain of unelected officials sitting on various financial regulatory commissions and within the Treasury Department. Federal lawmakers called more high-profile Congressional hearings on digital assets than in any previous year. Their command of crypto-related issues has also improved visibly. The executive branch still attempted to steer important decisions — the approach most vividly illustrated by the last-minute inclusion of crypto broker reporting requirements into the infrastructure bill — yet the backers of such course were likely caught off-guard by a vocal, concerted pushback from the industry and its allies on the Capitol Hill. Granted, not everyone in Congress is a Bitcoin buff, but there…

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