A Washington DC insider lays out her vision for the bitcoin market's first self-regulatory organization

Episode 20 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and ADAM CEO Michelle Bond.

Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on AppleSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to [email protected].

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Bakkt and Kraken.

Bakkt® unlocks the $1.2+ trillion of digital assets that is currently held in cryptocurrencies, rewards and loyalty points, gaming assets and merchant stored value. We began in 2018 with the vision to bring trust and transparency to digital assets. Through the Bakkt Warehouse and Bakkt Bitcoin Futures and Options contracts, we serve institutional clients in an end-to-end regulated market with true price transparency. For consumers, Bakkt aggregates digital assets to enable instant liquidity and to empower users to trade, transfer and pay however they want. Visit Bakkt.com for more information

Whether you’re an experienced crypto trader or just starting out, Kraken has the tools to help you achieve financial freedom. With 50+ cryptocurrencies to choose from, industry-leading security and a wide variety of features to suit any investing strategy, Kraken puts the power in your hands to buy, sell and trade digital assets. Visit Kraken.com to get started today.


Michelle Bond has been focused on financial regulation for decades, and a turn to crypto policy a few years ago led her to take the helm at the Association for Digital Assets Markets by the end of 2020.

ADAM is a trade association for crypto markets, featuring a code of conduct that requires its members to commit to operating with certain requirements of transparency and speed.

"ADAM is 100% a standards-setting body," Bond said during the most recent episode of The Scoop. 

ADAM's membership includes such industry players as Anchorage, Paxos and Genesis and the group functions as a collective voice for its members. The group's ultimate goal is to provide for the crypto market what FINRA is to securities brokerages: an industry-spearheading body for self-regulation.

"We would like to, one day, become a self-regulatory organization. We believe that that is not something that is decreed, that is earned. At the current moment, we're setting the standards," said Bond.

Among major issues of the day, Bond noted that industry participants are awaiting a response from the Treasury's FinCEN office on the recently closed comments on its proposal to monitor rules. 


Keep up with the latest news, trends, charts and views on crypto and DeFi with a new biweekly newsletter from The Block's Frank Chaparro

By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Less publicized but still critical is custody. Financial regulators in Washington, Bond said, "are 1,000% asking questions and grappling with custody."

As always, writing up such policies for crypto finance entails a combination of technological and legal savvy. This is where self-regulation comes in. Though Bond, like much of the industry, lamented the lack of coherent frameworks from financial watchdogs like her former workplace, the SEC, she identified the situation as fairly standard:

"Regulators will never come right out and endorse anything. That will never happen. And that makes sense; that's not their job."

But by presenting a code for how to operate in today's fast-moving crypto market, ADAM aims to accomplish what regulators have not. 

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


About Author

Kollen Post is a senior reporter at The Block, covering all things policy and geopolitics from Washington, DC. That includes legislation and regulation, securities law and money laundering, cyber warfare, corruption, CBDCs, and blockchain’s role in the developing world. He speaks Russian and Arabic. You can send him leads at [email protected].